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Teena Marie

No white artist sang R&B more convincingly than Teena Marie, whose big, robust vocals were so black-sounding that when she was starting out, some listeners wondered if she was a light-skinned African-American. Marie grew up in west Los Angeles in a neighborhood that was nicknamed "Venice Harlem" because of its heavy black population. The singer/songwriter/producer was in her early twenties when, around 1977, she landed a job at Motown Records. It was at Motown that she met her mentor and paramour-to-be, Rick James, who ended up doing all of the writing and producing for her debut album of 1979, Wild and Peaceful. That LP, which boasted her hit duet with James, "I'm Just a Sucker for Your Love," didn't show Marie's picture -- so many programmers at black radio just assumed she was black. When her second album, Lady T, came out, much of the R&B world was shocked to see how fair-skinned she was. But to many of the black R&B fans who were eating her music up, it really didn't matter -- the bottom line was she was a first-rate soul singer whose love of black culture ran deep.

By her third album, 1980's gold Irons in the Fire, Marie was doing most of her own writing and producing. That album boasted the major hit "I Need Your Lovin'," and Marie went gold again with her next album, It Must Be Magic (which included the major hit "Square Biz"). It Must Be Magic turned out to be her last album for Motown, which she had a nasty legal battle with. Marie got out of her contract with Motown, and the case ended up with the courts passing what is known as "The Teena Marie Law" -- which states that a label cannot keep an artist under contract without putting out an album by him or her.

Switching to Epic in 1983, Marie recorded her fifth album, Robbery, and had a hit with "Fix It." In 1984, Marie recorded her sixth album, Starchild, and had her biggest pop hit ever with "Lovergirl." Though Marie had often soared to the top of the R&B charts, "Lovergirl" marked the first time she'd done so well in the pop market. Ironically, Marie was a white singer who had enjoyed little exposure outside the R&B market prior to "Lovergirl."

Three more Epic albums followed: 1986's Emerald City, 1988's Naked to the World (which contained her smash hit "Ooh La La La"), and 1990's Ivory. Unfortunately, Marie's popularity had faded considerably by the late '80s, and Epic dropped her. In 1994, the singer released Passion Play on her own Sarai Records label. Ten years later, she signed to Cash Money and released La Doña, featuring assistance from Gerald LeVert, Rick James, and MC Lyte. Sapphire followed two years later. Though both La Doña and Sapphire peaked at number three on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, she switched to Stax for her next album, 2009's Congo Square. On December 26 the following year, Marie died in her sleep at her home in Pasadena, California; she was 54 years of age. Marie's daughter Alia Rose subsequently oversaw the mixing, mastering, and release of Beautiful, an album recorded prior to Marie's passing. It was released through UMe in 2012. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Can't Last A Day (Radio Single)

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Track List: Luv Letter (Radio Edit) (Single)

Comments

miss Teena
Teena is my girl! She is the best! NOBODY can do it like Teena. Still can't accept that she is gone. Much love.
Teen Marie & Rick James This was a Bad Song I Still Love It!
De ja vu, right next to man in the mirror for me. To our soul sister for ever. Two ships crossed one night Lady T & Rick James. G.I.G. ATT.
R.I.P Teena...I love your music...you are truly missed
*Im Still In Love* x♥x♥x♥x♥
Im lovin dis song R.I.P TEENA MARIE
One of my faves ,,,,,
Gone to soon RIP Teena Marie
Fire and Desire yes now this is my jam love these two beautiful soul Tina Marie and Rick James #1 ~♥~
Dear Lover.. awe such a beautiful song I just melt when I here Teena Marie voice ~.~ ♥♡♥♡♥♡
One of My fav female singers in the world..... I grew up and went through it with Teena Marie. She got me out some trouble times and I will always love her for that. Until we meet again Teena....... . R . I . P .
That real
Aayyeeeeeeee e now this is my jam I love this song Square Biz Teena Marie was on point with this song & it never gets old ♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡
RIP Lady Tee! Saw you a few years ago in New York and you were on point! Miss you so much. Such an incredible performer.
Lady Songbird.... g r e w up on Teena Marie..love her!!!
A Rose By Any Other Name beautiful song ♥Teena Marie♥
Love you Tina
I saw her perform this live and she was so on point damn I miss her, 2nd best live performance I've seen, MJB was the best I've seen,
Saw her @ HOB in LA: Summer '96. She reached back in the crates and rocked everything. Still a great memory with RLopz
she will always be my lady t.
Tenna marie is the best.
This Lady, This Queen of Voice has instilled and inspired a majority of my hope and colored all of my dreams, beautiful both inside and out her music will forever be a legacy of my life and times
Musical ��Genius. Classic. Timeless. Under recognized. Lyric, melody, harmony, arrangement. ��
Teena Marie thanks so much for your Beautiful words you Shared with us all """ May Respect to your Family May God be with them always I miss you so I will always be your main squeeze be happy in heaven thanks for the Bless you left here on Earth Love you so square biz
An icon of my generation. Nobody can blow like Tina! Miss her!
Miss you Lady T
I loved Tina's music
I dig this girl...
I miss her !
Yea no one can sound like her and linda jones hymontise betty jo cleveland lov
Beautiful memories of seeing her live at the Taste of Chicago years ago, RIP Lady T
My vanilla child. Teena is my girl, till end of time, been listening and groovin to her music since i was 11 years old. She is the ulimate icon of funk!!! Lady T lives forever!
I like this song
RIP LADY-T LADY OF SOUL !...
VENICE CA, RIP Teena Marie !....
WATTS CA ♥
Tears gone way to soon what is this world coming to?? S.i.p. miss t been thr since sq biz much love 4e
teresathreet 1 9 6 9
My girl always no one better then her!
She. not even. WHITE
She was white not no spic Latina get ur facts right
Rest in peace t
Out On A Limb.Great song by a Great Singer. Love Teena
jiggettselgi n
Great signer heaven sent
One of the best ever!!! R.I.P. Teena
walksinwater 7
Probably one of the best underrated hip hop rap song ever. Thank you Lady Tee. R I P
teena was a bad a** white chick i will miss her a great deal
hi.i miss. teena.marie. . . . . t h e best of all time....
I love this womans work, in my opinion she is the best who ever done it. Miss you Lady-T
Jamming to It Must Be Magic love this song never gets old >> R.I.P BEAUTIFUL ~♥~
Icon (Teena Marie)!!
Thank you aunt Rosemary Salas (Tita) for introducing me to Teena (Lady T)! Glad I was able to see her in her last mini concert, Long Beach Ca. Compliments of David Stark. RIP Teena!
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