BANKS, Ron. Singer and one of the founding members of R & B group The Dramatics – 58 yrs., Mar. 4

BONPUA, CHARMETTE. Chief of staff to Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson (10th District) – 44 yrs., Feb. 14

BURKE, SOLOMON. Grammy-winning Soul singer – 70 yrs., Oct. 10

COLEMAN, GARY. “Diff’rent Strokes,” Actor – 42 yrs., May 28

COLLETTE, WILLIAM MARCEL “BUDDY.” Jazz icon – 89 yrs., Sept. 19

DAVIS, WILLIE. Baseball outfielder – 69 yrs., Mar. 9

DOW, HAROLD. Longtime correspondent for CBS “48 Hours” show – 62 yrs., Aug. 21

EPHRIAM, MABLE. Mother to popular television judge, Mablean Ephriam – 98 yrs., Jan. 4

FUQUA, HARVEY. Music veteran – 80 yrs., July 6

GATES, DARYL. Former LAPD Chief – 83 yrs., April 16

GOODMAN, AL. Soul singer and baritone from the R & B group The Moments – 67 yrs., July 26

GRIFFEY, RICHARD “DICK.” Iconic Black music figure and owner of SOLAR (Sounds of Los Angeles Records) – 71 yrs., Sept. 24

GURU. Influential rapper of Gang Starr – 43 yrs., April 19

HAWKINS, BISHOP WALTER. Grammy award-winning gospel legend – 61 yrs. July 11

HEIGHT, DOROTHY. Civil rights matriarch – 98 yrs., April 20

HICKS, ISRAEL. Founding artistic director of Ebony Repertory Theatre (ERT) – 66 yrs., July 3

HOOKS, REV. DR. BENJAMIN L. Lawyer, minister, and judge, who took over the leadership reins of the NAACP in 1977 – 85 yrs., April 15

HORNE, LENA. Barrier-breaking Jazz star – 92 yrs., May 9

KING, HENRIETTA. Wife of boxing promoter Don King. – 87 yrs., Dec. 3

ISAACS, GREGORY. Jamaican Reggae musician – 59 yrs., Oct. 25

ISLEY, MARVIN. Bass player and youngest member of the R & B group, The Isley Brothers – 56 yrs., June 6

JOHNSON, EUNICE W. Wife of publisher John H. Johnson, founding director of the Ebony Fashion Fair – 93 yrs., Jan. 3

JONES, HANK. Jazz pianist and composer – 91 yrs., May 16

LEWIS, JAMES “LOU.” Bowler, Negro Leagues player – 81 yrs., Nov. 4

LINCOLN, ABBEY. Jazz singer and songwriter – 80 yrs., Aug. 14

MOODY, JAMES. Jazz saxophonist – 85 yrs., Dec. 9

PENDERGRASS, TEDDY. Singer – 59 yrs., Jan. 13

SAPP, MALINDA, Ph.D. Wife and manager of Gospel singer Marvin Sapp – 43 yrs., Sept. 9

SHIDER, GARRY. Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist and musical director – 56 yrs., June 16

TATUM, JACK. Ex-raiders safety – 61 yrs., July 27

TERRY, FRANK W. Campaign coordinator for former Mayor Tom Bradley – 91 yrs., May 29 (Jun. 2 2010)

WALKER, ALBERTINA. Grammy-winning Gospel singer – 81 yrs., Oct. 8

WATSON, DOROTHY. Mother of Congresswoman Diane Watson – 100 yrs., July 25

WILSON. KAREN NEAL. Jackie Robinson Park Sweetheart – 45 yrs., May 1

WILSON, ROBERT. One of the founders of the Gap Band – 53 yrs., Aug. 25

WOLPER, DAVID L. Emmy-winning producer of the miniseries “Roots” – 82 yrs., Aug. 10

WOODSON, ALI OLLIE. Lead singer of the Motown quintet, the Temptations – 58 yrs., May 31

WRIGHT, MARVA. New Orleans Blues and Soul Singer – 62 yrs., Mar. 23

VARNETTE, PATRICIA HONEYWOOD. Internationally known artist – 59 yrs., Sept. 12.

VERRETT, SHIRLEY. Acclaimed mezzo-soprano and soprano – 79 yrs., Nov. 5

Teena Marie Succumbs
Cause of death pending

By Cynthia E. Griffin
OW Co-Editor

Dubbed the “Ivory Queen of Soul,” Mary Christine Brockert, better known as Teena Marie, died the day after Christmas, and as of press time, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office was in the process of conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Born in Santa Monica, the 54-year-old arranger, musician, singer, and songwriter grew up in the historically African-American Oakwood neighborhood in Venice, and that had a profound impact on her music.
In 1976, an introduction to Motown Records staff producer Hal Davis led to an audition in front of founder Barry Gordy.
That led to working with a number of different producers creating unreleased materials. Then funk legend Rick James and guitarist Paul C. Saenz spotted her, and they would become her music-business tutors. A string of record releases that would cement Marie as an R & B powerhouse resulted from these pairings.
Her debut album “Wild and Peaceful” produced her first R & B top 10 hit, “I’m Just a Sucker for Your Love.”
Her second album, “Lady T,” paired her with producer Richard Rudolph (husband of singer Minnie Riperton).
By her third album, “Irons in the Fire” in 1980, Marie was able to handle all of the writing and production as well as the horn and rhythm arrangements for her band and all background vocals. The single “I Need Your Lovin’” came from this LP, and earned the artist her first top 40 hit.
Her first gold record followed the next year, “It Must Be Magic” on the Motown label. This album included such block-buster cuts as “Square Biz,” and “Portugeuse Love.”
Marie’s career ebbed in the late 1990s. Then after a 14-year hiatus, she signed with indy label Cash Money Records and released her comeback effort, “La Dona.” This became a gold-certified success. It hit number six on the Billboard 200 chart.