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Teena Marie was still young at 54, but she passed away in her sleep of natural causes.
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.”