Teena Marie, known as 'Ivory Queen of Soul,' diesBy: E! Online
What initially appeared to be just another Twitter-spawned celebrity death hoax has turned out to be a sad reality.
Teena Marie, the R&B singer known best for her hit songs "Lovergirl" and "I'm a Sucker for Your Love," has died at 54.
Following a rash of tweets proclaiming Marie's passing, her manager, Mike Gardner, confirmed the death of the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sunday, after she was found dead in her Pasadena home by her daughter.
Pasadena police say she appears to have succumbed to natural causes, but the official cause of death won't be determined until the Los Angeles County coroner performs an autopsy.
Marie, born Marie Christine Brockert in Santa Monica, was signed to Motown Records in 1976. She had a string of hits in the late '70s and '80s, releasing 13 studio albums and developingd a partnership with the late Rick James that spawned "Fire & Desire."
Just hours before her death, on Christmas day, Marie headed to Twitter to wish fans a Merry Christmas.
"May Gods Light always shine on you and your family!" she wrote. "May you have the most joyous Holliday season ever! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."
Marie's peer shared their memories of the singer, via tweeter, 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."
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