Legendary R&B singer Teena Marie has passed away at the age of 54.
The R&B legend revered and fully immersed herself in black culture — and in turn was respected and adored by black audiences, not only for her immense soulful talents, but for her inner soul as well.
“Overall my race hasn’t been a problem. I’m a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what’s in your own soul,” she told Essence.com in an interview last year while promoting “Congo Square.” That album would turn out to be her last.
Born Marie Christine Brockert, Teena Marie rose to prominence in the late 70s and 80s, striking a musical and personal partnership with funk legend Rick James. She released 13 studio albums, six of which went platinum on the US R&B chart. Two of her albums went platinum, and six altogether were gold.
Marie’s biggest hit came in 1984 with her single ‘Lovergirl,’ which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Marie continued to record music and perform. In 2004 and 2006 she put out two well-received albums on the traditional rap label Cash Money Records, “La Dona” and “Sapphire.”
Rick James, who had a romantic relationship with Marie but also a long friendship, died in 2004. His death shook her so she said she became addicted to Vicodin, which she had been taking for pain, for about a year.
But Marie said she successfully battled that addiction.In 2008, she talked about her excitement of being honored by the R&B Foundation.
Marie was the mother of a teenage daughter who was budding singer; she would sometimes bring her daughter onstage to sing during her shows.
In 2009, she celebrated 30 years in the recording industry.
Marie took to Twitter to send a number of messages on Christmas day. Amongst her final tweets: “May Gods Light always shine on you and your family! May you have the most joyous Holliday season ever! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”
As of now Teena Marie’s death has been deemed as natural causes.
When the push comes to shove, when you need a little love let me put some rock into your world, call me up don’t be shy cause my love will make you high…..
How I always loved that song, and still do.
Rest In Peace Teena you did rock our world