Teena Marie may not have been a household name, but she was instrumental in Lenny Kravitz’s rise to fame.
The Grammy Award-winning singer posted a message on YouTube Monday from Paris after waking up to find out his “long-time friend” had died suddenly at the age of 54. (more story below)
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Teena, she took me in when I was around 16,” he said. “I was just a musician living on the street living from pillar to post.”
The 46-year-old singer-songrwiter said she took him in, gave him a bedroom and instruments and trailed him to concerts and recording sessions.
“She nurtured me and helped me to become who I am,” he said, adding that he never really talked about their bond in depth.
The duo did however record a duet, “Main Squeeze,” that appeared on Marie’s 1994 album, “Passion Play.”
“She changed my life not only as an artist but as a person who truly loved me for who I was,” Kravitz added in his video, before admitting they had been out of contact for the past few years.
“I will always love and respect you,” he concluded. “Thank you, Father, for the life of Teena Marie.”
But Kravitz is not the only high profile singer who shares a history with Marie. Rap star Common revealed that he and Marie had the same star signs.
“Teena and I are both Pisces and we believe that we’ve been here before,” he tweeted. “That’s why ‘De Ja Vu’ is my favorite song.”
Meanwhile, Diddy revealed that he just saw the legendary musician “the other day” before tweeting, “God Bless.”
Mary J. Blige opted for the traditional “rest in peace” message before adding, “My Love for u is forever.”
One of Marie’s younger admirers, Alicia Keys, 29, also tweeted a tribute to the “Ooo La La La” singer.
“God bless Teena Marie & her Family! Sending Blessings & prayers,” she wrote on Twitter. “I was just sayin that [Fire and Desire] is one of the most beautifully performed songs!”
Marie, who was a protégé of Rick James’, was found dead by her 18-year-old daughter Sunday in California.
Her publicist said she suffered a grand mal seizure a month ago but no cause of death has been released.
An autopsy is set to take place later this week, though, according to TMZ.com, no illegal drugs were found at the scene.