Born Mary Christine Brockert, Teena was known as a proteg�e of the late Rick James. She died in her sleep, and her cause of death is currently unknown.
Teena is known as one of few successful white R&B performers, having written, produced, and arranged nearly all of her recordings. Born March 5, 1956, Teena grew up in West L.A. before signing with Motown Records in 1976. Her first hit, “I’m Just a Sucker for Your Love,” was a duet with James. She went on to be one of the most legendary voices in R&B throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. In 2006, she released “Sapphire,” a record largely inspired by her sadness after James’ death.
In 2008, Teena was honored by the Rhythm & Blues foundation with the Pioneer Award, for her contribution to the “evolution and development of rhythm & blues music.”
In 2010, she headlined successful shows on the Las Vegas Strip.
Teena is survived by her daughter, Alia Rose, who performs under the name Rose Le Beau. On Christmas Day, just before her death, she tweeted, “Sarah Vaughan ‘May You never grow old, and may I never die’…”