For the past couple of hours, Twitter, Facebook, and other online sites have been abuzz with word that soul singer Teena Marie, who was once known as Rick James' protégé, died today (Dec 26th, 2010). According to several sources close to the singer, the word out there is sadly true. Additionally, such outlets including CNN and Philadelphia soul and R&B radio station WDAS-FM have confirmed the report, saying that Teena Marie died from a heart attack the age of 54.
Born Marie Christine Brockert, Teena Marie released thirteen studio albums. Her debut was 1979's Wild and Peaceful, and her most recent one was last year's Congo Square. Teena Marie, aka Vanilla Child, will be remembered for such solo hits as "I Need Your Lovin," "Square Biz," "Lovergirl," "Cassanova Brown," "Out On A Limb," and "Ooo La La La" (which the Fugees famously sampled on "Fu-Gee-La"). Teena Marie is also known for doing a series of duets with (her producer/mentor) Rick James such as "Fire and Desire."
Teena Marie "Square Biz"(1981)
Rick James & Teena Marie "Fire and Desire"(1984)
Teena Marie "I Need Your Lovin'" (1980)
Teena Marie "Lovergirl" (1984)