A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer, Teena Marie is remembered as one of the few white artists to sustain a consistent career in the US soul market. Spotted by Motown Records' Berry Gordy in the 70s, he linked her up with funk star and labelmate Rick James, and her early career strongly reflected their joint influences.
The highly commercial 1979 debut album, Wild And Peaceful, saw her backed by James and the Stone City Band on a set that included their hit duet, "I'm A Sucker For Your Love". She returned the favour by partnering James on "Fire And Desire" on his Street Songs album in 1981. Afterwards, Marie took increasing control of her career and songwriting, singing both ballads and funk. She achieved great success on the R&B charts, while both "I Need Your Lovin'" and "Square Biz" reached the Top 20 of the US Billboard pop charts in 1980 and 1981, respectively. In the UK, "Behind The Groove" became a surprise disco smash at number 6 in the singles chart.