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Soul Legend Teena Marie Dies At 54

Submitted by on December 26, 2010 – 10:50 pmOne Comment

Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter/producer Teena Marie, 54, was tragically found dead today at her California home.

Born Mary Christine Brockert in Santa Monica, California, she was found by her daughter after apparently dying in her sleep, according to her manager Mike Gardner (via CNN). The exact cause of death is still unknown.

Nicknamed Lady T, Teena Marie was loved by soul, funk and R&B fans worldwide. Raised on Motown music, her dreams came true when she signed to the label in 1976 and was quickly spotted by Rick James, who became her mentor. Her ethnicity was kept quiet as her debut song, a duet with James called “I’m Just A Sucker For Your Love,” hit the charts and radio; the album sleeve and packaging showed no picture of her. When she performed the track on Soul Train in 1979 with James, fans saw the woman with the powerhouse vocals was indeed a white woman, one eventually crowned the “Queen of Ivory Soul.”

Teena Marie released 13 studio albums throughout her career. In her memory, here are some of our favorite classics:

“Fire & Desire” with Rick James


“Square Biz”

“Ooh La La La”

“I’m Still In Love”

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