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R&B Singer Teena Marie Dies TMZ

Singer Teena Marie has died, possibly from a grand mal seizure while taking a nap, TMZ reports. She was 54.

The R&B star had suffered other seizures, including a grand mal about a month before her death, the story reports. She died Sunday at her home in Pasadena, Calif.

A onetime protegee of funk singer Rick James, Marie, whose real name was Mary Christine Brockert, became an influential artist who played guitar, keyboards and congas and who also wrote, produced and arranged most of her material.

She was one of only a handful of white artists to succeed in the R&B field.

As a child, Marie made an appearance on the TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies.” She went on to do soundtrack work on numerous movies and TV series, and appeared over the years on shows such as “The Parkers,” “New York Undercover” and “The Steve Harvey Show.”