Soul singer Teena Marie, who made history as Mowtown’s first white act, was found dead on Sunday at her California home.
The four-time Grammy nominee, born Mary Christine Brockert, was signed with the black-owned record label Mowtown in the late 1970s and came to be known as one of the most talented and admired white artists in the scene, landing her the nickname, the”ivory queen of soul”.
Marie grew up with a strong African-American Influence from her godmother. “I’m a black artist with white skin,” the performer said in a 2009 interview. “At the end of the day you have to sing what’s in your soul.”
She made her debut in 1979 with the album Wild and Peaceful and went on to release 13 studio albums throughout her career, creating several hits with songs like Lovergirl, Square Biz, and Fire.
The legendary R&B singer said last year that she had successfully overcome an addiction to prescription drugs.
The cause of her death is unknown, but a rep told CNN that Marie suffered a grandmal seizure last month. She is survived by her daughter Alia Rose, who discovered her mother in bed after apparently passing away in her sleep.
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