According to the manager of 80′s R&B/dance star Teena Marie, the four-time Grammy nominee died in her sleep last night at the age of 54. No cause of death has been revealed. The protege of the late Rick James, Teena Marie was arguably the most successful white female performer of R&B. In 1982 her landmark lawsuit against Motown Records established what became known as the “Teena Marie Law” and prevented labels from keeping an artist under contract while refusing to release and promote new material. That ruling enabled other major artists such as Luther Vandross to escape poor contracts. I adored Teena Maria and still regularly play her classics such as Behind The Groove, I’m Just A Sucker For Your Love, and her huge gay club smash, Square Biz.
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