According to http://www.eurweb.com
New episodes of TV One’s hit series “UnSung” begin Sunday. The show, now entering its second season, according tom the network’s website, profiles some of the most influential, talented yet forgotten R&B, Soul and Gospel artists of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.
The season premieres with an episode chronicling the career of songbird Teena Marie.
“It was awesome. I’m really excited,” the singer said of the series premier, “especially because everybody that I know really came forward to do it for me.”
The show features interviews and commentary from Motown founder Berry Gordy, legendary singer Smokey Robinson, Faith Evans, music executive Larkin Arnold, her life long friends and of course, her family.
“My daughter, my mother…,” she continued, “it was really beautiful. I was just really, really happy.”
Though clearly satisfied with the final cut, the singer confessed to EUR’s Lee Bailey that when she watched previous episodes of the acclaimed series, she wasn’t too sure it was for her.
“The ones I saw were really sad, so it was kind of hard for me to go by,” she said. “My life hasn’t really been sad like that. My piece is a lot more uplifting. It’s fun. It’s really funny.”
Marie, a.k.a. Lady T, said that she’d seen the “UnSung” episode on Phyllis Hyman who struggled with bipolar disorder and depression and tragically took her own life at age 45.
“After I watched Phyllis Hymen’s piece, I was depressed and I told my friend, ‘Why would you show me this and want me to do this show?’” she said, “but after I had the first meeting with them they said, ‘We’re not really trying to show all the sad things in people’s lives. They said they were trying to move in another direction.”
She said that many of her fans have cried out about her being featured on the series – that she’s not “unsung” or underappreciated. She said that she’s had to encourage her fans to wait and see how different the “UnSung” piece on her is.
“Because of the content of some of the other shows, some of the fans have looked at it like it’s a bad thing. I was really, really happy in certain ways,” she described, “but obviously when I talk about Rick [James], I get a little sad.”
A protégé of funkster James, and romantically involved with the legendary singer for a brief moment, Marie took his death in 2004 very hard.
“That part of it is sad,” she said of the show, “but I can’t focus on that too much other than I have to think about the music and what we did while he was here. That part was hard for me. He’s not in the documentary. It would’ve been nice if he was one of the people up there talking.”
The singer said that there wasn’t anything that she didn’t want to discuss on the show, but the episode doesn’t go into her painkiller addiction. And even though the star did talk about her battle with drugs, there was apparently not enough time to fit it into the hour-long episode.
“I really don’t have problems talking about pretty much anything in my life. I try to be honest and I always have. I always feel if I can help somebody with some of the bad stuff, then it’s good for me to talk about it. If it can help somebody else who has an addiction to pain killers, then that’s a good thing.”
“I’ve talked about it in other forms,” she continued. “I talk about it quite often. They didn’t need it this time. There was just so much other stuff. There were even so many other people that they were going to have and at a certain point it just became overkill because it would have taken away from the whole story.”
Marie was very happy words from Berry Gordy made it into the show. The hitmaker commented on the fact that while she could’ve crossed over easily to pop, urban music was her true calling.
“He said he felt that I could have done a lot of crossover music because my voice is awesome. I thought it was very poignant the way he said it. I really liked that part,” Marie said. “He really hit the nail right on the head. He gets it that I was really doing what I was here to do.”
She said that she had written a few tracks that had a crossover feel, but never released the songs because they just didn’t truly fit her style. Now she’s sharing those tracks with her daughter Alia, who is recording her music under the name Rose Le Beau.
“After Minnie Riperton died I wrote this ballad called ‘Come Back Lover’ and it’s kind of a rock-bluesy kind of like Led Zeppelin kind of ballad and it really didn’t fit in my career. I was playing it on my guitar and my daughter heard it and asked, ‘What album is that on?’”
Marie gladly gave the song to her daughter.
Check out Teena Marie’s story on “UnSung” on TV One, Sunday, November 1 at 8 pm and again at 11 pm ET. This season will also spotlight Bootsy Collins, Klymaxx, and ZAPP.
To find out more about Teena Marie and her latest project, visit her official website at www.ivoryqueenofsoul.com.