Stax Records, the Concord Music Group family and millions of fans around the world, lost a great artist and friend on Sunday when soul music icon Teena Marie died at the age of 54. An internationally renowned singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and performer, Teena Marie, released her thirteenth and final album, Congo Square, on June 9, 2009, for legendary soul music label Stax Records. The critically acclaimed collection was a personal milestone for the iconic, Grammy-nominated soul music star and Rhythm & Blues Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient as it marked her 30th year in the industry she loved.
Teena Marie left a sensational musical legacy. Making her debut in 1979, her sublime musical eclecticism took soul music in new directions, swiftly earning her a hallowed and singular place in the hearts of R&B purists. Throughout her groundbreaking accomplishments, Teena remained humble, unpretentious and refreshingly down-to-earth. Her talent was matched only by her kindness of spirit. She collaborated with musical giants throughout her career and they reciprocated with the kind of love and respect that indicated she was truly one of them.
“The enduring influence of Teena’s inspirational, trailblazing career, could only have been made possible through her brilliant songwriting, showmanship and high-energy passion which laid the ground work for the future generations of R&B, hip-hop, and soul,” stated Concord Music Group chief label officer, Gene Rumsey. “We feel extremely fortunate to have worked with a visionary who changed music in indelible ways. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends and of course, millions of fans around the world.”