Singer-Songwriter Teena Marie Dies at 54

The Rick James protégée was best known for her 1984 hit "Lovergirl."


Teena Marie, a singer-songwriter-producer best known for her 1984 hit "Lovergirl," died Sunday, Philadelphia radio station WDAS reported. She was 54.

Mike Gardner, Marie's manager, confirmed to TV One host Roland S. Martin that the R&B multihyphenate was found dead Sunday in her California home by her daughter, Martin tweeted Sunday.

Martin added that Marie had suffered a grand mal seizure a month ago, but no cause of death was available Sunday.

Born Mary Christine Brockert on March 5, 1956, in Santa Monica, Marie was a protégée of the late Rick James and rose to prominence in the late 1970s and 80s.

She released 13 studio albums, six of which were certified platinum on the R&B charts, and was nominated for four Grammys. Her last album, Congo Square, was released in 2009.

"We're shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Teena Marie," said Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff of the writing-producing team Gamble & Huff in a statement. "She was one of the most memorable, soulful and unique R&B vocalists to come out of Motown. We send or condolences to Teena's family, the entire Motown family and of course, our dear friend Berry Gordy."