Teena Marie — “Lovergirl” (from Greatest Hits) — Lovergirl - Teena Marie: Greatest Hits

Tell me why I don’t like Mondays: my original plan was for the Hive to go silent this week, as I am on vacation until Friday, and I have a couple of long-germinating posts in the pipeline (not to mention the Buzz’s annual year-end best-of lists, which will be up later in the week). But having awoken this morning to the devastating news that the terrific Teena Marie was found dead in her home yesterday (of what, thus far, are undisclosed causes), I knew immediately that plan had to change. Because of her breathtaking facility for the intricate vagaries of fabulous funk, the magnificent Marie was caught between two worlds for most of her underappreciated career: because she was a white girl, the R&B side tended to regard her as a cute anomaly, not much more than a novelty; and because her sound was steeped in stirring soul, the pop side too often pitted her against the more radio-friendly likes of Janet, Mariah, and Whitney in a fight Marie could never win. (There’s a reason that the latter trio are all well-known, single-name divas, and that reason has precious little to do with talent, honey.) Still, an entire generation of us ’80s acolytes are in mourning at this early hour, and though I regret that such a sad event has precipitated this trip down mem’ry lane… thanks, Teena, for taking me back for a minute, one final time.

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