About Teena Marie
Often described as a white woman with a Black voice, singer and songwriter Teena Marie landed more than two dozen songs on Billboard’s R&B charts during her remarkable career. She recorded for Motown, Cash Money, and Stax and scored a Top 5 pop hit with 1984’s “Lovergirl.”
• Growing up in Venice, California, Marie made many Black friends and developed an appreciation for Black music and culture.
• She signed with Motown in 1976 and released debut album, Wild and Peaceful—largely written and produced by her mentor, Rick James—in 1979. Featuring vocals from James, the single “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” became her first of seven Top 10 hits on the R&B charts.
• She released three more albums on Motown before contract disputes led to a legal battle. The dispute resulted in what’s known colloquially as “The Teena Marie Law,” which says a label can’t keep artists under contract without releasing their work.
• Marie scored her first and only Top 5 hit with 1984’s “Lovergirl,” off her album Starchild.
• In 1988, she topped the R&B charts with “Ooo La La La,” later sampled by Fugees for their 1995 classic “Fu-Gee-La.”
• After scaling back in her career in the ’90s to raise a daughter, she signed with Cash Money Records in 2004 and released the album La Doña. It reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 albums chart—the highest placement of her career.
• She released one more album, Congo Square—issued on the legendary Stax label—before her death in 2010 at the age of 54.
HOMETOWNSanta Monica, CA
BORNMarch 5, 1956