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    Posted December 26, 2013 by
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    "Ivory Queen of Soul" ~ A voice that keeps on singing


    Three years ago today, the world lost a True Icon and Diva of R& B music, Mary Christine Brockert, better known as the stage name Teena Marie, or affectionately known as, Lady T / The Ivory Queen of Soul. Before her untimely death on December 26, 2010, Teena Marie wrote, produced, arranged and sang on 14 albums that have sold 2.5 million copies.


    She got her start in the business after being signed to Motown Records and linked to work with the legendary Rick James. From this partnership, Teena Marie released her debut album “Wild and Peaceful”, scoring her first top-ten R&B hit, "I'm a Sucker for Your Love". In 1980, she released her second album, “Lady T”, which she worked with Richard Rudolph (Minnie Riperton’s husband) who was also a producer and songwriter. In addition, she also released her third album “Irons in the Fire”, which she handed all songwriting and production herself, including the horn and rhythm arrangements of her band and all backing vocals, all considered rare at the time for a female artist. She was also the pioneer in helping to bring hip-hop to the mainstream by becoming one of the first artists of her time to rap one of her singles, Square Biz.


    In 1982, Teena Marie sued Motown Records in a case that successful created, “The Brocket Initiative.” “The initiative clarified a California law which made it impossible for record labels to keep a performer under contract without paying them royalties.” [1] “Also, making it illegal for a record company to keep an artist under contract without releasing new material for that artist. In such instances, artists are able to sign and release with another label instead of being held back by an unsupportive one.” [2]


    After winning this battle and getting this law passed, she left Motown and continued her journey to Columbia Records and started her own publishing company, “Midnight Magnet”. Under this era, she released albums: “Robbery”, “Starchild”, “Emerald City”, “Naked to the World”, and “Ivory”. In 1994, she left Epic and started her own independent label Sarai Records where she released albums under; however, with the lack of major backing her albums were poorly received by the public. So instead of pushing her music, she devoted most of her time to raising her daughter Alia Rose.


    After 14 years sabbatical, she returned under Cash Money Records and released “La Dona” (becoming a gold-certified success and the highest-charting album of her career, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart), and the album “Sapphire”. Teena Marie was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Still in Love", off of her La Dona album. She was finishing up, which was her last studio album “Beautiful” (which was released January 15, 2013), when she passed on December 26, 2010, leaving her family, her daughter, and her fans from every continent.


    Even though, Teena Marie never won an award or recognized by the music world for her contribution to music, to fairness, and to life, she has and will always be a winner in the hearts of her fans who cherish her sound, her pen, and her production. When you brought your ticket to see Teena Marie in concert, you knew you were in for a great show, a great time, and a great entertainer. She loved her music just as much as we all did, and for that, This True Diva will be remembered for many more years to come.






    (c) 2013 by Pen Legacy

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