Singer Teena Marie debut on the charts today (May 19, 1979), with her hit single “I’m ASucker For You Love.”
The single was taken from her debut album Wild and Peaceful, which hit #18 on the black album chart upon its release, while “I’m A Sucker For Your Love” peaked at #18.
The album featured songs and production by Rick James and Smokey Robinson, amongst others.
Executives at Motown decided to keep Teena Marie’s image off of her debut album, so that the record buying audience would not know that she was white.
But despite her race, Rick James was enamored with Teena Marie from the first time he heard her singing, at the Motown offices.
“While walking through Motown one day I heard this beautiful voice,” Rick James recalled. “I looked in the office where it was coming from and sitting at the piano singing was this little white chick named Teena Marie. She was shy, even bashful as she introduced herself to me.”
The relationship proved to be the start of a fruitful for Teena Marie and Rick James, who produced her debut album.