Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Legacy of A Soul Sister *Teena Marie* (1956-2010)
Mon 10th Jan saw a host of stars coming out to show their respect for the late great Soul singer Teena Marie who sadly passed away last month at the age of 54.
A private memorial service was held at LA's Forest Lawn Memorial Park and those in attendance included Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Shirley Murdoch, & Stevie Wonder.
Revered by many in the Soul circuit Teena Marie (born Mary Christine Brockert) made her mark in more ways than one, releasing 13 studio albums in her 30 year career, receiving a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and winning a landmark case against Motown Records in 1982.
Her first album was released without her picture on the cover, a strategic move for Motown who didn't want people to know that she was white.
Signed to Motown in 1976 at the age of 19 she released 4 albums with them until 1982 when she got into a 2 year legal battle with them regarding the release of her material and particulars of her contract.
when she wanted to leave them. Motown sued her but a Californian court ruled in her favour resulting in "The Brockert Initiative" which made it illegal for a record label to keep an artist under contract whilst holding unreleased material.
Her fight for justice resonates within the music industry up until today, protecting artists and giving them the respect they deserve.
So not only was Teena Marie the first white artist to score on the R&B charts but she also paved the way for all the other artists that followed and we mustn't forget that.
I for one grew up with my mum blasting out big tunes like "Square Biz", "Oh la la la" & "It must be Magic" so much that I had to recognise good music!!!!!
However you wanna look at it this Iconic figure was an amazing artist and her legacy will live on forever.
R.I.P. Teena Marie x