No one sang about love quite like Teena Marie. And as seen in the 'Lovergirl' video, no one wore '80s fashion quite like her, either.
Captions by Abdul Ali
'Ooo La La La'
The Fugees have Lady T and "Ooo La La La" to thank for their 1995 hit "Fu-Gee-La," which samples the song. Wonder if Lauryn Hill first heard it during this Soul Train performance?
'I'm Still in Love'
This 2004 song was a comeback for Teena Marie, who dominated the airwaves in the 1980s; her work with Cash Money Records introduced her to a new generation of R&B listeners. She performed the song this fall at the Indiana Black Expo.
From the hit 1981 album It Must Be Magic, "Portuguese Love" stands the test of time, especially when Lady T performs it unplugged!
'Fire and Desire'
Who could deny that this song had a special meaning for Teena Marie and Rick James, who reunited at the 2004 BET Awards to sing it together? It's arguably one of the most moving duets ever (and probably a top pick at wedding receptions).
'His Eye Is on the Sparrow'
Teena Marie commanded the audience with a stirring rendition of the gospel classic at BET's Celebration of Gospel in 2009.
In 1981 this song peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's "black" singles. Known as the "Ivory Queen of Soul," Teena Marie was bending racial boundaries even before the term "post-racial" became in vogue. Watch her sing her signature hit in London a year ago.
It's difficult not to get nostalgic for the 1980s when you listen to Teena Marie. "Casanova Brown," which she performed live on Baisden After Dark in 2008, was one of her favorites.
'Here's Looking at You'
It's songs like these that bring to mind Teena Marie's virtuosity. Watch the video, and note how her voice mixed hints of soul, R&B and hip-hop.
Released after Teena Marie's 1982 legal battle with Motown Records (the scuffle would result in the Brockert Initiative, which makes it illegal for a record company to keep an artist under contract without releasing new material for that artist), "Robbery" was the title track for her first album with Epic Records. As you can see in the song's video, the legal drama didn't stem her creativity.
'A Rose by Any Other Name'
Teena Marie was famous for her duets with male soul singers like Rick James. The music video for this song features her and Gerald Levert crooning.