*It started with a phone call from RadioFacts.com editor/publisher Kevin Ross to me asking “Is it true?” Is what true I responded. “That Teena Marie died,” he said.
Of course I was dumbstruck and had no answer.
Since I’ve known Teena for almost thirty years, I immediately called her house and her assistant Meeko answered and confirmed the bad news. At that point I decided to rush over to Teena’s house in Pasadena, about 5 minutes my home in the Monterey Hills section of Los Angeles.
Needless to say family members, friends and musical associates had gathered, and were filled with grief awaiting the coroner who arrived about 5 minutes after I did.
After about 45 minutes to an hour the LA County corner’s crew and Pasadena police brought her body out. Needless to say, it was a very overwhelming and emotional scene when they placed her in the morgue vehicle to be be taken away.
As far as specific details of her death are concerned, all we know at this point is that Teena was discovered by her daughter Alia Rose when she went to wake her up Sunday afternoon around 1pm.
While no cause of death has been released, the singer’s publicist Lynn Jeter said that Teena suffered a grand mal seizure — a neurological event, marked by loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, according to the Mayo Clinic — a month ago.
“Luckily, someone was there,” Jeter told CNN of the seizure. “The ambulance took her to the hospital, and on the way she had another seizure.”
Jeter said that she had a “great” conversation on Saturday with the singer, who told her that she was excited about heading to Atlanta to perform this week (at the Fox theater) — in what would have been her first performance since the seizure.
Needless to say, this is a great, great loss.