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Ivory Queen of Soul, Dies at 54

December 27, 2010

Teena Marie, also known as the Ivory Queen of Soul, has died on Sunday at age 54.  Yahoo! Music reports that a statement from Pasadena police said the death appeared to be from natural causes. The police and fire department were called to her home after family members found her unresponsive.  Read the entire story at Yahoo! Music

She was best loved for her sultry pipes spanning the nation with hit tunes such as Portuguese in Love, Shangrila, Ooh La La La, The Macking Game, Out on a Limb, Behind the Groove, I Need Your Lovin’, Fire and Desire along with her long-time mentor, Rick James.

I remember the days of Ebony Eyes and Casanova Brown, and skating to Square Biz with friends up the block during the summer time in the 80’s.   That’s when childhood youth really meant having fun and music was real music before it became what it is today.  You see, I grew up in the time of the Chilites, Prince, Kool and the Gang, Cameo, the Temptations, the Whispers, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Robin Gaye, the Stylistics, Parliament, Bootsy Collins, Zapp and Funkadelic, just when Full Force, the System, Junior, Baby Face, and Run DMC were working their way onto the scene.

When she released La Dona, I was thrilled.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  Next to Sapphire, Emerald City and Starchild, I was moved to see another side to her creativity.  I haven’t gotten Congo Square yet, but I intend to, along with her other releases, just to commemorate her longevity in the industry, and how she’s touched so many through her gutsy soulful spirit.

I had to the rare opportunity and extreme pleasure of having to say hello to Teena Marie at a BET Awards show I attended.  She smiled and warmly spoke back, saying hello to me as well.  I was deeply honored.  I sat probably six seats down from her in the same row.  She was just as lovely in person just as she is remarkable on stage.

I was hopping to see her in concert in February 2011.  The news of her passing is another blow to the entertainment industry.  So, let’s remember her by pulling out whatever albums you have and play them in memory of her.

You know there are those who will question why fans cry over celebrities and entertainers regardless of who they are, and will wonder why we do so because they’ve not done nothing personally for us, but what they fail to realize is it is the fans who makes them who they are whether in film or in music.  And Teena Marie was one of those entertainers who, in my opinion, thrived on the love and support of her fans.

Tell me your favorite Teena Marie moment, whether it was at a concert you attended, your favorite album, or your favorite tunes.

Rest in peace, Lady T., your fans will miss you deeply.

Teena Marie (1956-2010)

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