Teena Marie dies at 54
(CNN) — Teena Marie, a celebrated R&B singer-songwriter, was found dead Sunday at her California home, her manager said.
Born Mary Christine Brockert in Santa Monica, California, the 54-year-old artist famously paired with late funk legend Rick James and was nominated four times for a Grammy Award, according to her official website.
Marie was found dead by her daughter after apparently dying in her sleep, manager Mike Gardner said.
“Teena was a black voice trapped in a white body,” said Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, a broadcasting company that targets African-American and urban listeners. “I would always tell her that she was one of the greatest vocalists of our time.”
Among her songs were “Lovergirl,” “Portuguese Love,” “Ooo La La La,” and “I’m a Sucker for Your Love.”
While no cause of death has been released, the singer’s publicist Lynn Jeter said that Marie suffered a grand mal seizure — a neurological event, marked by loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, according to the Mayo Clinic — a month ago.
Marie sang under various record labels, including Motown, Epic, Stax Records and Cash Money Classics, since bursting on the scene as a 19-year-old, according to her website.
Her last studio album, Congo Square, featured several collaborations.