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R&B singer Teena Marie dies aged 54

By Mark Devlin | 27 December 2010

R&B legend Teena Marie died on 26th December, her manager has confirmed. Although no cause of death was immediately released, the singer's publicist revealed that she had suffered a grand mal seizure last month in Los Angeles.

Teena Marie, 54, was born Mary Christine Brockert. She recorded a number of hit singles in from the 70s through to the 2000s. She was known for classic songs like "I'm A Sucker For Your Love" featuring Rick James, "Fire and Desire" featuring Rick James, "Behind the Groove," "Portuguese Love," "Dear Lover," "Out on A Limb" and "Square Biz," which featured her rapping. 

Teena Marie originally signed with Motown in 1976 and was a protege of James, who took her under his wing shortly after she signed with the label. 

Throughout the years, she was regularly sampled by a variety of rappers, including The Fugees ("Fu-Gee-La"), The Firm "Firm Biz" Jadakiss "By My Side featuring Ne-Yo" and numerous others. At one point, she was also signed to Cash Money Records, where she released two albums for the label. 

La Dona (2004) produced the single "I'm Still In Love," while her final album for Cash Money titled Sapphire (2007) produced the Top 40 single "Ooh Wee." 

“We’re shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Teena Marie," said Philadelphia International Records' founders, Gamble & Huff, who honored Teena Marie in Philadelphia in 2008, during the R&B Foundation's Hall of Fame Induction ceremony for the singer. 

"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,” Gamble & Huff said.

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