80s disco diva Teena Marie died over Christmas from natural causes according to Pasadena police. She was aged just 54.

Famous initially for being Motown’s first ever signed white singer, she once described herself as “a black artist with white skin’ and became a global star with 1982 crossover hit Behind the Groove. The track was later licensed to video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and she also earned a Grammy nomination in 2005 though struggled with addictions to prescription drugs, according to press releases.
Hip hop electro pioneer Arthur Baker paid tribute on Facebook though noted
‘it’s too bad that Teena Marie had to die to get this great outpouring of love’ prompting an illuminating response from Judy Tint from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

“She never got her due, but in 2008 the Rhythm & Blues Foundation honored her with a Pioneer Award,” she said.

“We gave her a whole lotta love (and a nice check along with it) and she spoke incredibly movingly about how glad she was to be there. She was an idol of mine for a long time and I cherish the time I got to spend with her that evening.”

Boney M frontman Bobby Farrell was also found dead this week, hours after he’d performed on stage in St Petersburg, Russia. Press reports said the 61 year old Boney M frontman had complained of breathing problems before and after his show, and was discovered in his room dead by hotel staff after he missed his wake-up call.

In more death news, legendary bass player Mick Karn died this week just over six months after he announced he’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The Japan star was 52.

24th July 1958 - 4th January 2011

“It's with profound sadness that we have to inform you that Mick finally lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at 4.30pm today, 4th January 2011 at home in Chelsea, London,” a statement on his website read.

“He was surrounded by his family and friends and will be deeply missed by all.”

Article by Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff


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