Teena Marie was born Mary Christine Brocker in 1956 in Santa Monica, California, USA. A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer, Teena Marie is one of the few white artists to sustain a consistent career in the US soul market.
Spotted by Motown Records’ Berry Gordy in the mid-70s, he linked her up with funk star and labelmate Rick James, and her early career strongly reflected their joint influences. The highly commercial ‘Wild And Peaceful’ debut album saw her backed by James and the Stone City Band on a set that included their hit duet, ‘I’m A Sucker For Your Love’. She returned the favour by partnering James on ‘Fire And Desire’ on his ‘Street Songs’ album in 1981.
Afterwards, Marie took increasing control of her career and songwriting, singing both ballads and funk. Both ‘I Need Your Lovin’ and ‘Square Biz’ reached the Top 20 of the US Billboard charts in 1980 and 1981, respectively.
In the UK, ‘Behind The Groove’, a surprise smash hit at number 6 in the singles charts around 1980. However, her greatest success followed her move to Epic Records, which some saw as an assertion of her independence, with the number 4-peaking US hit, ‘Lovergirl’.
Demonstrating her talent for modernising her technique with the advent of each new instalment in R&B’s development, ‘Ivory’ the album was produced by Soul II Soul ‘s Jazzie B in 1990.
After 10 years out of the spotlight Marie returned in 2004 with a new album ‘La Dona’ on a new label Cash Money Records. She had success with the single ‘I’m Still In Love’. A further album ‘Sapphire’ was released in 2006.
The new album ‘Congo Square’ was released in 2009, and is being received really well. For the first time around 17 years Teena Marie is coming to the UK for a live performance. She will be at London’s Indigo2 on Saturday 30th January 2010.