Yesterday family and friends gathered at Forest Lawn to pay their respects and say their goodbyes to the singer who passed away December 26th at the age of 54. Notable guests in attendance include Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, and Johnny Gill.
Here’s a synopsis of the service as told by www.hollywoodliveandwork.com :
During remarks close friend and ex-label mate, Smoky Robinson, shared how he informed Motown founder, Barry Gordy, of Teena Marie’s passing. But it was Gordy that led Smoky to call her house and hear Marie’s tribute to him on her voice mail. In return, Smoky wrote and performed an original ballad in her honor. “Go on, glow on…shine. You’ll always be love girl; you’ll always rock my world,” he sang.
Gordy followed Smoky with comments about how much he loved Teena Marie’s attitude. “She was bad,” he said, then quoted the rap from “Square Biz”. The audience agreed with applause. “I’ll miss her forever and forever,” he said in close.
Following sincere comments from Stevie Wonder on the blessing of Marie’s talent and existence, her brave daughter Alia Rose, closed out the remarks. With tears she expressed her closeness and love for her mother. Having celebrated her 19th birthday the day before her mother’s death, Rose said “my mom was having problems with me growing up…she died so she won’t have to…When she died, I grew up.”
A releasing of doves marked the end of the memorial service.