Teena Marie Dies
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Teena Marie Dies

Santa Monica : CA : USA | Dec 26, 2010 at 8:13 PM PST
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Teena Marie

R&B singer Teena Marie has died. The 54 year old singer died Sunday in her sleep at her home. She was discovered by her daughter. An official cause of death has not been released but Marie was treated for seizures last month.

Marie was born Mary Christine Brockert on March 5 in Santa Monica, California. Busting onto the music scene when she was just 19, Marie made history when was the first white artist signed to Motown where she worked with funk legend Rick James. Fearing backlash from her black fans, Motown did not put a photo of Teena Marie on her debut album. As a result there was a bit of shock when her photo appeared on the secnd album, but fans loved the sound of her silky soul voice.

Aretha is the “Queen of soul” but Teena Marie is the “Ivory Queen of soul”. Radio One founder Cathy Hughes said, “Teena was a black voice trapped in a white body.”

The gold album selling four time Grammy nominated artist found her popularity fading at the end of the eighties but was working on reviving her career most recently. Just before her death Marie was looking forward to an appearance in Atlanta in the next few weeks.

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"Lovergirl" by Teena Marie
Sherrill Fulghum is based in Niagara Falls, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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      AP Online
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