The music world was stunned to find out that legendary R&B singer Teena Marie died over the weekend. The singer was just 54 and left a lasting influence on many of today’s contemporary artists, who immediately reacted to the singer’s death. Marie’s peers also shared their memories of the singer as the rest of the world was still learning of her death.
Diddy tweeted: “R.I.P Teena Marie. God Bless. Damn I just saw her the other day.”
Mary J. Blige also took to Twitter to pay her final respects to the influential artist, who was a friend and protégé of Rick James’. “Rest in peace Teena Marie,” Blige wrote. “My Love for u is forever.”
Common cited their shared astrological sign as a reason he felt so connected to her music. “Teena and I are both Pisces and we believe that we’ve been here before,” he tweeted. “That’s why ’De Ja Vu’ is my favorite song.”
Fellow music “it” girl, Prince protégé Sheila E, also shared how much she will miss the singer on Twitter. “I will miss my girl Teena Marie, Real music by real people. God bless my sistah and her family. U will be missed.”
R&B songwriting duo Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, who wrote hits like “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” the “Soul Train” theme song and “Back Stabbers,” remembered the singer in a statement: “We’re shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Teena Marie. She was one of the most memorable, soulful and unique R&B vocalists to come out of Motown. We send our condolences to Teena’s family, the entire Motown family and of course, our dear friend Berry Gordy.”
Eddie Levert, founder of the O’Jays, recalled Marie’s personal and professional contributions in a statement to CNN. “There are a lot of black people who swore by her and believed in her, as far as her music was concerned,” he said. “She was a good mom, and to me, that is saying a lot.”
Marie was known for hits like “Lovergirl” and “Square Biz.” Her daughter found her dead Saturday night, Marie’s manager said. No cause of death has been released, but her publicist said Marie suffered a grand mal seizure a month ago, from which she was still recovering.
Share your thoughts and condolences for Marie’s friends and family in the comments.