At a young age, she was encouraged by her grandmother who sang back up for Aretha Franklin to pursue a musical career. She began her career at age 15, recording in her cousin's basement in Detroit, Michigan. She went to Longfellow Elementary in Holland, Michigan (Tulip City U.S.A.) before soon transferring to Detroit Schools. She soon caught the attention of Big Mike, Ed K and Helluvah of Detroit's K.I.S.S. Productions, which developed her from the age of 16 onward. Under Big Mike's guidance, Marí spent every free moment in the studio, working with some of the hottest producers and songwriters in the game, including Helluva, Disco D, Big Mike, Chaz M, Detail, Lyriq, AK, and J.R. K.I.S.S. Productions arranged for Marí to collaborate with artists such as Ray J, J-Kwon, Lola Damone, and Bee and for Marí to appear on Detroit's Fox 2 Morning Show and UPN 50 Sports Rap. In October 2003, K.I.S.S. Productions released Teairra's first album, the EP Get Away, which became a local sensation. Teairra attended the Detroit High School for The Fine and Performing Arts and was a vocal major, performing in many of the school's talent showcases.
At the age of 16, K.I.S.S.' Big Mike felt that Marí was ready for the big time, and he brought the R&B starlet in front of a who's who of label execs. Candy Tookes, a friend of Big Mike, introduced the pair to industry veteran Daryl Simmons in Atlanta, Georgia. Simmons then shared Marí's K.I.S.S. and left Productions-produced demo disc with Antonio "L.A." Reid, Chairman of The Island Def Jam Music Group. After hearing Teairra Marí perform live, Reid offered her a contract on the spot. According to Shakir Stewart, VP A&R at Def Jam, in an interview with HitQuarters, "Teairra was a star when she walked into the room. She captured the room when she did her audition. We fell in love with her from day one."
Marí worked with Jay-Z in his first collaboration project since becoming president of Def Jam Records, to create "Make Her Feel Good" along with producer Sean Garrett, the lead single from her debut album on Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam that reached number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the R&B charts. It was heavily played on BET but barely on MTV. The second single "No Daddy" had a video that led to commercial success on MTV. The video spent sixteen days on Total Request Live, reaching number four. Shortly after her third single "Phone Booth" was only sent to radio outlets and received a lukewarm response due to it not having a video and no promotion, she also made cameo appearances in various videos such as Biggie ("Nasty Girl"), 3LW ("Feelin You") Jay-Z ("Show Me What You Got") and played the leading lady in Sammie's video for "You Should Be My Girl". Teairra Marí's first album, Roc-A-Fella Records Presents Teairra Marí, was released on August 2, 2005 and was produced by Brian Michael Cox, Darkchild, Cool And Dre, Blackout Movement, The Trackboyz, Kwame and was co-executive produced by Sean Garrett. The album reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart while modeling and doing ads for the Roca Wear campaign. The album sold 248,000 copies according to Nielsen Soundscan, as of November 11, 2009. Teairra started work on her second album entitled Second Round in 2006. The first single "Play Me" was scheduled to be released in the fall but production was stopped in the middle of the album. She received a phone call from her label before her high school graduation to inform her that she was being dropped.
In 2008, Marí signed a lucrative deal with Violator but decided to split and landed a new development deal with Fo'Reel Ent. under the wing of Cudda Love (the man responsible for Nelly's success). She was working on a new album titled At That Point with producers Rico Love, The Runners, The Underdogs and more. Featured on the album were Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Pleasure P, Soulja Boy, Gucci Mane, Kanye West & Rick Ross. On January 12, 2009 Teairra Marí released a Benny Boom-directed music video for "Hunt 4 U" which features Pleasure P. The second official single released from At That Point is "Cause A Scene" featuring Flo Rida. It was produced by The Runners. The third official single from the album "Sponsor" featuring Gucci Mane & Soulja Boy was released digitally on February 2, 2010 and the video was shot at a mansion in Los Angeles and was released on March 8, 2010. The album At That Point was scheduled to release the summer of 2010 but was eventually shelved due to so many tracks getting leaked online. She decided to reenter the studio to re-record the album with a new title.
Late 2009, Teairra Marí released her first mixtape Don't Make Me Cause a Scene, hosted by DJ Papa Smurf. Besides throwing all her singles on there she released before she released "Sponsor", plus adding "Diamonds" (with Kanye West), and "Automatic" (with Nicki Minaj), and remixing, "Birthday Sex" (Jeremih), "Turn My Swagg On" (Soulja Boy), "Blame It" (Jamie Foxx, T-Pain), "Turning Me Off" (Keri Hilson), and "Best I Ever Had" (Drake). It also features an official remix to "Cause A Scene", featuring rappers Flo' Rida, and Rick Ross.
She released her second mixtape entitled Point of No Return, hosted by DJ Drama on August 7, 2010. The mixtape contained leak songs like "I Know It's You", "Coins", "Find My Way Back", "Holla", and a song intended for the album called "Lights Go Down". She released 4 music videos to some of the songs she covered for the project. Usher's "Daddy's Home", covers to Drake's songs "Over" and his song "Find Your Love" titled "My Lovin'", and "Super High", a Rick Ross cover featuring a rapper named Cardan.
On August 17, 2010 she released Sincerely Yours, a digital EP released via iTunes, featuring the single "Sponsor", and new songs like "Body", and "Stranger". It also features songs made for At That Point that hadn't leaked, "Emergency", "Operator", and "Might Get Lucky". She released music videos to "Body" and "Stranger". She performed "Body" on the Mo'Nique show.
She released her third mixtape entitled The Night Before X-MAS on Christmas Eve 2010. It features a remix to "Devil in a New Dress" by Kanye West with the help of Rick Ross and also Mr. Vegas's ballroom reggae song "Boy Shorts" with him on it, covers to Chris Brown's "Deuces" featuring fellow recording artist Dondria, her rendition of the Wiz Khalifa song "Black and Yellow" titled "U Know What It Is", a cover to Rick Ross's song "Aston Martin Music", Diddy – Dirty Money's "Loving You No More", and other songs such as "Stay", "Round And Round", and "Back It Up" featuring rapper YG. She made videos to "U Know What It Is" and "Stay".
Teairra went into the studio with Rico Love, executive producer of the album, in early March 2011 to work on new music for her album. A snippet of a song is heard in a clip of them recording the first single from the album, That's All Me, which features Rico Love. The song samples one of Diddy's early hits, It's All About the Benjamins. "That's All Me" is a single on DJ T. Neal's album Not Your Average DJ which features Rico Love and it will also feature as a single from Marí's new album. Teairra performed the new song for the first time at R&B Live in Hollywood Teairra revealed on the set of "That's All Me" that she had departed from Warner Bros and had signed a deal with Rico Love's label Division1. Due to the large amount of leftover material from the album, Teairra released a fourth mixtape titled Now or Never on May 30). Rico and Teairra have already started recording a second album . "U Did That" is the first single from Teairra's untitled second album, and was written and produced by Rico Love and co-produced by D-Town. Marí said that the single will be going for radio adds sometime in January. Teairra Marí released a video of her and Rico Love in the studio and talking about the new album. "It's absolutely amazing the chemistry that Rico and I share. I couldn't ask for another partner in crime,". "There are a lot of talented songwriters out there, but for me, my chemistry is with Rico and I haven't had a chemistry like this with anybody else. Everybody has their match and I think Rico is definitely my musical match." "The direction has gotta be sexy," she said. "I'm a woman comfortable in my shoes and I like to be in love, and when I'm in love, I like to have sex, lots and lots of it." The song was later remixed featuring rapper 2 Chainz. The music video has been shot. Marí described the reasoning for the title of the album by saying "It's reminiscent of a new jack swing, like '90s R&B, bedroom music but with a bounce."
In 2009 she appeared in The Magnificent Cooly-T, followed in 2010's Lottery Ticket playing opposite Bow Wow. During 2013, the cable network UP premiered her in "The Dempsey Sisters" with Lynn Whitfield, Denyce Lawton and Clifton Powell.
In 2011–2012, she had a supporting role on season two of the VH1 hit reality show Love & Hip Hop: New York. In 2014, she appeared in a main role on the Love & Hip Hop spinoff Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.Get Away (2003)
Roc-A-Fella Records Presents Teairra Marí (2005)
Sincerely Yours (2010)
Night Shift (2017)