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Celebs React To Teena Marie's Death, Updates On What Really Happened

The music world lost a shining star when Teena Marie, the Ivory Queen of Soul passed away suddenly at 54.  Read the updates surrounding her death, plus what other musicians and celebrities have to say about Lady T inside...

 

Many celebs took to their own pages and journalist Roland Martin's to express their condolences. 

"I am horrified by the sudden death of my darling Teena Marie. She was my “baby,” always true to herself, always true to her heart. When I first auditioned her she was so awesome she blew me away. She had so much soul – the only thing white about her was her skin. She was a powerhouse performer, writer, producer and arranger. Anyone who ever saw her perform, alone or with Rick James, will never forget how exciting music can be. My heart goes out to her sweet, sweet daughter, Alia Rose, her family, friends and fans. Teena Marie will always be a part of the Motown family. We will all miss her."

-Berry Gordy, founder of Motown

“We’re shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Teena Marie. She was one of the most memorable, soulful and unique R&B vocalists to
come out of Motown. We send or condolences to Teena’s family, the entire Motown family and of course, our dear friend Berry Gordy.”

-Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, R&B pioneers

"God Bless Teena Marie & her family! Sending blessings & prayers. I was just saying that fire & desire is 1 of the most beautifully performed songs"

-Alicia Keys, singer

"Teena Marie always wonderful to me. I met her on the TJMS Cruise. Let us pray for her family. God bless her soul."

-Sheryl Underwood, comedienne

"R.I.P. TO ONE OF THE BEST VOICES OF MUSIC TEENA MARIE!!!!!!!"

-Swizz Beatz, producer

"Teena Marie was so souldul not just n voice but n spirit also resy n peace my sweet blue-eyed soul sister."

-Donnie Simpson, former host of BET's "Video Soul"

"She was an amazing, soulful person. She’s a phenomenon to me.  You have to say it. She had all of the street vibes and all of the R&B vocals...If there is a word called talent or talented, it was pouring out of her veins. She was an amazing phenomenon."

-Lionel Richie, singer/songwriter

"Teena was a fire and desire. She was everything. She was a special person. If you got a chance to know her – more than her voice – she was a kind person. She was a student of music. She was a gift to us from God, and being a Caucasian woman, the voice that came out of her had to be a gift. We’ll miss her and God rest her soul.”

- Kevin Liles, former vice chairman of Warner Music Group

“My heart is broken. 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. Rest With Angels Lady T.”

- Holly Robinson Peete, actress

"In terms of vocals, she was one of the blackest people I know. She was one of the great R&B performers of our time. She was a great person; just a nice person. And she loved to perform. She got along well with everyone; even the promoters love her. She is going to be sorely missed.
There a lot of black people who swore by her and believed in her, as far as her music was concerned.  She was a good mom, and to me, that is saying a lot.’’

-Eddie Levert, singer

 

“Teena was a black voice tapped in a white body.  I would always tell her that she was one of the greatest vocalists of our time.  I watched as she raised that child, and that’s very difficult being a single mother. She did an exemplary job with her child.”
-Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One

"The enduring influence of Teena's inspirational, trailblazing career, could only have been made possible through her brilliant song-writing, showmanship and high energy passion which laid the ground work for the future generations of R&B, hip-hop, and soul,"

-Gene Rumsey, Concord Music Group chief label officer (Teena's last album Congo Square was released by Stax Records)

 

 

Born Mary Christine Brockert, Teena Marie was known as the Ivory Queen of Soul and one of the few white acts to shine on the predominately black Motown label. 

Produced by her musical mentor Rick James, her debut album Wild And Peaceful dropped in 1979, but the album cover did not feature her photo.  

In a past interview with Essence.com, Teena said of the album,

"(Motown founder Berry) Gordy) said that is was so soulful that he wanted to give the music an opportunity to stand on its own merit. Instead of my face, they put a seascape, so by the time my second album came out people were like, Lady T is White?"

Motown's initial feelings proved to be unfounded as Lady Tee went on to become one of R&B music's shining stars...loved by fans of all races and colors. 

"Overall my race hasn't been a problem. I'm a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what's in your own soul," Teena said.  

Throughout her career Teena wrote, produced, arranged and played most of the instruments on all her songs, but she is widely known for "Fire and Desire," a torch ballad she performed with Rick James on his Streets Songs album. 

In addition to her music, Teena leaves her mark on the industry thanks to a historical lawsuit she won against Motown in 1982.  "The Brockert Initiative", known in music circles as "The Teena Marie Law," makes it illegal for a record company to keep an artist under contract without releasing new material for that artist. Thanks to Lady T, artists are able to sign and be released to another label instead of being held back by an unsupportive one.   

Radio Facts reports that Teena suffered from a Grand Mal seizure and had stopped taking her medication because it made her severely depressed. As of now, this is said to have caused her death.  TMZ reports illegal drugs were not found in her body, and an autopsy and toxicology tests will be performed on her body later this week.  So far, officials are reporting that she died of natural causes.

She is survived by her daughter Alia Rose

 

Watch a video obit for Teena here:

 

Comments

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JL certainly rocks. This

JL certainly rocks. This women has a power and presence that is simply awesome. Look at that smile and the style of the pencil skirt. Just perfect! http://www.acsilver.co.uk
Daniela's picture

It’s always sad to hear when

It’s always sad to hear when someone has died. Teena Marie was a great soul singer and was loved by thousands of people around the world. It is terrible to know that she only got to the age of 54, still too young to die. I wish her family the best. Barbara mykonospa
Barbara Robbins's picture

Oh what a sad article. When a

Oh what a sad article. When a life ends so short, there is always a sense of loss that can never be replaced, yet this woman gave so much and her music will live on in her memory.
Gemma Tubbrit's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

My heart is sad. I've had the

My heart is sad. I've had the honor to hear ms. Marie in concert several times. As a live performer she was untouchable. She poured every ounce of her heart &soul in every note she sang. She could chirp like no other. No one will ever replicate or imitate her sound or connection with the audience. She could rock & make you dance with upbeat jams like lovergirl,square biz,& i need you lovin. Then break your heart with a ballad like: dear lover,miracles need wings to fly,if i were a bell. So many others that are each like a unique jewel. Along with my thoughts and prayers to her family i include my gratitude for having the pleasure of admiring her talent and spirit. R.i.p. LADY T
trentonbigsexy's picture

She is what real music is

She is what real music is about !!Keep her alive, pass her on. Before she died, she was in heavy rotation in our house/car. My kids are 9,12 & 14. When my husband and I are driving and "Portugese Love" comes on the Ipod, the kids will not allow us to skip over the song, the same goes for Earth,wind and fire and of course Michael Jackson. My daughter listens to "Screamo" music, they listen to Gaga, Trey Songz, etc and in the midst of all that crap music of their generation, they still know and love the classics.. R.I.P. Pass it on... I knew Teena though my mom, and my kids know because of me !!
Anonymous's picture

This is so very sad. God

This is so very sad. God rest her soul. She was a singer's singer.
Renee's picture

OMG! I know I'm late nut I

OMG! I know I'm late nut I can't believe this news. We are just losing so many great artists. I met Teena Marie at Essence Music Festival years ago. She was a sweet tiny little thing and gave me, my bro and my dad autographs and took pics with us. And miss Teena can (or I should now say could) put on a great show. A true diva and performer who didn't need theatrics or pyrotechincs on stage but could capture and hold the audience's attention with just a band and her beautiful voice due to true stage presence, a great personality and lovely voice. I'm going to put on her and Rick James "Fire and Desire" in rememberance of them both, *wipes tear*
Bmore's picture

I am so glad to see all the

I am so glad to see all the positive comments posted on Tina Marie, she has always been one of my favorite singers. I just thought her voice was like no other, Tina will be missed but her music lives on forever. To the person who made the comments about Bobby and Chris Brown, they are human too, this could just as well be one of them. I would never wish death on anyone, there's no coming back from death. Tina was beautiful person and all her fans are this time to show how much she meant to them please try to keep your ignorant comments to yourself. I would like to thank Keith Sweat for the beautiful tribute to Tina, songs I hadn't heard in years.
Jackeee's picture

wow they must have one hella

wow they must have one hella of a concert going on up there luther,barry,james brown,issac,levert,micheal,teena,and for laughs got bernie but they leave us with bobby brown and chris brown
darryl's picture

I never really heard her

I never really heard her music but a couple weeks ago she walked into my store and bought a lot of stuff for her and her daughter. My coworker whispered to me i think thats teena marie and she was a big fan but we werent sure until she was paying with her card. She also ordered some pants and was going to pick it up... My coworker talked to her just a few days before her death and it has really touched my heart because i just met her...Rest peacefully Teena Maria...
Paula's picture

REST IN PEACE LADY T . I HAVE

REST IN PEACE LADY T . I HAVE LOVED YOUR MUSIC SINCE DAY ONE ME AND MY LATE HUSBAND LISTEN TO YOU ALL THE TIME I AM SURE YOU WILL BE SINGING TO HIM IN HEAVEN
Anonymous's picture

Wow! We will never see a

Wow! We will never see a soul-singer like Teena again. She has always and will ALWAYS be one of my favorites. What a sad day for all of us that were touched by her shine..RIP Lady T...
Jennifer's picture

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sekisew's picture

Was Donnie Simpson sleepy

Was Donnie Simpson sleepy when he sent this message? #justsayin
Anonymous's picture

Her and Rick James will be

Her and Rick James will be together in heaven!! Fire and Desire!
ATLCHICKA's picture

R.I.P. Teena. Truly

R.I.P. Teena. Truly heartbreaking. Still having a difficult time believing that this uber-talented entertainer is gone. Teena's voice just....commands attention. From the first time I heard her voice, I knew I'd be a fan. She was just that fabulous. Always real & so down to earth. What a loss. Condolences to her family especially her daughter. It's hard enough losing a parent, but losing your parent the day after your birthday....which just happens 2b Christmas. Wow. I hope her support system is a strong one.
Mocha1's picture

TVONE is showing the episode

TVONE is showing the episode of Teena Marie on Unsung right now. If you don't know about her please tune in!!!
Tatum Moss's picture

I was so sick by this news.

I was so sick by this news. There are so many favorite songs by her. But if I had to choose it would be Casanova Brown. Vocals were insane. This is truly a hit to the music industry. I remember being a little girl asking my mother who is this singing I love her voice. My mother's response was "one of the baddest white bitches you"ll ever hear sing." RIP Teena you be missed. :(
Lovinglife's picture

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Anonymous's picture

I'm saddened to hear of her

I'm saddened to hear of her death. But I'm sorry. It bugs me so much that people wait until you die to give you props. Teena was all but forgotten by so many people. She was trying to make a comeback recently but where was all this love then? Celebrities are coming out of the woodwork to release a statement about her NOW???? Give me a break. People need to wake up and embrace the people they love while they are alive and breathing. SMH.... I pray that she is resting in peace now.
Anonymous's picture

Agreed, except on one thing -

Agreed, except on one thing - Teena never needed a comeback, she was always a presence to the hardcore fans and she did well. People flocked to her peformances and paid hundreds of dollars for prime seats. I gave tribute to her on a website several years ago lauding her genuis. I made those same comments on her official pages - my heart rests easy. I bought all her albums, ringtones, music videos but will eternally regret never making it to one of her shows. Teena rarely if ever performed outside the USA :(
MsM's picture

I think some Bad Boy artist

I think some Bad Boy artist need to look into the "Teena Marie Law". And may she rest in peace. I think I need to play "Out on a Limb" and "Fire and Desire" in her honor!
Keli's picture

A true ICON.... If you don't

A true ICON.... If you don't have her albums and cd's, youtube her, sit back and listen.....
rolltide4life's picture

R.I.P. to a true talent, Ms.

R.I.P. to a true talent, Ms. Lady T. I don't give too many white artists props for having genuine 'soul' but Teena Marie's talent was as real as it gets. I remember hearing her songs as an itty-bitty-little girl through adulthood. I can recall fond memories of good times in my life and equate them with her beautiful songs--and she had SEVERAL wonderful songs. At least she went peacefully-God Bless Her Soul. She will be missed.
Godiva-Diva's picture

awwwwwwww HOW SAD!!! Rest In

awwwwwwww HOW SAD!!! Rest In PEACE and may GOD bless your soul!!!
Anonymous's picture

RIP Teena Marie. :-((

RIP Teena Marie. :-((
Nikki's picture

First of all Alicia Keys and

First of all Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz need to learn how to spell and proofread their comments before posting them.
Anonymous's picture

I don't see it

I don't see it
Anonymous's picture

RIP Teena Marie and may God

RIP Teena Marie and may God bless Teena's family, friends and fans. The music industry has lost another beautiful soul on earth but their is another beautiful Angel singing in heaven. Peace and Blessings
Kayylo's picture

RIP Teena Marie and may God

RIP Teena Marie and may God bless Teena's family, friends and fans. The music industry has lost another beautiful soul on earth but their is another beautiful Angel singing in heaven. Peace and Blessings
Kayylo's picture

I've been playing tributes to

I've been playing tributes to Lady T since hearing of her death. I'm rocking to "Portugese Love" at this very moment. Even before her death, her music was in heavy rotation around my house/car. She's truly one of the very gifted singers that I had the pleasure of growing up hearing back in the 70s. Back then, artists had such distinctive voices, and when you heard a Teena Marie song, you knew it was her when the first note dropped. We are losing our greats at a rapid pace. God bless her baby girl, Alia, whom I know is probably in shock. What a birthday to remember. Thanks to TV One for reairing Teena's, "Unsung" episode.
Ann Droid's picture

I received so many messages

I received so many messages yesterday from all my friends who all know that Teena Marie is My favorite female singer, to let me know she passed...I was like wow!!! I was one of her biggest fans and I just cant believe she's gone...Your music will forever live in me...May God have mercy on your soul,may he bless your daughter and may you rest in peace. Teena, I loved you
meme's picture

R.I.P TEENA MARIE NOW YOU ARE

R.I.P TEENA MARIE NOW YOU ARE AN ANGEL IN HEAVEN.
AMBRIELLE's picture

Soulful voice, amazing

Soulful voice, amazing performer, vocal powerhouse, songwriting skills out of this world and what female rapped before Lady T? Teena Marie you will be forever missed!!!
Anonymous's picture

Tina Marie Epitomized what

Tina Marie Epitomized what true blue eyed soul was. Today, we tend to throw that phrase around to any white person who has a soulful sounding voice. But I cring when I hear them do so, because Tina was more than just a white woman with a soulful sounding voice. Tina was soul. She understood what she was singing. She also made use feel what she was feeling. That to me is what real soul is. It's way more than just having a soulful sounding voice. RIP Tina. Heaven just got a little more soulful. Thank u for not being selfish with your gift from God.
tellmeaboutit's picture

R.I.P. Teena, u will be

R.I.P. Teena, u will be greatly missed!! My heart is hurting right now........ :-(
Yardy's picture

Real Talk. RIP Teena and

Real Talk. RIP Teena and tell Rick 'Sup?
Ethelyn's picture

Tears came to my eyes when I

Tears came to my eyes when I heard of the news yesterday... Then a smile with the tears as I listened to her music ,sang out loud and danced around my room remembering the memories through her music....I am a TRUE LADY T FAN! I have every album and I am on Teena overload right now... THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER LIKE LADY T! They brooke the mold chile.. R.I.P. I am thankful that I was able to enjoy your music, and feel the soul through your voice...
nycgurl's picture

What else is there to say? My

What else is there to say? My heart is broken. I feel like I knew her personally through her music, i.e., Portuguese Love, Out on a Limb, Lovergirl, Ooh La La La, Casanova Brown and the list goes on. If the report is true that she died of a grand mal seizure, then this is a lesson that we must take care of ourselves -- these bodies -- FIRST so that we can help others or bring joy to others as Lady T did for so many. God strengthen and comfort her daughter and family. Ms. Teena, RIP.
Teena Marie fan's picture

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