The sultry “Vanilla Chocolate” died on Sunday December 26, 2010…the day after her daughters birthday. The songstress died in her sleep due to an apparent seizure.
Teena Marie is most notable for her tenacious vocal ability. Her resounding gift was initially thwarted by an industry reluctant to sign a white woman who sang for all intents and purposes “like a black woman”. Despite skin color, despite mentorship turned toxic- Teena managed to stay true to her craft and to her spirit.
She changed societies perspective on who was “qualified” to sing Rhythm and Blues. Teena Marie opened the door for many artists like Robyn Thicke, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguillera.
She had long suffered with various medical ailments. Rest in peace.