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To a "T": Five Teena Marie Covers

 

Teena Marie

 

The late Teena Marie is known for peerless covers of classic R&B songs like Rose Royce's "Wishing On a Star" and Motown songbird Brenda Holloway's "Every Little Bit Hurts."

So, after several hours of surfing on the Internet(s), I have found several artists who have covered some of Marie's classic tunes. Below is a list of my favorite Teena Marie covers by artists like Nicki Minaj, Johnny Gill, Marsha Ambrosius and more. Rest in Peace, Lady T.

 

5. Nicki Minaj -- "Square Biz" (Featuring Jadakiss & Teena Marie) [2010]

No, Nicki Minaj didn't do a duet with the Ivory Queen of Soul. This song appeared on the New Music Cartel & The Empire Present Harajuku R-N-Barbie mixtape back in January. The hip-hop Barbie and Jadakiss spit some rhymes over Teena Marie's classic song "Square Biz."

  

4. Cover Girls -- "I Need Your Lovin'" (1996)

The Cover Girls were the hottest female freestyle/club girl group during the late '80s and early '90s who had such hits as "Show Me, "My Heart Skips a Beat" and "Wishing on a Star" (by Rose Royce). Their cover of Marie's "I Need Your Lovin'" appeared on the group's Satisfy album.

 

3. Maynard Ferguson -- "Portuguese Love" (1981)

Who? Yeah, I have never heard of Maynard Ferguson either. But don't let that discourage you from watching Ferguson's exciting 10-minute jazz suite of Teena Marie's seductive ballad "Portuguese Love." The late jazz trumpeter was a respected musician and bandleader during his 40-year career. In some jazz circles, Ferguson was nicknamed "the Boss" for the way he tightly conducted his band. Check out this video and you can see why. This is a great performance and Ferguson is no slouch on the trumpet either.

 

2. Johnny Gill -- "Fire and Desire" (Featuring Coko) [1997]

Technically, it's a Rick James song, but Teena Marie's performance on this classic Quiet Storm mainstay cannot be denied. The Johnny Gill remake appeared on the soundtrack of the 1997 flick Booty Call, which is probably Jamie Foxx's worst movie ever.

Anyway, Gill's throaty version of "Fire and Desire" features SWV singer Coko (before she went gospel) performing Marie's part. For what it's worth, this is an apt cover of the fiery ballad.

 

1. Marsha Ambrosius -- "Yes Indeed" (2010)

There aren't too many artists (if any) who have covered Teena Marie's touching ballad "Yes Indeed" from her 1981 album It Must Be Magic. The former Floetry songbird did a peerless remake of the song. According to reports, Ambrosius unveiled her remake of "Yes Indeed" during her recent concert performance in London. Ambrosius told the crowd that Lady T, herself, heard the cover and has given her seal of approval. The song will most likely appear on Ambrosius' long-awaited solo LP Late Nights & Early Mornings. Yes, indeed.

 

Honorable Mentioned:

I had to include videos by The Firm and the Fugees. They are not cover tunes, per se, but these two acts certainly sampled/utilized Teena Marie's lyrics in their songs.

 

The Firm - "Firm Biz" (1997)

 

The Fugees -- "Fu-Gee-La" (1996)

The video is un-embedable, so click HERE to watch the clip.



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