Where was I when I heard the news? I was at home surfing my News Feed on Facebook. Sent an inbox message to a friend for confirmation and less than a minute later he posted R.I.P Teena Marie. Its hard to believe that Teena died at such an early age for reasons unknown.
Some of my childhood memories included me at home singing to her music in front of the mirror. It was 1978 or 1979 when I performed to her hit "Square Biz" in my 6th grade talent show. The fact that she was a white woman meant something to me, but I didn't know what it was exactly at the time. There I was, 9 years old finding out a few years prior I was adopted and my ethnic heritage was unclear, yet could identify with this white woman who had more soul then some of my own black family. It was 2001 when I found out that my biological mother was white (Italian/Irish/Indian) and my biological father (black). I never met my biological mother because she died at 47. I have a feeling that she was a soul sister and loved the Star Child-Teena Marie.
Teena paved the way for many white women to embrace their soulful voices, like Lisa Stansfield, Duffy, Adele, Joss Stone, Christina and Mariah. These women possibly crossed over more quickly into R&B charts because of her. She will be missed, and never forgotten. Hopefully a beautiful tribute will be done soon to show how instrumental she was for in the world of R&B music.