Teena Marie

b. March 5, 1956

d. December 26, 2010

Teena Marie, the white girl who sang with enough soul to duet with Rick James, starred in musicals at Venice High School in the 1970s. She told TV One, “I was kicked out of Carousel because I was smoking weed.”

Her first top-ten R&B hit was "I'm Just a Sucker for Your Love" and another duet with James, “Fire and Desire” was a crowd pleaser. The pair performed the song at the 2004 BET awards, just before James died.

Ripped off by James and by Motown, Marie struck out on her own, changing record companies and ultimately starting her own label. Her “LoverGirl” reached #4 on the pop charts and her ballad “Oh La La La” became her first #1 R&B hit. Her 1980 record "Square Biz" is credited as an early rap recording.    

No illegal drugs were found in her Pasadena home after the 54-year-old died in her sleep on December 26, 2010. The singer's publicist Lynn Jeter said she suffered a grand mal seizure a month before her death. She is survived by her daughter Alia Rose, who sings as Rose Le Beau.

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