TMZ reports, “Grammy nominated singer Teena Marie — once known as Rick James’ protégée — died in her sleep last night at the age of 54 … TMZ has confirmed with Teena’s rep Lynn Jeter.”
Los Angeles-based KTLA.com adds:
A source close to the family of Teena Marie says the Grammy-nominated R&B singer, song-writer and producer has died. She was 54 years old.
Details of her passing are not readily available however sources close to the family tell KTLA that the singer died in her sleep and was discovered by her daughter, Alia Rose who sings under the name Rose Le Beau.
Marie was best known for her work with the late funk legend Rick James. Marie was signed to Motown in 1976 and was one of the most successful white artists to record for the label.
Born Marie Christine Brockert, Teena Marie rose to prominence in the late 70s and 80s.
As KTLA notes, “Marie’s biggest hit came in 1984 with her single ‘Lovergirl,’ which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.”