Women Music March 2021 – Day 13 – Teena Marie

Teena Marie was barrier breaker | Entertainment | tucson.com

Teena Marie showed her musicianship, playing guitar as well as singing, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati last July 30.

Mary Christine Brockert (March 5, 1956 – December 26, 2010), known professionally as Teena Marie, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, composer, arranger, and producer. She was known by her childhood nickname Tina before taking the stage name Teena Marie and later acquired the nickname Lady Tee (sometimes spelled Lady T), given to her by her collaborator and friend, Rick James.

Her debut album, Wild and Peaceful, scored Teena Marie her first top-ten R&B hit, “I’m a Sucker for Your Love.”

She was known for her distinctive soprano vocals, which caused many listeners to believe she was black. Her success in R&B and soul music, and loyalty to these genres would earn her the title Ivory Queen of Soul. She played rhythm guitar, keyboards, and congas. Teena Marie was a three-time Grammy Award nominee.

Discography: 14 albums from 1979 – 2013

More things to share:
In 1982, Motown’s Berry Gordy rejected Marie’s newest recordings and refused to release them. The singer triumphed in an ensuing courtroom battle when a judge ruled that Motown could not keep an artist under contract without issuing new recordings by her. She later reflected that “every good artist needs a lawsuit“. The “Brockert initiative” was used as a legal precedent by other musicians to secure release from their contracts.

In 2004, while Teena Marie was sleeping in a hotel room, a large picture frame fell and struck her on the head. The blow caused a serious concussion that caused momentary seizures for the rest of her life.

On the afternoon of December 26, 2010, Teena Marie was found dead at her Pasadena home by her daughter, Alia Rose. On December 30, 2010, an autopsy was performed by the Los Angeles County coroner, who found no signs of apparent trauma or a discernible cause of death, and concluded she had died from natural causes. She had suffered a generalized tonic–clonic seizure a month before.

A memorial service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery on January 10, 2011. Among those in attendance were Stevie Wonder, Deniece Williams, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, LisaRaye, Sinbad, Tichina Arnold, Shanice Wilson, and Berry Gordy, Jr.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. When I think of Teena, I think of Rick! I wasn’t aware of the picture falling on her causing seizures. What a stroke of bad luck! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Those two collaborated for a long time it looks like. I’m learning a lot as I put these posts together.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never heard of Tina Marie. What a freak accident that apparently put her on a downward spiral. Reminds me a bit of Curtis Mayfield who got paralyzed after being hit by some stage lighting equipment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I knew of her because someone I know knew her out in CA. It is unfortunate that her and Curtis were victims of freak accidents.

      Like

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Good for her for winning that against Motown. That is just wrong.
    I have heard of Lovergirl though…but never heard of her… So said of a story though about what happened to her. That was way too young.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it is 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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