December 27th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
The death of R&B legend Teena Marie continues to shock fans, who still can't comprehend the "Lovergirl" singer's unexpected passing at age 54 on Sunday.
"My heart is broken," "The Talk" co-host Holly Robinson Peete told CNN analyst Roland S. Martin. "Teena Marie was an R&B Empress, a music pioneer, a brilliant songwriter/producer with the most original powerhouse vocals ever. Nobody sang like Teena! But above all she was an exceptional human being, a humanitarian and an authentic friend who I will miss dearly."
En Vogue member Cindy Herron echoed Peete's sentiments: “It’s a loss for those who loves her music, but also the music world," she told Martin. "She still had so much to offer.”
According to Marie's publicist, Lynn Jeter, the superstar suffered a grand mal seizure last month while watching a movie with her 18-year-old daughter. She was then put on medication that made her suicidal, so Marie “reduced the meds herself,” says Jeter. Marie was looking forward to performing at a gig in Atlanta this week, but that concert never came to pass. "She evidently died in her sleep and her daughter found her,” Jeter says.
Sean "Diddy" Combs told Martin: "The world has lost one of the most talented and beautiful musicians of our time. There will never be another Teena Marie."
Still, the "Square Biz" singer's legacy will live on, says Lionel Richie.
"If there is a word called talent or talented, it was pouring out of her veins. She was an amazing phenomenon," he told Martin of Marie, who was born Mary Brockert. "There was Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle and Teena Marie. And you don’t want to go on stage with any of them. Those three you just don’t play with."
In a YouTube message he recorded on Monday, Lenny Kravitz says, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Teena.”
The singer said Marie took him in when he was 16 years old and living on the street.
“She gave me a bedroom,” he says. “She fed me, she cooked for me, she took care of me. She gave me instruments to play; she took me to all her recording sessions. She took me to concerts, she nurtured me and helped me to become who I am.”
He adds: “She changed my life, not only as an artist, but as a person who truly loved me for who I was.”
iReporter Al Mealey also shared his tribute below.
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