Celebrities Remember Teena Marie

Celebs Remember Teena Marie

Though she was a White vocalist making music catered to African-American audiences, Teena Marie’s legacy has no color. Her reach spanned 30 years and crossed genres, from soul music to hip hop. Even rappers Q-Tip and Common took to Twitter to express their sadness at the loss of a legend, who had a profound influence on their music. When they weren’t speaking with CNN analyst Roland Martin, celebrities took to Twitter to share their memories of “The Ivory Queen of Soul.” Find out what they had to say.

Missy Elliot

“My Prayers go out to Teena Marie’s family,” tweeted Elliot. “Teena created music that is Timeless! Songs sung with soul and conviction a True LEGEND!”


“Hopefully a young singer can take this blueprint she left,” wrote the hip-hop legend.

Kimora Lee Simmons

The fashion mogul tweeted, “RIP to the legendary Ms Teena Marie. Luv u always! We’ll celebrate + sing in your memory!”

Swizz Beatz

“R.I.P to one of the best voices in music,” tweeted the hip hop producer.

Sheryl Underwood

“Teena Marie always wonderful to me. I met her on the TJMS Cruise. Let us pray for her family. God bless her soul,” tweeted the comedienne.

Alicia Keys

“God Bless Teena Marie & her family! Sending blessings and prayers,” tweeted Keys. “I was just saying that “fire and desire” is one of the most beautifully performed songs.”


“The world has lost one of the most talented and beautiful musicians of our time. There will never be another Teena Marie,” Diddy told CNN’s Roland Martin. He added on Twitter, “R.I. P Teena Marie. God Bless. Damn I just saw her the other day.”


“R.I.P. Lady T! Your rhyme in “Square Biz” is and will always be classic material. Teena and I are both Pisces and we believe that we’ve been here before. That’s why “De Ja Vu” is my favorite song,” tweeted the rapper/actor.

Lionel Richie

“[Teena] was an amazing, soulful person. She’s a phenomenon to me,” Richie told Roland Martin. “”If there is a word called talent or talented, it was pouring out of her veins. She was an amazing phenomenon.”

Cathy Hughes

“Teena was a Black voice tapped in a White body,” Hughes, founder of TV One, told Roland Martin. “I would always tell her that she was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I watched as she raised that child, and that’s very difficult being a single mother. She did an exemplary job with her child.”

Eddie Levert

“In terms of vocals, she was one of the Blackest people I know. She was one of the great R&B performers of our time. She was a great person; just a nice person. And she loved to perform. She got along well with everyone; even the promoters love her. She is going to be sorely missed. There a lot of black people who swore by her and believed in her, as far as her music was concerned.”

Tichina Arnold

“We lost a great one,” wrote Arnold to her Twitter followers. “Please, please, please pray for the family and friends. My heart is so heavy right now.”

Holly Robinson Peete

“My heart is broken. Teena Marie was an R&B Empress, a music pioneer, a brilliant songwriter/ producer with the most original powerhouse vocals ever. Nobody sang like Teena! But above all she was an exceptional human being, a humanitarian and an authentic friend who I will miss dearly. Rest With Angels Lady T.”

Kevin Liles

“Teena was a fire and desire. She was everything. She was a special person. If you got a chance to know her – more than her voice – she was a kind person. She was a student of music. She was a gift to us from God, and being a Caucasian woman, the voice that came out of her had to be a gift. We’ll miss her and God rest her soul,” Liles, the former vice chairman of Warner Music Group and now Trey Songz’ manager, told Roland Martin.

Mary J. Blige

“Teena Marie inspired me vocally as a child. Her songs I sang in the mirror with a hair brush. I’m so hurt,” tweeted MJB. “I’ll love you forever Teena Marie…in my heart she’s Teena. So rest in peace Teena. I love you. Every girl that grew up in the hood with her blasting through the windows, cars and radio waves can feel me.”

Sheila E.

The legendary drummer took to Twitter to express her sadness. “Will miss my girl Teena Marie,” she wrote. “Real music by real people…God bless my sistah and her family. U will be missed.”

Rev. Run

“R.I. P. to one of the most unique and incredible singer of our time,” wrote Rev. Run. “You will be missed!”

Lenny Kravitz

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Teena,” an emotional Kravitz said in a YouTube message. “She gave me a bedroom, she fed me, she cooked for me, she took care of me. She gave me instruments to play; she took me to all her recording sessions. She took me to concerts, she nurtured me and helped me to become who I am.” He added: “She changed my life, not only as an artist, but as a person who truly loved me for who I was.”

Berry Gordy

The founder of Motown spoke to Roland Martin about Marie, the first White act on his label: “I am horrified by the sudden death of my darling Teena Marie. She was my “baby,” always true to herself, always true to her heart. When I first auditioned her she was so awesome she blew me away. She had so much soul – the only thing white about her was her skin. She was a powerhouse performer, writer, producer and arranger. Anyone who ever saw her perform, alone or with Rick James, will never forget how exciting music can be. My heart goes out to her sweet, sweet daughter, Alia Rose, her family, friends and fans. Teena Marie will always be a part of the Motown family. We will all miss her.”

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff

The legendary songwriters released a statement expressing their sadness over Marie’s passing. “We’re shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Teena Marie,” they wrote. “She was one of the most memorable, soulful and unique R&B vocalists to come out of Motown. We send or condolences to Teena’s family, the entire Motown family and of course, our dear friend Berry Gordy.”

Hill Harper

“RIP Teena Marie – an amazing songstress and trailblazer with so much soul and that’s ‘Square Biz.’ We love you”

Teena Marie

A day before her passing, Teena Marie tweeted, “Sarah Vaughan: ‘May You never grow old, and may I never die…” Her music lives on in all of us.