LOS ANGELES – Teena Marie, the singer-songwriter known for such funk-infused 1980s hits as “I Need Your Lovin’” and “Lovergirl,” and one of the few white musicians to achieve renown on the R&B charts, has died. She was 54.

Marie was found dead at her Pasadena home Sunday, Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres said. Police and paramedics were called to her home about 3 p.m. after her daughter found her unconscious, Torres said.

In1981, Dennis Hunt wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “A tiny young woman with a powerful voice, Marie is a terrific singer and, quite frankly, better than nearly all her black competitors.”

She was born Mary Christine Brockert on March 5, 1956, in Santa Monica. Soon after graduating from Venice High School she signed with Motown Records, where she met funk music pioneer Rick James, who would become her mentor, musical collaborator and lover.