Teena Marie

Teena Marie (March 5, 1956 — Dec. 26, 2010) was an American vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, and arranger from Santa Monica, Calif.

She was born Mary Christine Brockert on March 5, 1956, in Santa Monica, Calif., and raised in nearby Mission Hills and Venice. Her family’s heritage comprised of Irish, Italian, Native American, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican ancestry. At age eight, she guest-starred on an episode of the CBS sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, credited as Tina Marie Brockert.

Tina taught herself guitar, bass, and congas and formed her first band with her younger brother, Anthony, and their cousin. While attending Venice High School, she played the female lead in the school’s production of The Music Man. During 1974–75, she fronted the local rock band Truvair, comprised of classmates. She briefly majored in English literature at Santa Monica College while auditioning for record companies.

In 1976, Tina met Motown staff-writer Hal Davis (Brenda Holloway, Jackson 5), who tapped her for a proposed film about orphans. The project came to nothing, but label head Berry Gordy signed her as a solo act. That year, Tata Vega recorded Tina’s “Just as Long as There Is You,” included on the singer’s debut Tamla release Full Speed Ahead.

Over the next two years, Tina recorded more than an album’s worth of material with multiple producers (later released on the 2011 double-disc First Class Love: Rare Tee by archivists Hip-O Select).

In the summer of 1978, labelmate Rick James was slated to produce The Boss, the upcoming album by Diana Ross. Upon hearing Tina’s material, he decided instead to produce her first album, recorded between August and the following January. Though she initially planned to record as Teena Tryson, her debut album, Wild and Peaceful, presented her as Teena Marie, her public name from that point forward.


  • Wild and Peaceful (1979)
  • Lady T (1980)
  • Irons in the Fire (1980)
  • It Must Be Magic (1981)
  • Robbery (1983)
  • Starchild (1984)
  • Emerald City (1986)
  • Naked to the World (1988)
  • Ivory (1990)


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