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It is an uncomfortable practice burying a person you admire.

In the summer of 2002, my brother pushed me to do more extra curricular, away from the playstation. Having failed magnificently throughout my teenage years to replicate the dance moves from Breakdance II, I set upon learning a street-dance called locking.

On a hot packed Saturday afternoon at Pineapple Dance Studios, Sensi Jimmy Williams would blast a Teena Marie track at the end of the class to see how well we’d picked up the routine and just how good we were at free-styling. Pressure! The song Square Biz was usually the order of the day.

This is where I met Teena Marie. Operatic, heart felt, soulful vocals that carried you to another dimension in a way todays alleged Divas could only dream of. I was in love.

Born Mary Christine Brocket, March 5, 1956, Teena Marie was a black diva in white a women’s skin. In an industry seen as the exclusive of the African Americans, Teena was an oddity, proving that soul doesn’t care what colour your skin happens to be.

Throughout her influential career, the R&B/Funk singer and musician crafted hits and songs that recognised no colour boundaries, appealing to the at the time opposing forces of pop-culture.

Teena was no stranger to musical discrimination to the point, when she released the hit record “I’m Just a Sucker for Your Love”, without an album cover, it was an immense shock to people when they discovered it was not the work of an African American artist.

Her credits include the soul moving “Wishing On A Star” and the all time 80s connoisseurs favourite “Oh la la la”, both hugely sampled tracks by popular black artists such as Jay- Z and Lauren Hill and many more.

Here is a link to her mesmerizing ode to love “Casanova Brown” live. Breathless.Lady T.

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