LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Award-winning R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, most known for the 1984 hit “Lovergirl,” has died.
She was 54.
She is rumored to have suffered from seizures. One report says the singer was found by her daughter and was unresponsive.
The story was first reported by radio station WDAS in Philadelphia. The news has been confirmed by the singer’s longtime manager Mike Gardner.
A native of Santa Monica, Teena Marie was born Marie Christine Brockert. She came to prominence in the late 70s and early 80s and worked extensively with soul/funk legend Rick James.
“Lovergirl” was her biggest hit peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was an immediate dance floor favorite and still enjoys wide radio airplay today. She had other chart-toppers with “Square Biz,” “I’m a Sucker For Your Love,” “I Need Your Lovin’” and ”Fire and Desire.”
Originally signed by Motown as their first white artist, her image did not appear on her first album. Execs weren’t sure black audiences would embrace Teena Marie if they knew she was white but she became an immediate crossover artist for all audiences.
CNN’s Roland Martin says the singer was found dead in her Pasadena home.
At the time of her death, she had club dates set for Atlanta next month and at the Nokia Theater in February.