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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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

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

Comments

TEENA MARIE ALWAYS GOING MY BLUE EYED SOUL SINGER FOREVER THANK U RICK JAMES FOR PUTTING TEENA MARIE ON THE MAP TO STRUT HER STUFF IN THE MUSIC WORLD R.I.P YOU TOO KEEP SINGING YOURS HEART OUT SMILE.....
I FEEL LIKE I BEEN HERE BEFORE ALSO LIKE LADY TEENA MARIE. YOUR MUSIC TAKE ME BACK WHEN WAS FANCY- FREE TOO I LOVE IT.... MY PLACES AND SPACES SMILE....
Yes, I've been here many times before. Great song. I love Teena's music.
Saw Teena back in the day she had a broken rib from falling off the stage before our show but she gave a hell of a show. It will never be another Teena Marie
Our sweet angel in heaven...RIP
Slick rick and lady tee chocolate and vanilla set an example for all of us RIP
will miss new music from you Lady T
Heading to a BBQ, beach, ballpark, or backyard this long holiday weekend? Good for you! Labor Day, celebrated in the U.S. on the first Monday in September, is not only a rousing ritual to high-five the remaining days of summer, but also gives us a gracious pause to pat ourselves on the back for the work that we do all year long.

From my home to yours, Happy Labor Day!
Lover Girl: I love this song
Teena, Teena, Teena....in my younger days, your voice was so awesome to listen to! Very much missed
Love You LADY T and Miss You. You are an Original. R. I. P......
RIP Lady T! The short you were with us will never be forgotten.
"Only one Teena"
I simply LOVE TEENA MARIE an original. She continues to get me through my days and allows me to remember when Life was so good. She's sunshine on a cloudy day. I have never heard a TEENA MARIE song and would rather hear something else at that time. Long live Lady T.
LOVE MY SISTER OF SOUL R.I.P LADY YOU LEFT US TO SOON U ALWAYS GOING BE HERE YOUR DAUGHTER IS PRETTY AND YOUR IS FOREVER HERE. YOUNG LOVE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONG SMILE....... . .
missing me some Tina Marie
FeelinG
I've enjoyed reading all the lovely comments about our sister lady T, everytime I hear her music it brings tears to my eyes.I'm sure that Alia Rose appreciates it and knows that we loved her mom so very much.
Teena you sure could sing your heart out i could feel you i miss you
1 of my favorites from the 80's, really miss her and Rick.
kevin.amonoo
i appreciate a beautiful voice and a lovely song from a beautiful woman you will always be a favorite of mine... love always.
zentwanzi191 3
Love her music!!!
tracysmall33 3
Tune in tomorrow, my favorite song by Teena!!!!
Rosebud247. Lady T You are the greatest singer! What a voice! Your music lives forever,
White chocolate she had it going on miss her. Rest in peace....
SHE HAS SOOOOO MANY GOOD SONGS ONE OF MY FAVORITES I'VE BEEN HERE B4
Portuguese Love : Great song. Great lyrics. :-)
Square Biz : LOVE TEENA MARIE's MUSIC.
roybrit
THERE IS SIMPLY NO ONE LIKE HER, NO ONE!!!!!!!
BOY SHE COULD SING AND IT SEEMS WHEN SHE PAST IT WASN'T A BIG THING ANYWAYS FOR HER LIKE WHEN OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS INDUSTRY JUST SAYING I WAS ABLE 2 C HER IN CONCERT TWICE RIP SHE HAD SO MANY LOOKS BEAUTIFUL SING VENESSA MY GRANDDAUGHTE R SINGS THIS SONG SO GOOD LOL
������MY SISTER!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Teena you were just awesome, best voice, now teach the angles
been luvin this since the 4th grade
Old school rock teens Marie miss you girl rip!
One of my favorite duets.... Teena/Rick James.... Along with a list of others
Not her best song, but my most favorite. I was a child of the 80's after all. ;-)
My all time FAVE female artist. I love love love Lady T
Lady T A Hellllllllll l l l l of a Voice miss ya
MY TEENA MARIE ALWAYS BE MISS
Such a beautiful memorizing voice
love you lady t
RIP!!!!! SINGING WITH THE ANGELS!!!!
shelialbert
She was one of my favorite singers of the 1980's era,but I am only 14 years old and I know music like this.
Tell me when I no about old school my x marine step father school me ...much love to this song
I saw her & Rick James at the Englewood stadium in 1981 and it was (really) one of the best concerts...h e r voice was mesmerizing and in those days she was hot (we all were��) smoke from the weed during Mary Jane was thick good times!!!
I Need Your Lovin...I remember Lady T performing this song on Soul Train. Much love and respect for your talent. Truly missed!!!
divax17
Lady T I miss you and your true talent.
Much Respect R.I.P.
.
If I were a bell is sweet
Regret missing her concert in 2010 at the Los Angeles County Fair. Wish I had gone. :'(
Teena Marie...Is my favorite of All time.!!!
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