The first white singer ever signed to Motown, Rick James protege Teena Marie died Sunday at 54. Her obit is here. Her first hit was "I'm A Sucker For Your Love," off the album Wild and Peaceful, which Berry Gordy issued without a photo of the artist, lest black audiences figure out she was white. Gamble and Huff called her "one of the most memorable, soulful and unique R&B vocalists to come out of Motown." In 2008, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation honored her with its Pioneer Award in a ceremony at the Kimmel Center. Ben Wener's appreciation is here.
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