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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Beautiful

1. Luv Letter

2. Sweet Tooth

4. Love Starved

5. Definition Of Down

6. Maria Bonita

7. Beautiful (For Alia)

8. The Long Play

9. Carte Blanche

11. Wild Horses

12. The Perfect Feeling

x

Track List: First Class Love: Rare Tee

Disc 1

1. First Class Love

2. More Love

3. Wasn't I Good To You

4. Love Just Wouldn't Be Right

5. You Got Away

6. Oh Love

7. Betcha I'll Prove

8. My Baby Loves Me

9. White Soul

10. Can You Do It

11. Why Can't I Get Next To You

12. Co-Pilot To Pilot

13. Hey Boy

14. Don't Turn Your Back On Me

15. Wasn't I Good To You (1983 Mix)

16. Love Just Wouldn't Be Right (1983 Mix)

17. You Got Away (1983 Mix)

18. Oh Love (1983 Mix)

Disc 2

1. First Class Love (Acoustic Demo)

2. Don't Turn Your Back On Me (Acoustic Demo)

3. God Has Created (Acoustic Demo)

4. Wasn't I Good To You (Acoustic Demo)

5. Why Can't I Get Next To You (Acoustic Demo)

6. Happiness Is In Your Soul (Acoustic Demo)

7. Make You Surrey (Acoustic Demo)

8. The Greatest Love Of All Time (Acoustic Demo)

x

Track List: Icon

1. I Need Your Lovin'

2. Behind The Groove

3. Now That I Have You

4. Irons In The Fire

5. Portuguese Love

6. Young Love

7. It Must Be Magic

8. Aladdin's Lamp

9. Square Biz

10. I'm A Sucker For Your Love

11. Deja Vu (I've Been Here Before)

12. Fire And Desire

x

Track List: Congo Square

1. The Pressure

2. Can't Last A Day

3. Baby I Love You

4. Ear Candy 101

5. Lover's Lane

6. Marry Me

7. You Baby

8. Milk N' Honey

9. What U Got 4 Me

10. Rovleta's Jass

11. Congo Square

12. Harlem Blues

13. Black Cook

14. Ms. Coretta

15. Soldier

16. The Rose N' Thorn

x

Track List: Sapphire

1. God Has Created

2. Cruise Control

3. Baby, Whose Is It?

4. Make It Hot

5. Ooo Wee

6. Sleeping With The Enemy

7. A.P.B.

8. Love Is A Gangsta

9. Ladies' Choice

10. Somebody Just Like You

11. You Blow Me Away

12. Simmer Down

13. Romantica

14. The Way You Love Me

15. Ecstasy

16. Resilient (Sapphire)

x

Track List: The Best Of Teena Marie

1. I Need Your Lovin'

2. Behind The Groove

3. Now That I Have You

4. Irons In The Fire

5. Portuguese Love

6. Young Love

7. It Must Be Magic

8. Aladdin's Lamp

9. Square Biz

10. I'm A Sucker For Your Love

11. De Ja Vu (I've Been Here Before)

x

Track List: LoverGirl

1. Just Us Two

2. Ooo La La La

3. The Sugar Shack

4. If I Were A Bell

5. Stop The World

7. Shadow Boxing

8. Light

9. Out On A Limb

10. Lovergirl

11. Dear Lover

12. Fix It

13. Cassanova Brown

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. I'm A Sucker For Your Love

3. Behind The Groove

4. It Must Be Magic

5. I Need Your Lovin'

7. Portuguese Love

8. Square Biz

x

Track List: Starchild

1. Lovergirl

2. Help Youngblood Get To The Freaky Party

3. Out On A Limb

4. Alibi

5. Jammin

6. Starchild

7. We've Got To Stop

8. My Dear Mr. Gaye

9. Light

x

Track List: Robbery

1. Robbery

2. Playboy

3. Shadow Boxing

4. Midnight Magnet

5. Fix It

6. Ask Your Momma

7. Dear Lover

8. Stop The World

9. Cassandra Brown

x

Track List: It Must Be Magic

1. It Must Be Magic

2. Revolution

3. Where's California

4. 365

5. Opus 111 (Does Anybody Care)

6. Square Biz

7. The Ballad Of Cradle Rob And Me

8. Portuguese Love

9. Yes Indeed

10. Square Biz (Instrumental)

11. Someday We'll All Be Free (Live)

12. Deja Vu (I've Been Here Before)

x

Track List: Irons In The Fire

1. I Need Your Lovin'

2. Young Love

3. First Class Love

4. Irons In The Fire

5. Chains

6. You Make Love Like Springtime

7. Tune In Tomorrow

8. You Make Love Like Springtime (Reprise)

x

Track List: Lady T

1. Behind The Groove

2. Now That I Have You

3. Lonely Desire

4. Aladdin's Lamp

5. You're All The Boogie I Need

6. Can It Be Love

7. Young Girl In Love

8. Why Did I Fall In Love With You

9. Too Many Colors (Tee's Interlude)

x

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

1. Can't Last A Day

x

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

1. Luv Letter (Radio Edit)

Comments

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Cambridge St.. Philly Pa... first time I heard Teena... ❤️
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Soul Sister... Lady T.. miss u & Rick.
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❤❤❤
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I LOVED TINA THEN AND I LOVE HER NOW. I MISS HER AND HER GREATNESS. RIP QUEEN
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She got like no recognition for such an incredible voice. I did not get it. Bought her CDs all the way into early 2000. Sorry she left us so early RIP MISS TEENA.
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Diva had so much soul n voice luv ur music rip
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My. Heart. Die
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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Sing a Song Ivory Queen of Soul!! ��������
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adriennedmj
Love Casanova Brown
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Sleep on angel.
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Square Biz .... Oh yea ....
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RIP
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Teena and Rick made beautiful music together❤❤❤❤
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I saw her perform in Riverside, California and thank God he gave me that blessing. He broke the mold and there will never be another Tina Marie !
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chenese57
Lady "T" had a voice that no one could ever duplicate. I was fortunate to see her perform live th and she was amazing. She will be deeply missed.
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Ayyyyyy
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She belongs in the same esteemed litany of singers as Aretha, Ella, Billie etc. Incredibly talented songstress who will be spoke of for many years to come. Miss ya white lady of soul. R.I.P
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deandean1021
RIP Lady T!
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The best duet of all time! Good music never dies. Rick and Teena live on.
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matratus
Lady T ♫ ♫
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gidgew3
The first time I heard LoverGirl... . I was mesmerized!! ! !
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I just love listening to Teena Marie, one of my favs since I was a kid
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onam1
The BEST soulful sing then , now , and forever ��
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onam1
My nickname Ginamarie I only wish I had Dimes worth of her pipes
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lovin and missing this siSTAR
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I'M RICK JAMES, B**CH!
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Damn, I love this duet with them. Never get tired of it. They both sang the s**t out of this song.
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If there was a female artist who could head to head with Whitney, in my opinion, it would be Lady T.
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I JUST WANT TO BE YOUR LOVERGIRL
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Her n Whitney.
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NOBODY WILL EVER TOP HER .. HER BEST WORK RITE HERE .. YOU HAVE TO SEE HER DO THIS LIVE ON YOUTUBE .MAKES MY HAIRS STAND UP ...RIP BABY ........ TOMMY DILLON FEELS YOUR WORDS .....
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i still love this woman. angelic voice
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I had been a fan of her music from the first time I heard Square Biz. Her vocals back then was like nothing we had heard, especially in the hood in the early 80's. Then to top it off, she wasn't a SISTER...WTF ..The SISTER was BADD!!. Had a chance to catch one of her last shows in Detroit @ Chene Park. Teena had lost at least 35ilbs had on this BADD white pants suite on with her KANGOO. Man when I tell you she brought down the house, she gave a performance that I hadn't seen in years. MRD..
Report as inappropriate
Anybody remember seeing her as a little one dancing on the Beverly Hillbillies TV Show? Just some trivia from her #1 Fan. Absolutely love this woman, her talent, voice and spirit. One of the best concerts I've ever been too was seeing An Intimate Evening with Teena Marie at the Birchmere in VA. She answered audience questions and performed. She even told the story of how she and Rick James recorded Fire in Desire in one take.....Awe s o m e , awesome. You are so missed R.I.P.
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matratus
La Dona.
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I agree Antyde. Although I grew up with Teena, from the very beginning, I absolutely LOVE her Congo Square Album!! I do listen to her all day everyday!! My heart was torn to pieces when she died. I know Her, Gerald & Rick are up in heaven jammin'!!! RIH Lady T
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Sister Had 100/soul.rip Ms.T.
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Teena Marie is/ was by far the best! I was fortunate enough to see her perform twice. She's my absolute favorite. Was devastated when she passed. I have all her material I could listen to her all day 24/7. R.I.P. you are truly missed.
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I love you Lady T forever girl May God have mercy on your soul rest peacefully GoD Blessed you with beauty inside out ����
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So classy, so talented, so inspirationa l . . . . . . . . s h e is missed!!!
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One of the best
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I truly Love Lady T! I could listen to her all day
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Love you lady T !!❤️❤️❤️❤️
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I will forever be your #1 fan ....until the 6 turn to a 9 ...
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❤❤❤❤❤
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A really touching & a spiritual motivating love song . I love It , robbi.gman@g m a i l . c o m <*>'��⚖�����
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Kimmanna Ybarra
Teena Marie you will be very much missed and always treasured!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful music with all the American people!! Te amo mucho!!
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Black, white, what the f ever! So lame. Smh. This profile does not do justice. How bout bad a** b**ch. Don't get it twisted, Pandora!
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RIP Lady T.
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