Last year, I had the honor of meeting Teena Marie at a signing in Inglewood (Los Angeles). At first, I was sure about going because it was very last-minute and I knew the line was going to be crazy. I decided to go anyways because I just never knew when I was going to have the opportunity to meet her again. It proved to be the first and only time I would ever meet her.
For those who don’t know, Teena Marie (Marie Christine Brockert) was a R&B legend. Discovered and mentored by the late and great Rick James, Teena Marie was a pioneer. She was one of the first women to write and produce her own music as well as others. Her music has been sampled by Missy Elliott, The Fugees and countless others.
Back to my meeting with Lady T. I went up to her and asked for a picture. I was so nervous and star-struck, I was actually stammering and my voice shrunk to barely above a whisper. She happily obliged and put her arms around me. I’ll never forget what she said, ‘Of course, I will, baby. Come here.’ Below is a pic of us together.
I’m truly heartbroken and in too much shock to even cry. I imagine the tears will come later. But for now, let’s celebrate Lady Tee. Below are a few pictures and some facts.
Despite their chemistry on such tracks as 'I'm Just a Sucka For Your Love' and 'Fire and Desire,' things weren't always so great between Teena Marie and her mentor-lover, Rick James. Teena had an off-on love affair with James for the earlier parts of her career. She once said in an interview, 'I wasn't concerned that I was his number one. I was worried about there being a number two, a number three, and a number four.'
In 1985, Teena released the single, "Lovergirl" for more mainstream exposure. She capitalized on her new audience by releasing a more rock-infused album, Emerald City, in 1988. Not only was the album was a critical and mainstream failure but Marie also alienated her hardcore R&B-Soul audience. She would soon revert back to her R&B roots shortly after that album.
Teena Marie was responsible for the 'Brockert Initiative' a law named after her that prevents record companies from holding artists to their contracts without letting them record new material. The law came to light when Marie wanted to leave Motown but they would not let her. She filed a suit and won. She later joined other labels such as Epic, Cash Money Records and her final label, the famous Stax Records.
Teena's daughter, Alia Rose, is also pursuing a singing career. She goes by the moniker, Rose Le Beau, and appeared on Teena's last studio album, Congo Square in a duet with her mother.