In this 2005 file image originally released by Universal Music, musician Teena Marie is shown. Marie, who made history as Motown's first white female act but developed a lasting legacy with her silky soul pipes and with hits like "Lovergirl," "Square Biz," and "Fire and Desire" with mentor Rick James, has died. She was 54. (AP Photo/Universal Music, Tracy Jones, file)

R&B singer Teena Marie, known by many as the “Ivory Queen of Soul,” died over the weekend at age 54 after a career that included hit songs and a constant battle with prescription drugs.

To Marie, race wasn’t an issue.

“Overall my race hasn’t been a problem,” she told Essence magazine last year. “I’m a black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what’s in your own soul.”‘

But drug dependency was also in Marie’s soul.  She told The Associated Press last year that she successfully battled a long fight with prescription drugs.’

“It’s been a wonderful. wonderful ride,” she told the AP in 2008.  “I don’t plan on stopping anything soon.”

She leaves behind a teenage daughter.

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Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.


  1. teena marie was one of the best i believe in music her voice is what i call just identifable. to many sorry artists today sound alike with teena nothing but soul she will be so missed and i’m sad she didn’t get her due fame.

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