Motown founder Berry Gordy is speaking out about the passing of R&B chanteuse Teena Marie, whom Berry signed to the Motown label before Rick James. In a statement sent by his publicist, Berry stated, “I am horrified by the sudden death of my darling Teena Marie.” He continues, “She was my ‘baby,’ always true to herself, always true to her heart.” Berry called her a “powerhouse performer, writer, producer and arranger.”
“When I first auditioned her, she was so awesome she blew me away,” Gordy said. “She had so much soul — the only thing white about her was her skin.” An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday on the body of the R&B singer-songwriter, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Marie was found dead in her Pasadena, Calif., home Christmas weekend. The shockwaves continue.