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Thanks to the gift of the recording arts, we never really have to lose an artist once they pass away. That being said, it is still sad to hear, on a humanistic stance, when people pass away at relatively young ages. Teena Marie is no exception. News broke last night that she, at age 54, had passed away in her California home, and had been found by her 19 year old daughter (who celebrated her birthday on Christmas.)

Of course on Twitter, I was met with plenty of tweets that looked like this:

WHO IS TEENA MARIE?

YOU MEAN TEAIRRA MARI?

Of course… my initial reaction was a blank stare, but who’s fault is it that the younger generations are not aware of the real greats in music? Honestly at this day & age, I really don’t see any reason for people to not know anything, especially when they are on a computer/Smartphone and a few quick keystrokes away from the marvel we know as Google… but that’s another story for another day.

I thought about how important it is for people to really remember the legacy of artists, especially when they have an indelible impact on a certain genre, like Teena Marie did. As an artist, producer, singer & songwriter, Teena Marie tracks have been the inspiration behind some of the greatest songs of my generation (Fu-Gee-La comes to mind first) … not to mention her songs standing alone as entities of their own.

The lesson to be learned here today, is that we need to do a better job of honoring the people who’ve paved the way for us while they can still appreciate it (i.e. while they’re still living). Beginning next week at TheUptownLounge, we’ll highlight an artists weekly that all young people should be familiar with, sort of like a music appreciation class.

For now, I’ve selected my favorite Teena Marie track (outside of the obvious: Square Biz & Lovergirl) Portuguese Love for your enjoyment. Final message: love on your family this holiday season…nothing is ever promised.

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