Top 10 little known facts about Teena Marie
December 28th, 2010
01:47 PM ET

Top 10 little known facts about Teena Marie

While the world awaits word as to the cause of death for R & B singer Teena Marie, we look back at some things about the “Ivory Queen of Soul’s” life you might not have known:

1)     She has a connection to “Saturday Night Live” – The singer was godmother to former “SNL” cast member Maya Rudolph who is the daughter of the late legendary singer Minnie Ripperton and music producer Richard Rudolph.  Richard Rudolph produced Marie’s second album, “Lady T.”

2)     She was a free spirit early on – Marie admitted during a TV One episode of the show “Unsung” that she got into a little bit of trouble while a student at Venice High School in Los Angeles, California. During a production of the musical “Carousel,” she was booted out for smoking marijuana, the singer said.

3)     Fans weren’t the only ones surprised by her ethnicity – Early in her career, Motown opted not to send out press photographs so as not to prejudice fans and radio stations with the fact that Marie was white. But one of her childhood friends, singer Mickey Boyce-Ellis, reportedly said she didn’t realize her best friend was white until one day Marie’s mother came to school to pick her up.

4)     She and Rick James weren’t just musical partners – The pair shared a tumultuous love affair which Marie said resulted in a two week long engagement. The "Super Freak" singer produced her early work and they famously dueted on the passionate single “Fire and Desire.”  They broke up in 1981 but reconciled musically in 2004 for a tour and a performance on the BET Awards which earned a standing ovation. James died two months later.

5)     She was a rap pioneer – Marie was one of the first musical artists to incorporate rhyme into an R & B song. In 1981, she rapped on her single “Square Biz” off the album “It Must Be Magic.”

6)     She crossed racial boundaries – The singer was embraced by the Black community, as has been evidenced by the outpouring of grief and tributes since her death. In 2004, she was signed to a sub-label of the successful Cash Money Records, home of rap superstar Lil Wayne. She later moved on to the Stax Records.

In his Atlantic essay “The Indomitable Blackness of Teena Marie,” writer Ta-Nehisi Coates says "I'm sure some of the old-heads here, can come up with a corollary, but I'm having trouble thinking of a white artist whose relationship to black music mirrored Teena Marie's. More specifically, I can't think of a white artist who was more beloved by such a large swath of black people than Teena Marie."

7)     She influenced law – After leaving Motown Records in the 1980s, the label sued her and she responded in a countersuit which resulted in the  “Brockert Initiative” which was named for the singer whose real name was Mary Christine Brockert. The initiative clarified a California law which made it impossible for record labels to keep a performer under contract without paying them royalties.

8)     She remained a part of the Motown family – Despite the legal troubles, Marie and Berry Gordy remained close and she often referred to him as her father. The Motown founder has said he is devastated by her death.

9)     She’s not the only singer in the family – Marie was often joined these past few years on stage by her daughter Alia Rose who performs under the name Rose Le Beau. The pair were extremely close (Marie had refered to her daughter's Christmas birth as her greatest gift) and it was her daughter who reportedly discovered Marie’s body. "The thing that I am most proud of is my child,” Marie told TV One. “That I was able to do these things that I did, but I was able to still be a good mother."

10)  She loved Sarah Vaughn to the end – Not only did Marie pay homage to the great jazz singer in interviews and song (in “Square Biz” Marie raps about her) but one of her last tweets the day before her death quotes Vaughn: “May you never grow old, and may I never die.”

soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. vocaltechnique

    Because she had an amazing TALENT

    August 31, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. renee

    only in the united states are you looked at with a color if you go somewhere else you are a human being and not judged by your ethnic background why are all the postiing was about she is white where is the i loved her or i didn't more so negative comments should be kept to yourself she has a daughter who could possibly read this stuff at this time while she is grieving her mother (she is the ivory queen of soul)

    January 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Art

      That is so untrue that it is pathetic. But keep believing it if it makes you feel better.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. renee

    who cares what race she is i have been a huge fan of hers for many many of years and she is the only artist who does not get changed out of my disc changer when i rotate my music and when she comes to detroit im at her concert she blow a lot of black artist out of the water with her dynamic voice lady t will be missed.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lala

    okay so i didn't know who she was my mom and dad had to school me on how she can sinqq and when they told me to qo and listen to fire and desire iwas like wow she can really blow, and when ifound out that she had died iwas oh no its like apart of me is missinq now that she is qone even thouqh ididn't know her but she can really sinqq ilove this sonqq r.i.p teena marie

    January 4, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |

    I can remember growing up in Northside of Nashville falling in love with Lady Tee's music."Out on a Limb" is what I think the music industry refer to as "rock-opera". I consider this song – the first. i played the ink off of the "Starchild" cassette. Teena Marie, Prince, Sheila E. music just to name a few,were close to prayer during challenging times. I could rely on their music to get me through rough times. I was unaware of her relationship with Motown. What a inspiring story!! And what even more inspiring is how her and Mr. Gordy was able to move beyond the legal battles and keep a loving and professional relationship. Its amazing how things workout when you do things in Love instead of selfihness. Obviously, this is a serious blow to me. I looked forward to hearing her new music. It just so happens she had a bit more to contribute that made her life even more beautiful. R.I.P. Lady will be missed but NOT forgotten.

    January 3, 2011 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. S.H. LaPocsipe

    I lost a little bit of childhood when I found out Teena Marie had died. In boarding school while all my friends listened to classic rock, I remember the oddity of this one really preppy, blonde, Brooks-Brothers-wearing kid who just adored Teena Marie! His room even had a poster of her. When I heard she had died, I was all of a sudden a 15 year old again, back in high school, back in that buddy of mine's dorm room, listening to her music as my old friend explained (in 1984) why Teena was, as they say, "The Ivory Queen of Soul." So thanks Teena for those happy times, thanks for giving me a reason to dance at all those awkward 1980s prep-school mixers, especially to "Square Biz." As an African American, I want to say thank you for unconditionally embracing the black community-it has been an honor to be your fan.

    December 30, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LaPocsipe

    I lost a little bit of childhood when I found out Teena Marie had died. In boarding school while all my friends listened to classic rock, I remember the oddity of this one really preppy, blonde, Brooks-Brothers-wearing kid who just adored Teena Marie! His room even had a poster of her. When I heard she had died, I was all of a sudden a 15 year old again, back in high school, back in that buddy of mine's dorm room, listening to her music while my old friend explained (in 1984) why Teena was, as they say, "The Ivory Queen of Soul." So thanks Teena for those happy times, thanks for giving me a reason to dance at all those awkward 1980s prep-school mixers, especially to "Square Biz." As an African American, I want to say thank you for unconditionally embracing the black community-it has been an honor to be your fan.

    December 30, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Abudu Rahman

    "While the world awaits word as to the cause of death for R & B singer Teena Marie," ??? I veery seriously doubt if the world is waiting to hear what the cause of Teena Marie's death was. There are probably more people waiting to hear if Brett Farve is going play next week. Teena Marie was a good entertainer and I morn her passing too but, she wasn't all of what the above statement would make her to be.

    December 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jack Sparrow


    diggout-community portal to interact with the people and share your links,free submit links

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    December 29, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pat

    Thanks for the little known facts on Ms Tina. i wasn't aware of her connection to Ms. Minnie Ripperton who had the voice of what I imagine an angel would sound like. I watched and taped that BET awards show and Tina tore the house DOWN. A truly mighty voice! A gift like that deserves only respect and appreciation. I'm thankful for BET which enables us to see and hear many voices not commonly played on the radio or TV. I also appreciate CNN doing this spread on her.
    Anyone know how I can send condolences that will actually reach Ms. Tina's daughter or family?

    December 29, 2010 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dianne Shuler

    Because of your song "Irons in the fire " has been my inspiration for the past 30 years of my life . I am so devastated by your passing . I what they say is true , "God only the takes the best ". R.I.P. LADY T. Gone but never to be forgotten !!!!!

    December 29, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. HDA

    Lady T had a number of "bad" songs, but Ooh Wee and the duet with Rick James on Fire & Desire really signify that she paid her dues and was amply rewarded by the soul she exhibited in her music.

    All the other garbage here that is posted is just that, garbage and should be ignored.

    R.I.P. Lady T. You were the bomb!


    December 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • La Dona

      I can honestly say that I truly loved the majority of her music, and I liked the rest. She put heart into all of her work, and it shone through.

      December 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. johnny

    what the hell is 369

    December 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. princess williams


    December 28, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bree818

    For those who did not know about or heard of Teena Marie & her music, back in the day The Hollywood Squares when Whoopi was the center square used her song "Square Biz" as the theme song.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  16. princess williams

    To the person who wrote {woe is you}..... Iike i said she is a damnnnn LEGEND ....... what the helllllll do u have or got going on 4 ur self HATER!!!!!!!!! las vegas nv

    December 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  17. chrisf

    all those nights i cryed tears i tried to hide ,do i love you ,do i love you, yes indeed , yes indeed do i love u yessssssssss indeeeeeed. Your music will never die !

    December 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Roy Gwynn

    I love her because she help me out in a lot of relationship with girls and family.

    December 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Nino Brown

    Their are no words to describe how I feel.This really hit home to all.As Teena Marie touched the lives of all nationalities with her music,She will be deeply missed.I pray for the strengh and healing for her family.R.I.P. TEENA MARIE

    December 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Vegas_June

    No matter what race she is: Teena Marie was and will always be greatness. Her music was so funky that hell many black artist couldn't mess with her. I had the pleasure of seeing her in concert many times and she never disappointed me. Also I got the priviledge to go to her private birthday party in Las Vegas about 3 yrs ago and meet her. She was charismatic and very greatful for all her fans. I will forever remember "Lady T".

    December 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greatness?

      Well, I guess some people are easily entertained.

      By the way, there is pudding on your chin ....

      December 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vegas_June

      @greatness, Dude you would not know good music if iot slap you in the face and called you daddy. I mean if you feel that way then good for you. Hope you continue to love your "gangsta rap". Punk.

      December 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Dee

    Rest in peace Lady T .....................

    December 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. David

    I thought Rare Earth was the first white act at Motown

    December 28, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Mary

    My thoughts and prayers go out to her family @ this time.Help.her only child in her time of pain.Teena Marie had a wonderful voice and sang from her Heart.Her passion for much was so large.Young artist of today should listen and study

    December 28, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Cocoa2k

    Rest in Peace Ivory Queen,
    I remember her concert in philly, I was shocked and stun , Just to hear that awesome amazing voice. Teena was Unique and a Classy woman. You cant compare Lady Gaga to her, Lady Gaga is a nut case. And Teena Marie was a Ivory Godess. Miss the old school music. They sang with feeling and it was meanigful.
    You will be Missed Lady T

    December 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Abudu Rahman

    Elvis Presley was more admired by black people than any other white performer.

    December 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan


      December 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael bolton

      hey aren't you forgetting someone

      December 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abudu Rahman

      Jomo, u are a clown. I live in Memphis & Elvis Presley is & was very well respected by African Americans in Memphis & the Mid South. The remark u have attributed to him Elvis was a remark that was totally taken out of context. Elvis was around the blues circuit and close friends with a lot of the African American entertainers and understood as well as seen some of the treatment and thought it was a disrespectful act to have an African American shine his shoes (African Americans back in that era thought less of other African Americans who did shine white peoples shoes). The late Rufus Thomas was one of several African Americans who was around Elvis and defended him against being a bigot. If you knew the history of Elvis Presley u would know of the countless African Americans who benefited from his gracious givings of money, cars, homes and other personal gifts. Elvis Presley, according to history was a frequent guest at the late & great pastor William Herbert Brewster's church on Trigg street in South Memphis. Pastor Brewster was the author of Mahalia Jackson's first hit, Move on Up a Little Higher in 1948, and hundreds of other gospel hits and songs. There a very famous picture of Elvis on Beale Street with Rufus Thomas or either Bobby Blue Bland. U don't know what u are talking about. He even has a statue on Beale street across from B. B. King's club.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  26. Abudu Rahman

    I don't know where most of you all come from that didn't know from the start that Teena Marie was white. Everyone I knew at the time she debuted knew she was white when they first heard her voice. She sang soulfully but, she did not sound like a black singer.

    December 28, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Abudu Rahman

    I don't know where most of you all come from that didn't know form the start that Teena Marie was white. Everyone I knew at the time she debuted knew she was white when they first heard her voice. She sang soulfully but, she did not sound like a black singer.

    December 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  28. phoenix

    teena maria was the female elvis

    December 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Joy

    First of all please don't even think about mentioning Ladywhatever with Lady T. There is no comparison whatsoever! Teena Marie was the real deal. You can't fake being a soul singer. It's a gift from God, it's pure, raw and in your face and baby either you got it or you don't. Teena Marie had it and she remained true to her soul music. My heart sank when I heard she passed away and at the same time I thought about those "rainbow colored people happy as can be" she sang about in my favor TM song "Dejavu" , we love you Teena, rest in peace.

    December 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • True

      "There is no comparison whatsoever!"


      One is dead.
      The other will die with lots of money.

      December 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Bob696

    What sets Teena Marie apart from today's recording celebrities (most are not artists) is that she didn't sing for audience adulation, shock effect or money; she sang for the music. Perhaps we can be consoled by the possibility that her death will introduce a new generation of fans to what she stood for, both artistically and personally.

    December 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Tom

    Am I the only person who has never hears of this woman until now? Good lord, I can't believe that my head has been so buried musically in the sand. I am going to have to go through the P2P's and search and listen for Teena Marie.
    My condolences to her family and fans. I have a feeling from everything I have read that I will not be disappointed.

    December 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  32. princess williams

    she was a true LEGEND.....she was the ivory queen of soul the world will miss her like i do .I love u tina marie.las vegas nv..........

    December 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Woe is you

      She was no legend.

      That's like saying Britney Spears is a legend.

      God – get real. The next thing ya know, some of you will call to have her canonized.

      AND NO – she doesn't look biracial. Obama is biracial – he looks black. I have never met a person who was half black and half white who looked white.


      December 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abudu Rahman

      Come on Princess, she had 4 or 5 songs that actually made the radio. She was a good singer but, she was far from being a legend. Legends get on stamps. She will not be on a stamp annnnytiiime soon.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
    • @Woe

      Woe, since that is the case, I think you need to gas up the tractor and get away from all your hillbilly and farmer buddies up there in West Virginia.

      December 29, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  33. CEEJAY

    Who wrote this article, someone young and no doubt white....we all knew this....African-Americans are her biggest fan base. These facts are not news!!!! Do better research...

    December 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Respers France, writer

      Actually, the writer of this blog is a 40-something year old African American woman. Just FYI.

      December 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol@CEEJAY

      Boy, don't you look stupid now!

      December 28, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • La Dona

      I too knew everything on the list, but for those that are just getting to know her, it was fine.

      December 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • @ceeJay

      haaaaaha smartass

      December 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Lady T Fan

    Teena Marie was a great Talent! The only person I saw in concert live that actually sounded like the album!No other artist can do that! Not even Prince. R.I.P sweet Lady T

    December 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Don_J

    Last night I was passing through Chicago-Midway and all of a sudden “ooh, la, la, la…” came blasting out of the PA system… people looked up from MNF and started clapping and a few started singing with her… it was awesome.

    December 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Black Barbie

    Please double check your facts related to the Brockert Initiative. The initiative doesn't have to do with royalty payments, it has to do with payment of a "salary" minimum and release of artist's material.

    December 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Don_J

    ...Casanova Brown... yeah, RIP.

    December 28, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  38. John Book

    Author spelled Minnie Riperton's name incorrectly, despite access to proper spelling online. Can it be edited and corrected? Mahalo nui.

    December 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  39. TH STAKE


    December 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  40. melissa

    I love you tina. You will be missed.

    December 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  41. lex


    December 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Nino Michael Brown

    We don't have to "defend" Teena on this blog, or get into race issues like some people are trying to do on here. I came on this blog to pay tribute to a woman who, the moment she walked on stage, captivated the entire audience with her charisma and pure talent. When she sang "Deja Vu"and "Out on A Limb", it was hushed in the auditorium. At 18 years of age I'm in a crowd of people that were there holding their girl friends in their arms while they were standing because the concert was sold out. I cannot tell u how many dudes that I saw, myself included, that had tears coming down their cheeks because of the lyrics and the way she sang them so powerfully. It was a magic moment, and it was crazy to see so many people cry at once and couldn't explain why or stop themselves from crying. I have never before or been touched like that since at a concert. If that doesn't speak volumes for what kind of performer and "true" spirit Teena Marie was, there is no such thing. I LOVE YOU, Teena, and always will adore you..

    December 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Lou

    Teena is the only White Soul Sister! Who else can both races listen too, enjoy and dance together?? However, there is the new kid out of Louisiana named Marc Broussard that may be, the White Soul Brother- check him out!
    RIP Teena!!! Thanks for the Fire, the Desire, the Square and the Biz!!!

    December 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abudu Rahman

      What a stupid comment. There are hundreds of white acts and African Americans that all races dance and party to. Too many to even start naming.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  44. kenny hines

    i just want to say that myself and tina marie when to venice high school she was in the 12th grade and i was in the 11th grade .it hurts that she is gone she was my girl .r i p i love you tina 369 !!!!!!!!!

    December 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  45. jimcouch

    She will be missed. I remember when Berry Gordy brought her on Motown at just 19. It got me looking around and I found these great performanc­es by other Motown artists like Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson, The Temptation­s, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, ect. – http://goo­.gl/f5wJ2

    December 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  46. ron sims


    December 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Congo Square

    RIP Teena Marie, the undisputed ivory queen of soul. Shock and devastation are an understatement, I was looking forward to her performing for New Years Eve here in Atlanta with Maze. I am utterly crushed. Prayers of strength and comfort for her daughter and loved ones. <3

    December 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  48. tanya

    celebrate the life and music of my girl teena marie..dont entertain ignorant racists that enjoy nithing more than more misery than they already posess..her music moved us..her picture wasnt held back cuz blacks are was held back to give her a chance to be heard first..stop being hateful abd a book..cant stand you racist intergluteal clefts

    December 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  49. DJ Soulswede /

    Have a listen to my open hearted audio interview with Teena Marie from April, 2010:

    December 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  50. nepawoods

    Who was she? Truthfully, another little known fact that should have topped the list.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  51. jt

    At 8 years old Teena Marie did an episode of The Beverly Hilllibillies as a tap dancing kid!

    December 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  52. JJ

    I think Rick James died before 2004

    December 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  53. lisa

    I am still struggling with her death. I just can't wrap my head around it. Lady T; the LEGEND is gone. All the props she should have gotten (from her peers; not her fans) when she was here she will most likely get now; that really burns me. R.I.P. Lady T!

    December 28, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  54. April snellings

    {RIP} Teena Marie you ROCK! YOU will be deeply missd. My heart and prayers go out to your family and closest friends. WE LOVE YOU GIRL!

    December 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  55. BrotherJohn OFDallas

    Good stuff, Lady T. I produce music in my spare time and just a couple of years ago I was working on a personal project based on 'Square Biz,' one of my all-time fave fun songs. Her music helped make nightclubs and romance better. She will be missed.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Josie

    The only other "blue eyed soul" that came close to her was Anastasia but I think she had cancer or something that stopped her career. I haven't heard anything about her for a long time.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Josie

      ... and you are apparently too lazy to investigate anything on your own accord.

      must be black

      December 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josie

      @JosieTroll: I did when I logged off. I found out a lot of good info.

      must be a stupid white troll. When you die, who will miss you?

      Your incest-loving daddy maybe?

      December 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  57. marzan

    how can you celebrate life when it's taken so suddenly.....there's never an answer.....
    I mourn the death of teena marie..... now singing with the angels in heaven 🙁 tear....

    December 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Charles

    Beyond the music thing, there is no white person on this planet more a one of us than Teena Marie. (period) Hell we will give you a few people i.e. Clarence Thomas to get her back. Love you Lady T...R.I.P.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Charles

      "like one of us"

      What do you mean by "us"?

      Separatism? Division? Egocentricity? RACISTS?

      Or just into bad music?

      December 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abudu Rahman

      Come on man, u have got to be on some serious drugs.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
  59. Jo

    Teena Marie...I'm broken. Was a fan since the debut album, I've got them all and then some. Growing up with Teena's music made me appreciate her soulful voice. She could hold a note that always sent chills up my spine. Other artists were thrilled and lucky to work with her. I introduced a new generation to her music and they love Gaga, but feel Teena surpasses her and state "Gaga will not be around in 31 years like Teena." To her daughter and Mother, I am truly sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing Teena with us. Her music will live on in my life forever!!

    December 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Kathleen DeVine

    I know she is rocking it out in heaven, She will be missed, My heartful is so broken. RIP Lady T

    December 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • NO

      There is no heaven until your check clears.

      (Even then, it won't be there as it does not exist)

      December 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Treva

    She's one of the best and will truely be missed:( My parents played her music all the tiime when I was growing up.
    Salute to 'The Ivory Queen'

    December 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Russell

    Most "little known facts" are little known for good reason.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Soo Sad

    Lady T's passing is still a shock! My fav female artist of all time!! Absolutely.. the BEST! I'll miss that voice.
    After MJ, Bishop Hawkins and now Teena's passing - the music world will NEVER be the same. Its curtains.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Shels

    Heard De Ja Vu (I've Been Here Before) this morning, and man it still sounds good!!

    December 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Blessed

    Teena marie will be missed! A true talent she was! May God wrap his arms around her daughter. Rest in Peace Lady T!

    December 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Dionyssia

    Flew all the way from Athens to see her perform last January at the IndigO2. I can't believe she's gone. A truly amazing, unique artist. RIP

    December 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Then you are REALLY dumb.

      December 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • lmo

      Good for you! I'm sure you enjoyed her concert. She was amazing, wasn't she?

      December 29, 2010 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Dionyssia

      It was an unforgettable experience. A fantastic vibe filled the room and you could feel the love pouring from and towards Teena. I was waiting for her to come to Europe so I could catch one of her shows but I never expected that would be her last one here...

      December 30, 2010 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  67. Never heard of her

    I have never heard of her but reading your comments makes me want to listen to her music. So sad to hear of anyone who passes.

    December 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Do it

      If you like R&B music you will love her work. The music is absolutely timeless. Unlike lady gaga as the ignorant above tried to make the comparison to.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaynicia

      Her voice was so pitch perfect and pure, I can't believe that she sounded the same until the end of her life. Even if you're not into R&B, you won't be sorry if you listened to her music. She'll just draw you in...

      December 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • lesstime

      Love her voice & her music....

      December 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  68. majestydmv

    R.I.P. Lady Tee. U will be greatly missed by ur fans. And to tha person who said they never heard of her, where have u been tha past 30 some odd years??? U obviously don't listen to R & B music, or any African American friends to educate u on who she was...

    December 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  69. franklincloudy

    She will be miss she was a soul singer the best.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Sarah

    Ok Barry, we'll have to hold off sending out her photo, as the black folks won't cotton to a white girl singing R&B. You know those black folks are racists.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Please leave or die

      You are truly an idiot

      December 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      "Please leave" – you are being way too kind – 'idiot' does not come close to describing Sarah..........

      December 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • dmad1

      Are you serious racist? When it comes to music, Black people have been way more welcoming to ANY race of person as long as the music makes us move! But to make such a dumb a** commment as that just shows some people still can't come in from the woods-backwoods!!

      December 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • qitwhinin you not have some other news story to ruin? That's the only thing you have to offer?

      December 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeenaFan

      Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. Don't respond unless you know history. It's obvious you are young. You could use a lesson in music history. In the 1940's and 1950's record labels did even worse than Barry Gordy! Darling, they put white faces on album covers (my guess is you may be too young to remember albums) when it was really Blacks who were singing the music. Back then if you knew it was being sung by Blacks you wouldn't have purchased the music even if you were dancing your asses off to it at your chaperoned dances. So to all the nay-sayers that claim music has no color, stop fooling yourselves! Back in the day, they hid our faces and sold millions of records on the backs and vocal chords of black soulful voices. Music only went color-blind once the farce was exposed as scandilous. Before that, our voices became a billion-dollar industry while whites took home the loot.

      Barry Gordy's way of introducing Teena was ingenious! I remember the chatter on school buses asking one another, "Is it true that Teena Marie is white?" And I also remember our amazement when it was confirmed! And as soon as he secured her fan base, she became ours regardless of her color.

      In terms of Ms. Gaga, I take nothing from her. For her audience she's adequate. She is talented and can play an instrument just like Teena had the ability to play the guitar. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Time can only tell Gaga's longevity in the industry. No one ever accused her of singing soulful or trying to compete with that genre. So why are we arguing that point?

      Teena was amazing. And instead of the silly bickering about her color, her culture, her blue-eyed soul and her relationship with Rick, why not take a moment to send well wishes to her daughter who found her dead. Even if she isn't missed by you, she was loved by many. Grow up everybody. Really.

      RIP Teena.

      December 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don_J

      Calm down guys, I think she was just being sarcastic... facetious.

      December 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  71. CYD


    December 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marin

      And the rest of us are very sorry that YOU CAN'T FIND THE CAPS LOCK KEY ON YOUR COMPUTER AND USE IT!!!!!!!!!

      December 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  72. TamoK

    I too have been a big fan of Lady T for decades. Her 'Wild & Peaceful' album was the first album I ever purchased. I would spend hours in my room listening to her songs. She is probably the reason why I hate current music so much now. No one could or can perform or write like her. I'm 'Out on a Limb' about now over her passing.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Pretty Teacher 99

    Teena was very talented and her music will live on through all of us who continue to admire her talents. Tom you're an ignorant idiot, what are your personal achievements other than being a racist? I hope she haunts you in your sleep.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  74. denise

    I grew up listening to square bizz young love and fire and desire im sadden to lose such a creative artist i have her cds and i play them all the time.she will be greatly missed everytime she came to chene park or the fox i was there.I almost cried last year when she came tickets was sold out so i stood outside chene park just to hear her r.i.p.lady t

    December 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Child, Please!

    R.I.P. Ms. Teena Marie. I so enjoyed your voice, soul, and your music can knock these modern-day h**kers out of the water. I had your music, but I'll always feel like I didn't appreciate you enough. Lord love & keep you, Ms. Marie. 🙁

    December 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Roberto

    Teena Marie is/was an orginal and her voice in all the world of music will be missed.

    And to the writer of this article, I must commend you on the content of this article. It was a refreshing tribute and newsworthy piece of information for fans of Teena Marie, Often times, memorial tributes about celebritties is stuff everybody already know or has known for ages. This makes me appreciate this artist even more and further endears her memory into my soul. Thank you from a now "bigger" fan of Teena Marie.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Sue

    How could her "best friend" have not know she was white? Did she not look at her? What race did she think she was? She certainly didn't look like any race but white.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      The failed to mention, her friend was blind.

      December 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaynicia

      If you take a good look at LadyT's picture, she looks biracial. There are many in the black community who look like they could pass so it's not within reason that if her best friend had never met her mother or any other relative that she would assume that LadyT was black.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • michele

      Teena was Portuguese and she was very proud of her culture. Can't just wrap everyone up in one group or another. Calling her white is almost disrepectful to her ethnic Heritage. Don't let the media confuse you.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      If Tina was Portugese, there is a good possibility she has black blood in her. The Moors, left many Off Spring in Portugal and Spain & Italy. NO WONDER SHE LOOKED LIKE SHE WAS MIXED SHE PROBABLY WAS

      December 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  78. David Bruning

    Her greatest contribution to music was her arrangement of Secret Garden for female voices on jazz saxophonist Pamela Williams' first album. She literally blew fellow singer Patti LaBelle out of the water with her solo....and that's no mean feat!

    December 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Musicman

      Literally blew her out of the water? I would have loved to see that. Do you even know what "literally" means?

      December 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Angelina

    I don't think anyone really cares who embraced her. The fact is her songs were good.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sounds like Tigger

      Her music wasn't for me, (teeny-bopper crud like "Lovergirl" – ugh) but she still did what she loved to do and loss is loss.

      December 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Sarah

    You know blacks are prejudice when Motown won't send out press photographs of a white girl.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      why don't you come back in say, 15 years with some knowledge and LIFE experience behind you. You might then have something productive to add to the conversation.

      December 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      Shut your mouth. You obviously have the understanding of a 40 watt light bulb. Dimwit.

      December 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Girl Bye~

      Duhhhh idiot! Due to the racial climate, myths about race and egotistic supremists, a white artist may or may not have had a chance to cross over. Motown was very careful being that it was viewed as a black label with all black artists. They wanted people to hear the music before judging...........nothing more, nothing less.............stupid~

      December 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • classact

      The same record company that wouldn't put pictures of their artist on album covers in the early days so they would be accepted by non-blacks.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrotherJohn OFDallas

      Sarah, the music industry at that time (circa 1980) was much more racially divided than it is now, so up until that year, black artists had found only a few outlets for getting a "fair" chance at a recording career. I quoted "fair" because some artists felt that some black labels mistreated them almost as badly as white labels.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ken

      This was during a time when many white labels would not even sign a black recording artist.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • NeeDub

      This was a common practice amongst record labels "back in the day." Not just MoTown. Even though many people knew certain popular black artists were "black" their photographs were still left off albums.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • qitwhinin

      If I'm not mistaken, it was a black man who signed her to his label. Unfortunately the prejudice white people probably had no interest in her soul music.

      The decision was made for marketing purposes.......and it worked

      December 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandye

      Since you are obviously too young to be aware of the political and social climates in the US then and before, your ignorance may be excused. Neither Motown, specifically, nor Blacks, in general, are racists. You can't paint EVERYONE with the same brush. Motown had to create an interest in, and a market for, Ms. Marie and her exceptional style of singing. At that time, MTV would not even CONSIDER playing videos of African American artists. It was not until 1983, when Michael Jackson's Thriller album was released, that their ethnic barrier was removed. Now, who were the real racists? Lady T, you will NEVER be forgotten.

      December 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Sarah/Valerie and the other racists

      Sarah is right.

      Just because you do not agree with her, does not make her incorrect

      DECA did the same thing to Chuck Berry in the 50s, but he was black so you will agree DECA is racist and Motown is not.


      December 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      That was more than 30 yrs ago, Barry was more interested in selling Tina's music than her complexion. There were several white groups that were on Mo Towns label. If I'm not mistaken wasn't the average white band on their label

      December 28, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katrall

      Only here you can read your horoscope forecast for 2011, 2012 and 2013 for FREE:

      December 29, 2010 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
    • lesstime

      Hey Sarah, did you know Motown also did the same with Black perfomers as well. for the same reason... RCA records and other big name record company's in the past... check the history before the statment... R.I.P. T. Marie..

      December 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Marlena

    God has taken you home and added YOU to his MASS choir ~ Thanks Teena Maria for your music I will truly missed you Peace n Blessing

    December 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Goddess

    Almost two days since I learned of her passing and I am still in shock. I was so excited in 2004, 2006 and 2009 when she put new music out. I just am so saddened by her sudden death.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  83. D-Nice

    Teena rocked.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  84. darold perry

    Lady gaga will never come close to what teena marie put down never.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Nino Michael Brown

    My fondest memory of Teena Marie was at my very first concert in Rochester, NY in 1979. I had heard her songs and she was appearing with Rick James. She was late, and they just played the instrumental for "Sucker for Love" while the audience waited...and waited...and waited. Finally Rick James had to open the show. 45 minutes into the show, they broke out playing "Sucker for Love", and Teena walked on stage, singing..There was an audible gasp as the crowd realized at the same moment I did...that she was WHITE!! It was one of the most beautiful moments of my 18 year old life!! I didn't care what color she was, just that it was one of the most soulful voices I had ever heard...She turned the concert 1978! Just goes to show you how long Lady T has been putting it down. And for those of you that never had the pleasure to see her've truly missed out forever..

    December 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      I will always regret not seeing her when I had the chance. Life lesson learned. Loved your story you just shared though.....awesome!!!!

      December 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • jane

      nino you jus bought tears to my eyes.she was so amazing live!

      December 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • RdBone2000

      Nino – You have said it all! Rick & Teena we're also my very FIRST concert -Cobo Hall, Detroit circa 1984.... OMG! The performance was O.N.E.! (And, it had nothing to do with all the W**D smokin' going down LOL) Absolutely LEGENDARY!. Teena will R.I.P and her families blessing shall never cease as both are so very much loved!

      December 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Sisbabe

    Her voice, her style...there will never be another. Casanova Brown is my favorite Teena song and favorite song in general. May God be with Alia Rose in her time of pain. Your mother was loved by millions.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Luci

    I feel sorry for young people like Cheefury. Teena Marie's worst records could blow Lady Gags best out of the water.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenjen

      Luci....I agree 500%!! I will miss Lady T–R.I.P. and blessings to your family....

      December 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carline

      Lady Gaga WISHES she had the singing voice of LadyT, who still sounded the same today that she did 30 years ago. Gaga is a flash-in-the-pan who will disappear by 2012. LadyT will be remembered for a long time and not for wearing a dank meat suit to attract attention.

      December 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Like that

    Their is no other white performer, actor, singer, whatever to be embraced by the black community like Tina Marie. Her music will always stir up fund memories for me. RIP Lady T

    December 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danell

      I guess everyone just forgot Marshall Mathers is white! Teena was the first but is not the only white artist wholeheartedly embraced by black fans.

      December 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • AngelaInOmaha

      Marshall Mathers is NOT "wholeheartedly embraced by black fans." Please don't make a blanket statement such as that. I have a large family and we ALL love Teena Marie. There are a few who like Eminem, but not many. Geesh!

      December 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • markus


      While Eminem may have a large black audience, I know many people who do not care for him. I can count the number of people I've ever heard say they don't like Teena Marie on one hand...

      December 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • aggie

      Don't know anything about her personal life, but I don't care for her music.

      December 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • LolaS

      Eminem is NOT embraced by the black community the way Teena Marie was. I've heard so many of my black friends who simply hate Eminem and can't stand that he tries so hard to act like something he's not.

      December 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  89. McKenna

    There will never be another Teena Marie. May you find peace wherever you are. You will be greatly missed by all who grew up on your music. We love you Teena Marie. RIP.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  90. James vanderbilt

    She Was True VANILLA SOUL.
    RIP Teena Marie.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Robert Ladson

    I'm a huge fan of Teena Marie and I was shocked to read she passed away. God has his plans and we have our plan. May you rest in peace Ms. Marie and may the good Lord bless your family. The good Lord blessed the world with your soulful voice and I'm blessed to have heard it.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Googly Moogly!

      110th – communism is dead dude, you don't have to wear the gray outfit no more.

      December 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      God's plan was that Teena would never see her 55th birthday. What a plan!

      December 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Lisa

    R.I.P. Teena Maria- You'll be missed.

    December 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |

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