There are many whites who love R&B music, and some even try to sing it with varying levels of success. For those of us growing up in the 70's and 80's, the woman born on this date in Santa Monica, California became the definitive and most successful of the 'blue-eyed' soul singers of our generation.
I couldn't let today pass without giving a birthday shout out to Teena Marie. She's the Cali girl who ended up getting signed by legendary Motown Records, getting her first album produced by punk funk king Rick James and even rapping on her 1981 song 'Square Biz'.
Teena Marie on Soul Train
This is also Teena's 30th anniversary in the music business, with her Rick James produced and written debut album Wild And Peaceful hitting the airwaves in 1979. She's even responsible for a law called the Brockert Initiative as a result of the nasty legal battle she fought with Motown after discovering they underpaid her royalties on the four Motown albums she recorded.
That lawsuit resulted in what's called the Teena Marie Law, which means a record company cannot keep an artist under contract without releasing a record by him or her.
Reunited just four days before Rick's death to sing Fire and Desire in 2004
Teena's back in the business after a layoff to raise her daughter Alia Rose. She has created and still is thrilling us with music her fans like me will treasure forever.
Happy Birthday Teena Marie!