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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

3. Rare Breed

4. Love Starved

5. Definition Of Down

6. Maria Bonita

7. Beautiful (For Alia)

8. The Long Play

9. Carte Blanche

10. Give Me Your Love

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)

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

6. My Dear Mr. Gay

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

6. Square Biz

7. The Ballad Of Cradle Rob And Me

8. Portuguese Love

9. Yes Indeed

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: La Dona

1. La Dona Intro

2. I'm Still In Love

3. Honey Call

4. Baby I'm Your Fiend

5. My Body's Hungry

6. A Rose By Any Other Name (feat. Gerald Levert)

7. Off The Chain (feat. Baby)

8. Makaveli Never Lied

9. Revelation 3.8 Introduction (feat. Common)

10. Recycle Hate To Love (feat. Lady Levi & Alia Rose)

11. The Mackin' Game (feat. M.C. Lyte & Medusa)

12. I Love Him Too (feat. De De O'Neal)

13. I Got You (feat. Rick James)

14. Hit Me Where I Live

15. High Yellow Girl (feat. Alia Rose)

16. Black Rain

17. I'm On Fire

x

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

1. Luv Letter (Radio Edit)

Comments

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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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I did not that she had passed away. May she Rest In Peace.
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Lady Tee was a soul sister (fact)
And I for one will always LOVE ��
Her music! Al Wild��bx.riv e r
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RIP..... TEENA VENICE CA, ♥
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Our Blue Eyed Soul Sister! My favorites are Oh La La La and Out on a Limb!
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Love this woman's voice !!! The heaven above sure does have an angel to sing up there !!!RIP. Lady T!!
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I have always loved the Lady and her music, rest easy sweet one.. There's only 1 Lady T...Blessing s
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I love Teena Marie especially , love her voice. Rest in peace Lady Tee ....missing U
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❤❤❤❤❤
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I saw her at Wingate Park in Brooklyn. NY. The fans wouldn't allow her to leave the stage and she obliged her fans by continuing to belt out song after song. As a fan I was overjoyed
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can't wait for the resurrection to hear that beautiful voice again
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One of the best voice the world has ever heard.....R. I . P Teena
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HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU OUR IVORY QUEEN OF SOUL ETERNAL MISS TEENA MARIE!!!, CUPID IS A REAL STRAIGHT SHOOTER LOOKS LIKE YOU GOT ME !!! LOVE & MISS YOU LADY TEE !, UR FAN LARRY BENNETT
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R.i.p teena marie i love all her songs
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Ivory queen of soul teena deeply miss
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The real Deal....
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One of my favorite artists of all time!!
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This is a jam Fire and Desire
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Has she had the pleasure of seeing her in Baton Rouge Louisiana with Rick James concert in the park. Beautiful lady beautiful voiced
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Beautiful soul sister love always .
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Love Teena forever!!!
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I had pleasure of meeting ms teena Marie years ago when I was a kid @ one of Rick james picnics in orchard park i'm from buffalo ny were Rick grew up with my mom I also seen her perform 2x live love her madly RIP!!
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Love me some Lady T.
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cabbie1953
Vanilla child!!! She was one of the best!!!
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ssannb50
Lady T. Was truly one of the best! Wish they would do a movie on her life!
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She is the greatest I luv her
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Today way 5 years she's been gone a legendary music singer .her music will be forever ...I miss you so .
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Happy anniversary Lady Tee....RIP gone but not forgotten. ...
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she got some cuts
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very gifted
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Was always a step ahead funky soul singer RIP vanilla princess
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She is one of a kind....I think she Black!!!love all her songs. ...
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Sotofam46 I thank the creator I was able to hear her tickle my ear durms on multiply occasions, and was amazed each and every time of this gifted voice that shared the same air as I ,she was/ forever will be my favorite female singer of all time ,to me she's up there with sassy ( Ms Sarah Vaughan ) ...R.I.P T......
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Rest in Paradise Lady Tee
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Wish I would have been able to see Lady T. in concert with Rick James
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Lady T. One of a kind. That soulful voice!!!!
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I love teena marie music
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I'm talking SQUARE BIZ to you baby, can't keep me off the dance floor when this oldschool groove is played...i will dance by myself...not for long always one or two more ready to jam with me!! I love you SQUARE BIZ!! RIP Teena Marie....did get to see her in concert 2010 she was the concert only reason i went, and i was not disappointed ! !
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I miss her what a voice RIP
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