As the news spread about the loss of Teena Marie, some of her industry peers, including Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, and Q-Tip, took to Twitter to share their reaction to the sad news. Born Mary Christine Brockert, Teena Marie was known as the Ivory Queen of Soul and one of the few white acts to shine on the predominately black Motown label.
Take a look:
Diddy tweeted: “R.I.P Teena Marie. God Bless. Damn I just saw her the other day.”
Mary J. Blige also took to Twitter to pay her final respects to the influential artist, who was a friend and protégé of Rick James’. “Rest in peace Teena Marie,” Blige wrote. “My Love for u is forever.”
Common cited their shared astrological sign as a reason he felt so connected to her music. “Teena and I are both Pisces and we believe that we’ve been here before,” he tweeted. “That’s why ‘De Ja Vu’ is my favorite song.”
“God Bless Teena Marie & her family! Sending blessings & prayers. I was just saying that fire & desire is 1 of the most beautifully performed songs”
-Alicia Keys, singer
Q-Tip: u can run my MINI teena marie playlist back to the top… then do it again. hopefully a young singer can take this blueprint she left. RIP
?uestlove: again the mark of a TRUE ARTIST is when their album cuts get more love than the hits. Marie’s magic was defined by her album cuts.
D. Woods: Listening to the great Teena Marie sing down! We have lost another dynamic voice in R&B today. RIP
“She was an amazing, soulful person. She’s a phenomenon to me. You have to say it. She had all of the street vibes and all of the R&B vocals…If there is a word called talent or talented, it was pouring out of her veins. She was an amazing phenomenon.”
-Lionel Richie, singer/songwriter
“Teena was a black voice tapped in a white body. I would always tell her that she was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I watched as she raised that child, and that’s very difficult being a single mother. She did an exemplary job with her child.”
-Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One
“Teena was a fire and desire. She was everything. She was a special person. If you got a chance to know her – more than her voice – she was a kind person. She was a student of music. She was a gift to us from God, and being a Caucasian woman, the voice that came out of her had to be a gift. We’ll miss her and God rest her soul.”
– Kevin Liles, former vice chairman of Warner Music Group
“My heart is broken. Teena Marie was an R&B Empress, a music pioneer, a brilliant songwriter/ producer with the most original powerhouse vocals ever. Nobody sang like Teena! But above all she was an exceptional human being, a humanitarian and an authentic friend who I will miss dearly. Rest With Angels Lady T.”
– Holly Robinson Peete, actress
“In terms of vocals, she was one of the blackest people I know. She was one of the great R&B performers of our time. She was a great person; just a nice person. And she loved to perform. She got along well with everyone; even the promoters love her. She is going to be sorely missed.
There a lot of black people who swore by her and believed in her, as far as her music was concerned. She was a good mom, and to me, that is saying a lot.’’
-Eddie Levert, singer
In addition to her music, Teena leaves her mark on the industry thanks to a historical lawsuit she won against Motown in 1982. “The Brockert Initiative”, known in music circles as “The Teena Marie Law,” makes it illegal for a record company to keep an artist under contract without releasing new material for that artist. Thanks to Lady T, artists are able to sign and be released to another label instead of being held back by an unsupportive one.