R&B/Soul singer Teena Marie passed away yesterday (December 26) at the age of 54.
The announcement came from Mike Gardener, the singer's manager.
The singer, who grew up in Oakland, California, is notable for being one of the few white performers who found mainstream success in R&B. She signed with Motown Records in 1976, after which point Rick James became her mentor. In 1983, she signed to Epic/CBS records, where she recorded until 1990. After a 14-year sabbatical, Marie signed to Cash Money Records' Classics imprint, where she recorded La Doña, the highest-charting album of her career. She was signed to Stax/Concord Records from 2009.
"R.I.P. [Teena] Marie," Tweeted Bryan "Birdman" Williams in response to her death. The singer has been sampled by Hip Hop acts such as The Fugees, Jadakiss and many others.
No cause of death has been released as of press time. There are reports that she suffered a seizure last month is Los Angeles.
HipHopDX extends our condolences to the family and friends of Tenna Marie.