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A Tribute to Teena Marie

A Tribute to Teena Marie Tickets


For a long time, soulful vocals and powerful backbeat of Rhythm and Blues (R&B) were distinctly recognized with African-American culture – a stereotype strongly dented by Teena Marie, who sang R&B more convincingly than any other white artist of her era. Her rich and soulful vocals often confused her listeners who tuned in to catch her live on radio about her origin! She was and still is regarded as one of the pioneers in bringing hip-hop to the mainstream music scene by becoming one of the first artists to include rap on one of her singles Square Biz .

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A Tribute to Teena Marie

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Teena Marie was born Mary Christine in Santa Monica, California in 1956 and grew up in the African-American dominated neighborhood of Oakwood, Los Angeles. This was where she developed an affinity for black culture which would later become evident in her musical ventures. An immensely talented musician, Teena Marie learned to play piano from nuns and later became a self-taught bassist, guitarist and congas player.

In her teenage, she formed a semi-professional R&B band with her brother cousin. Later she auditioned for various record companies while studying English Literature at college. In 1976 she got introduced with Berry Gordy of Motown Records who signed her as a solo act. It wasn’t until she met Rick James , a popular performer of era, that she got her real breakthrough. She released her debut album in 1979 which featured several duets with Rick James . The album gained popularity with her single I Am Just A Sucker For Your Love featuring at number 8 on R&B top 10 hits. After this success, Teena Marie went on to release several epic albums of soulful music with different record labels.

During her stint with MoTown, she released three more albums Lady T (1980), Irons in The Fire (1980) and It Must be Magic (1981). The albums were successful with several singles reaching top 10 charts and It Must Be Magic achieving certified-gold status. Following a legal battle with Motown Records, Teena Marie signed up with Epic Records, a subsidiary of Columbia Records. With her new label, Robbery was released in 1983 featuring many popular songs of that time. It was in 1984 that Teena Marie released her biggest selling album, Starchild with the single Love Song reaching at no. 4 on US Billboard Hot 100 Chart. A track 14k from the same album also featured in the 1985 film Goonies . In 1986, Teena Marie experimented with rock music in her concept album Emerald City and also sung Lead Me On for the 1986 blockbuster film Top Gun . Her most critically acclaimed album Naked To The World was released in 1988 featuring Ooo La La La which went on to claim top spot on Billboard Hot R&B Singles. Following this, Teena Marie took a hiatus from music only to stage a comeback in 2004 with a gold-certified album La Dona . A multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and music producer, she released a total of 13 albums and received four Grammy nominations during a 30-year recording career before her untimely death in 2010.

Her influence on early hip-hop and R&B was phenomenal. During the 1990s, her classic R&B, soul, and funk songs were widely sampled by various artists and covered by emerging R&B divas. Throughout her life, she was noted for energetic, soul-stirring performances on TV and in concerts. With her death, we are left with her legacy and enormous contributions to R&B and hip-hop. Various concerts were arranged last year to honor this iconic soulful singer and luckily the trend has carried on in this year as well. So don’t forget to buy your Teena Marie tickets to pay a fitting tribute to this R&B legend.

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