As the mystery around Teena Marie’s sudden death unravels, it appears a seizure may have played a role in the singer’s passing.
The late R&B vet was found dead in her home by her daughter the day after Christmas. TMZ reports that Marie might have suffered a grand mal seizure while taking a nap on Sunday afternoon. Marie’s daughter reportedly checked in on her at 1 p.m. and she was fine. However, when her daughter checked in on her at 3 p.m., Marie was unresponsive. Marie also suffered a grand mal seizure last month and had reportedly insisted on having someone nearby when she went to sleep.
Illegal drugs appear to have been ruled out as a culprit. According to TMZ, law enforcement officials failed to find any illegal drugs that may have contributed to the songstress’ unexpected death. Toxicology tests and an autopsy are slated to be performed later this week.
Marie had also battled an addiction to prescription pain medication in the past. According to The Associated Press, the singer became addicted to Vicodin for a year after the death of former flame and musical mentor Rick James in 2004.
Marie, born Mary Christine Brockert, shot to fame in the late 1970s when she signed to the storied Motown label. A Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist who penned music in addition to boasting some dynamic pipes, Marie built a reputation as one of the strongest voices in R&B and soul music. She was known for hits like “Lovergirl, “Square Biz” and “Ooo La La La” and released 13 albums throughout her 30-year career.
“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 groundwork for the future generations of R&B, hip-hop, and soul,” Gene Rumsey, chief label officer of Marie’s last label, Concord Music Group, said in a statement.
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