To Teena Marie, Alia Rose And My Sister Terri: Thank You

God bless Teena Marie & her Family! Sending Blessings & prayers. I was just sayin that Fire & Desire is 1 of the most beautifully performd songs! Once a beautiful song, always a beautiful song! Certain songs just have that “THING”! What a SANGIN Lady! Fire & Desire ~ Alicia Keys

Three days ago one of my favorite singers died. Nicknamed the Ivory Queen of Soul, Teena Marie passed away in her sleep on December 26th. When I was five years old, Teena’s song called Lovergirl was a huge hit with my sister. I remember her dancing and singing to that song night and day. I didn’t know it at the time but my sister wasn’t/isn’t a good singer. Teena however is a different story.

The album was Starchild and the year was 1984. Born Marie Christine Brockert and a protege of Rick James, Teena’s voice led me to believe she was a Black woman. I had no idea. She’s the funkiest, (of course, Rick James), soulful-est woman I know.You might never have heard of Teena before today but her lyrics are one of the reason I love poetry so much. How this singer/songwriter/arranger/composer never won a Grammy Award, let alone any other awards is mind blowing. She was nominated for four Grammy awards.

She died at age 54 of what is being called natural causes. She leaves behind one daughter, Alia Rose. She had a huge influence on the life of Lenny Kravitz. Watch his video on YouTube of when he first heard the news.

Since Lovergirl, I have collected all of her albums and I love them all. My favorite Teena Marie song though is one of the duets she did with funkmaster Rick James entitled Fire & Desire. There was a campaign earlier this year to get Teena Marie a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to no avail. Perhaps now in death she will be recognized for her vocal accomplishments in her life. Below are the poetry/lyrics to one of the many favorites songs by Lady Tee a.k.a. Teena Marie.

Irons In The Fire

People say I’ve got my hands in too many things
Keeping time with paupers just as well as kings
I toss my hat up to the silver sky
And then I sigh
Look at all the blessings in my life

Here I am your Piscean holocaust
Born in Venice Harlem with some sweet and sour sauce
I close my eyes and still somehow I feel
You’re here with me
And you are such a blessing in my life

Here I am, I’m just a fragment of my God
Heavenly father, hear me
Sometimes life gets so hard
With you as my desire
Spirit’s gonna build me higher
I’ve got to keep my irons in the fire
Got to keep my irons in the fire

I will miss my girl Teena Marie, Real music by real people. God bless my sistah and her family. U will be missed.   ~ Sheila E.

On Saturday January 1, 2011, New Years Day, Iris Orpi will be guest blogging. Her blog is Cognac For The Soul. I would stress upon you the mistake you would be making if you missed the opportunity to visit her site before her post goes live on Saturday. I can assure you, you will enjoy reading her writings.

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  1. #1 by Scent of my heart on January 5, 2011 - 5:48 AM

    Sad news here! Very kind of you to dedicate a post to her!

  2. #3 by Kareem on December 30, 2010 - 12:14 PM

    ‘Loved your article! It was both educative and inspiring to me as an Artist myself and human being. It’s sad that many great Artists don’t get the mass acknowledgment for their genius until they have left this world but it makes it all worthwhile to know that there’s special people like you who still see the beauty of it all. Peace!

    • #4 by Tom Baker on December 30, 2010 - 7:24 PM

      Thank you Kareem. First for dropping by and second for leaving a comment. I hear what you are saying but the sad fact is most people are underappreciated throughout their life by friend and family too. Thanks again.

  3. #5 by Rose Reynolds on December 30, 2010 - 11:01 AM

    I didn’t know Teena passed. It’s so sad. I didn’t even know she had a daughter! I think my favorite songs are Dear Lover and You Make Love Like Springtime! Whew, the girl could wail!

  4. #6 by 1MereMortal on December 29, 2010 - 4:18 PM

    Loved the tribute Tom…she will definately be missed.

    • #7 by Tom Baker on December 29, 2010 - 9:06 PM

      Thank you David. I’m glad people appreciated the post. I really like her voice and I’m sure she was a great person as well.

  5. #8 by Iron Cook Carl on December 29, 2010 - 8:32 AM

    Great tribute. Who knew you would like Teena Marie! Behind The Groove is my favorite song by her (fast) and Casanova Brown (ballad). Irons in the Fire is a great song and album. Now I need to go listen to her!

    • #9 by Tom Baker on December 29, 2010 - 9:05 PM

      I really feel for Alia. It’s got to be hard to lose a parent but to be the one to find them…

  6. #10 by Desert Rose on December 29, 2010 - 7:30 AM

    She will be missed.. Fire & Desire is one song i adore!..her voice is heavenly…God Rests Her soul.

    • #11 by Tom Baker on December 29, 2010 - 9:04 PM

      Desert Rose, thank you for stopping by. I love Fire & Desire and just heard Happy for the first time. I keep playing Aladdin’s Lamp.

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