Sad news last night. Teena Marie passed away suddenly and the authorities are investigating the cause behind her death. Teena was one of my favorite voices of the 80's. She really had such a powerful voice. Teena Marie found airplay on the urban radio stations more than top 40. Luckily for me I worked in Heidi's Salon in Ann Arbor back then and I was working when I first heard my favorite Teena Marie song... Casanova Brown. Beautiful woman beautiful voice. RIP Teena.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, best known for the hit 1980s singles "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La," died at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to news reports. She was 54. The cause of death was not known, and a spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Her friend, percussionist Sheila E, reported on Twitter that Teena Marie had a history of seizures.
A protégée of funk singer Rick James, she signed with Motown Records in 1975 and released her first album four years later. That album, which was mostly written by James, led fans to believe that Teena Marie was black since it did not feature a picture of her.
Her duet with James on "I'm a Sucker For You" peaked at No. 8 on Billboard's Black Singles chart. "I've always been accepted by the black community and I think that's a beautiful thing," Teena Marie told Jet magazine in 2006. She released 13 albums up to 2009's "Conga Square," on which she paid tribute to jazz influences, such as Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday.