Teena Marie, known as 'Ivory Queen of Soul,' dies Sunday December 26, 2010
Marie notched her first hit, "I'm A Sucker for Your Love," with the help of James on that album. But the time her second album was released, her face was known — and on the cover of the record. But there was not a backlash — she would only get more popular on her way to becoming one of R&B's most revered queens. During her tenure with Motown, the singer-songwriter and musician produced passionate love songs and funk jam songs like "Need Your Lovin'," "Behind the Groove."
Marie's voice was the main draw of her music: Pitch-perfect, piercing in its clarity and wrought with emotion, whether it was drawing from the highs of romance or the mournful moments of a love lost. But her songs, most of which she had a hand in writing, were the other major component of her success.
Tunes like "Cassanova Brown" "Portuguese Love" and "Deja Vu (I've Been Here Before)" featured more than typical platitudes on love and life, but complex thoughts with rich lyricism. "Deja vu" was a song about reincarnation.
And "Fire and Desire," a duet with James about a former couple musing about their past love, was considered a musical masterpiece and a staple of the romance block on radio stations across the country.
Marie left Motown in 1982 and her split became historic: She sued the label and the legal battle led to a law preventing record labels from holding an artist without releasing any of their music.
She went to Epic in the 1980s and had hits like "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La," but her lasting musical legacy would be her Motown years.
Still, she continued to record music and perform. In 2004 and 2006 she put out two well-received albums on the traditional rap label Cash Money Records, "La Dona" and "Sapphire."
James, who had a romantic relationship with Marie and also a long friendship, died in 2004. His death shook her so she said she became addicted to Vicodin, which she had been taking for pain, for about a year.
But Marie said she successfully battled that addiction. In 2008, she talked about her excitement of being honored by the R&B Foundation.
Marie was the mother of a teenage daughter who was budding singer; she would sometimes bring her daughter onstage to sing during her shows.
In 2009, she celebrated 30 years in the recording industry, and planned for many more.
"All in all, it's been a wonderful, wonderful ride," she told The Associated Press in 2008. "I don't plan on stopping anytime soon."
just 17 hours before her death, Teena was on twitter paying homage to Sarah Vaughn ending it saying she hopes she (herself) never dies... RIP Teena -