R&B veteran Teena Marie has reportedly passed away at the age of 54 after providing fans with over 30 years of music dating back to the late 1970’s.
Details of her passing landed online late Sunday (December 26) evening.
R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, best known for the hit 1980s singles “Lovergirl” and “Ooo La La La,” died at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to news reports. She was 54. The cause of death was not known, and a spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Her friend, percussionist Sheila E, reported on Twitter that Teena Marie had a history of seizures. (ABC News)
Speculation on the cause of her death has developed, although, an exact reason is not yet known.
Relatives found Teena’s body Sunday morning at her home. Relatives tell TMZ Teena seemed fine yesterday, when she spent Christmas with her brother. Teena spoke at length yesterday with Lynn, who tells TMZ Teena seemed “fine.” So far it’s unclear what caused the singer’s death — but the Pasadena Police Department tells TMZ they do no suspect foul play. They say it looks like Teena died of natural causes. The L.A. County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy. We’re told Teena had a seizure a month ago, but it’s unclear what triggered it. Marie was nominated for a Grammy four times … her first top ten hit was “I’m Just a Sucker for Your Love.” (TMZ)
She was most known for being associated with Rick James around the start of her career.
Mary Christine Brockert was born in Santa Monica and began performing at a very young age, appearing as a tap dancer an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies when she was only eight years old. Marie was signed to Motown by Berry Gordy when she was 19, though no music was released for nearly three years while they figured out what kind of material to give her. “One day [Rick James] was walking down the hall and I was sitting in Stevie Wonder‘s office,” Marie recalled in a 2009 interview. “I would always be in there playing his piano and singing. Rick popped his head in there and we started having a conversation and after that we just became really close friends.” (Rolling Stone)
In more recent years, Marie released music through Cash Money Records.
She went to Epic in the 1980s and had hits like “Lovergirl” but her lasting musical legacy would be her Motown years. Still, she 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.” (Associated Press)
Listen to Teena Marie’s “Lovergirl” below: