Mary Christine Brockert (March 5, 1956 – December 26, 2010), better known by her stage name Teena Marie, was an American singer, songwriter, and producer. She was known by her childhood nickname Tina before taking the stage name Teena Marie; she later acquired the nickname of "Lady Tee" (sometimes spelled Lady T), given to her by collaborator and friend, Rick James.She was known for her distinctive soulful vocals, which initially caused many listeners to believe she was black. Her success in R&B and soul and loyalty to these genres would earn her the title "Ivory Queen of Soul". She played rhythm guitar, keyboards, and congas. She also wrote, produced, sang, and arranged virtually all of her songs since her 1980 release, Irons in the Fire, which she later said was her favorite album.