Legends of Music: Teena Marie

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Teena Marie (born Mary Christine Brockert; March 5, 1956) is an American Grammy Award-nominated singer–songwriter–producer. Marie, nicknamed Lady T, is a protegée of late funk legend Rick James, and is notable as one of the few successful white performers of R&B. She sings R&B with strong, robust vocals and plays rhythm guitar, keyboards and congas. She also has written, produced, sung and arranged virtually all of her songs since her 1980 release Irons in the Fire. She has quoted this as being her favorite album. She has a daughter named Alia Rose who, as of 2009, sings under the name Rose Le Beau. On September 19, 2008, Teena performed in concert at BB King's restaurant in NYC. Marie took this time to play a couple of finished tracks from her upcoming album, Congo Square, and she received a positive response from the crowd. Congo Square was released on June 9, 2009 on the Stax Records/Concord Music label. She has described the album as "personal and spiritual" and indicated that it is more jazz-influenced than most of her previous work. Can't Last a Day, a duet with Faith Evans, leaked to the internet in March 2009. Teena Marie says of Evans, "It was after I had recorded the song (Can't Last a Day) I got the idea to put Faith on it. I’ve always loved Faith and her vocal style. She reminds me of me. Her correlation with Biggie — having a career with him and without him — reminds me of me and Rick (Rick James). I feel like she’s a younger me. Of the younger ladies, she’s the one I love most.” [13] The album proved another success, reaching the Top 20 on Billboard's Top 200, and giving Teena Marie yet another Top 10 R&B chart entry.

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