Motown diva Teena Marie dies aged 54
Tuesday 28 December 2010
The 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 Boxing Day. She was 54.
Teena Marie, whose real name was Mary Brockert, was one of the few white performers to enjoy crossover success on America's black music charts.
A protegée of the funk singer Rick James, she signed with Motown Records in 1975 and released her first album four years later. That album, which was mostly written by James, led fans to believe that Teena Marie was black since it did not feature a picture of her. Her duet with James on "I'm a Sucker For You" peaked at No 8 on Billboard's Black Singles chart. I've always been accepted by the black community and I think that's a beautiful thing," Teena Marie told Jet magazine in 2006. She released 13 albums up to 2009's Congo Square.
Teena Marie's career had been on the upswing since 2004 when she signed with a New Orleans rap label and released her first album in a decade. La Dona peaked at No 6 on the Billboard 200, the first time she had ever cracked the Top 20. A song from the album, "Still in Love", took her on to the Hot 100 singles chart for the first time since 1988.
The cause of death was not known, but her friend, the percussionist Sheila E, reported on Twitter that Teena Marie had had a history of seizures.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Guillaume Tell's gang-rape scene caused uproar at the Royal Opera House – but the portrayal of extreme sex and violence on stage is nothing new
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture