Lenny Kravitz has recorded a touching tribute to Teena Marie, insisting he "would not be here" if the singer/songwriter had not saved him from "living on the street" when he was a teenager. The 54 year old, born Mary Christine Brockert, passed away in her sleep at her home in Pasadena, California on Sunday, December 26.
Kravitz, 46, has opened up about his bond with Marie, revealing she took him in when he was a teen - and he's convinced his life would have been very different without the late singer's care and nurturing. In a sombre video tribute posted on YouTube.com on Monday, the "Fly Away" hitmaker says, "I woke up to the tragic news that my longterm friend Teena Marie passed away."
"I just want to say that Teena Marie was a treasure. A genius. Composer, arranger, singer, musician. Unique... underrated by far. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Teena. She took me in when I was around 16... I was just a musician on the street, I was living from pillar to post. She took me in, she gave me a bedroom, she fed me, she cooked for me, she took care of me. She gave me instruments to play, she took me to all her recording sessions. She took me to concerts. She nurtured me and helped me to become who I am."
"I would not be here (without her). She changed my life not only as an artist but as a person who truly loved me for who I was. Teena... I will always love and respect you. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you Father, for the life of Teena Marie."