Mary J. Blige, Tyrese, Tamia, More Remember The ‘Ivory Queen of Soul’ Teena Marie

Legendary R&B singer-songwriter Teena Marie’s velvet vocals have been responsible for giving us classics like ‘Fire and Desire’, ‘Square Biz’, and ‘Portuguese Love’. In an unexpected turn of events, manager, Mike Gardner, has just confirmed Marie’s death to CNN. Marie was found by her daughter in their California home on Sunday. As of now, no cause of death has been released to the public. Aptly nicknamed the ‘Ivory Queen of Soul’, this diva was Motown’s first white act. While she was not the first woman of her race to sing soul music, she is easily considered the most vocally talented and respected amongst all audiences. Marie was signed to Motown in 1979, where she began her musically talented but widely criticized relationship with fellow artist, Rick James. When news of Marie’s death hit the headlines, her peers flooded Twitter to give their condolences and express the impact she had on their lives. Mary J. Blige says, “Teena Marie inspired me vocally as a child”. She went on to say she would sing Marie’s songs in the mirror with her hair brush. Tyrese remembers her as “one of the greatest to ever do it.” “Thank you for your hugs, your words of encouragement, your music and thank you for being you. You gave us so much. You opened so many doors,” was singer Ledisi’s heartfelt response to the breaking news. “Remembering how sweet of a person she was the first time meeting,” says Deborah Cox, while Teedra Moses declares “her attitude on records raised me as a women.” Tamia called her “a super talented and humble woman,” stating “she was always so kind,” while Tweet thanked her for “the voice and the classical music. Motown maven Teena Marie leaves behind her impressive legacy through song. This revolutionary artist has resided on the forefront of soul music for decades. This is a sad day for the R&B culture as we say goodbye to this legendary songstress.


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