The Grammy-nominated American soul singer Teena Marie has been found dead at her California home at the age of 54, her manager has said. She was born in 1956 as Mary Christine Brokert.
Marie, born Marie Christine Brockert in Santa Monica, was signed to Motown Records in 1976. She had a string of hits in the late '70s and '80s, releasing 13 studio albums and developingd a partnership with the late Rick James that spawned "Fire & Desire."
Just hours before her death, on Christmas day, Marie on Twitter wished fans a Merry Christmas.
"May Gods Light always shine on you and your family!" she wrote. "May you have the most joyous Holliday season ever! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."
Teena Marie often worked with funk legend Rick James with hits such as Lovergirl and Fire and Desire.Teena Marie, who was born Mary Christine Brockert and also used the moniker Lady T, was a rare white artist on the Motown label when she was signed in the late 1970s.