Teena Marie, Chaka Khan honored with Pioneer Award

September 10, 2008

By KATHY MATHESON, Associated Press Writer Mon Sep 8, 4:09 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA – Teena Marie was first recognized as an R&B talent in the 1970s when she signed a recording deal with Motown at the tender age of 19.

Now, the self-proclaimed “Ivory Queen of Soul” is being recognized for a nearly 30-year career that has included collaborations with industry giants from Rick James to Smokey Robinson, as well as a Grammy-nominated solo repertoire.

Teena Marie is one of nine artists receiving a Pioneer Award from the Philadelphia-based Rhythm & Blues Foundation at a gala ceremony Tuesday night.

“I’m very, very excited,” Marie said in a phone interview. “All my idols that I grew up on are going to be there.”

The other honorees are Chaka Khan, Kool & The Gang, Bill Withers, The Whispers, The Funk Brothers, Donny Hathaway, Sugar Pie DeSanto and Al Bell. The awards were last given in 2006 by the R&B Foundation, which is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the genre, and to assisting artists in need.

Ms. Matheson’s article continues here.


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