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Now this is sad news. . .

(AP) – 1 hour ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Teena Marie, who made history as Motown's first white act but developed a lasting legacy with her silky soul pipes and with hits like "Lovergirl," ''Square Biz," and "Fire and Desire" with mentor Rick James, has died. She was 54.

The confirmation came from a publicist, Jasmine Vega, who worked with Teena Marie on her last album. Her manager, Mike Gardner, also confirmed her death to CNN.

Teena Marie, known as the "Ivory Queen of Soul," was certainly not the first white act to sing soul music, but she was arguably among the most gifted and respected, and was thoroughly embraced by the black audience.

She was first signed to the legendary Motown label back in 1979 at age 19, working with James, with whom she would have long, turbulent but musically magical relationship.

The cover of her album, "Wild and Peaceful," did not feature her image, with Motown apparently fearing backlash by audiences if they found out the songstress with the dynamic voice was white.

But Marie notched her first hit, "I'm A Sucker for Your Love," and was on her way to becoming one of R&B's most revered queens. During her tenure with Motown, the singer-songwriter and musician produced passionate love songs and funk jam songs like "Need Your Lovin'," ''Behind the Groove" and "Ooh La La La."

Marie had a daughter and had toured in recent years after overcoming an addiction to prescription drugs.

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  Now that woman had a voice!  She was my favorite during her time.  Ooh la la la was the was Young Love.  But!  Portugese Love[r] made my toes curl in dance.  I remember her voice so clearly.....and that's when folks really could "sang."  I am wondering what the story is behind her unexpectable death.  How tragic for her daughter.  She will be soley missed.  Teena...sistagirl you did good.  May you rest in peace.  
"Now that woman had a voice!  She was my favorite during her time."

Agreed. She was a fantastic singer. I'm still reeling from the fact that she is dead. She was one of my favorite vocalists also. She had a wonderful soulful voice. The woman had a lot of soul and a tremendous talent (writer and composer -she wrote 14 of her 15 recordings). In fact, I ordered about four of her CDs a few years ago that I was missing. Hard to believe Rick James and Teena are both gone. They made incredible music.......

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