Tina Turner is one of the greatest voices of all time; there are no two ways about it. The
woman is an institution; there’s no one in the business with a voice, style, or legs quite like
Tina’s. She is known as the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll for a good reason: she has released ten
studio albums, two live albums, six compilation albums, forty-six music videos, and had a
starring role as The Acid Queen in the trippy musical Tommy, released by The Who in 1975.
She has been honored by the American Music Awards, the Billboard Year-End Chart Awards,
the Cyprus Awards, Essence Awards, Grammy Awards, the Grammys Hall of Fame,
Guinness Book of World Records, the Kennedy Centre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, MTV
Video Music Awards, Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, the Tonys, Rolling Stone Critics Awards,
Rolling Stone Readers awards and many, many others. Though Tina’s life hasn’t always been
a simple or an easy one, she has never failed her fans!
Tina is your woman if you want music to get you in the mood, or if you want to dance, or
want to heal a broken heart.
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Tina’s career in music began back in 1957, with her husband Ike Turner’s group The Kings
Of Rhythm. Of course, Ike and Tina’s tumultuous and abusive relationship has been well
documented in the media. What really matters, though, is that Tina came out of that
challenging time in her life even stronger than before.
In 1978, when Tina finally managed to break away from Ike and start divorce proceedings,
she had to seek whatever work she could. Tina found a job as a cleaner to make ends meet,
but she never gave up on her music. In 1982, she appeared in a cover version of Ball of
Confusion, was noticed by Capitol Records, and offered a deal. In 1984, her moment finally
came when Private Dancer was released.
Let’s look at some of the most significant moments in Tina’s career so far.
Stepping Up and Stepping In
When Art Lassiter failed to turn up for his recording session, Tina Turner stepped in to sing
lead on A Fool In Love, which Ike has written for Art. This would be the first song that Tina
Turner would record under her stage name – her real name is Anna Mae Bullock. It hit the R
’n B charts and shot straight to number two. Not bad for her first single!
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River Deep Mountain High
In 1966, Tina recorded River Deep Mountain High, which was produced for her by the
incredible Phil Spector. Phil actually paid Ike Turner the then massive sum of $20,000 to
stay away from all recording sessions so that TIna could sing it her way and not in the
fashion that Ike preferred. It’s one of Tina’s best-known songs and would go on to be
inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. While it initially flopped as a single in the
US, the UK crowd went mad for it and landed the Turners a tour with the Rolling Stones.
The Release of Proud Mary is when Tina Turner finally became a household name. Many
people don’t know this, but Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty actually wrote this
hit. It launched Tina, and by association, Ike, into the stratosphere of stardom. To this day, it
is a song that you just can’t stop yourself dancing to!
Tina’s acting debut was a strange one indeed. When The Who released the movie version of
their trippy musical, Tommy, Tina was handpicked to star as a drug-addicted sex worker,
The Acid Queen. Not only was her performance praised by critics, but it also served as the
inspiration for her album Acid Queen. This film is still regarded as one of the best musicals to
come out of the 70s.
Getting Out from Under Ike
Arguably, Tina’s most outstanding achievement was finally getting away from her
emotionally and physically abusive husband, Ike Turner. Their relationship is perhaps one of
the best-documented bad relationships in music history. Once Tina was finally free to make
music and sing the way that she really wanted to, she blossomed and grew into the
incredible woman that we know and love today. She is an incredible example to women
everywhere; not only that they are whole and worthy of stable, loving relationships, but also
that dreams really can come true if you work hard enough and never give up.
Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves
Tina clearly got a taste of something she liked when she took the role of the Acid Queen in
Tommy because, by 1985, she was back in front of the camera with Mel Gibson for Mad
Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Not one to do things halfway, she also made some of the music
for the picture. Two hit songs, One of the Living and We Don’t Need Another Hero came out
of the project. One of the Living won Tina a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
In 1991, TIna was finally offered a place in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. She was inducted
into the hall of fame along with Ike in 1991, but neither of them attended the celebration as
Ike was in jail, and Tina declined the invitation. Accepting in 1999 was one of the highlights
of her career and an honor she deserved.
Get Out While You’re On Top
Tina surprised the whole world in 2000. While she was on her wildly successful Twenty Four
Seven tour, she announced at a show in Zurich that she would be retiring once she had
completed her tour. While Tina officially retired in 2000. Her love for the stage means that
she makes a few guest appearances from time to time. In 2008, she performed with
Beyonce at the Grammys and went on an anniversary tour before returning to retirement in
Tina Turner is a truly incredible woman. She is a songwriter with an unmatched voice, an
astonishing dancer and actress, and she is an example to women everywhere. Tina is an all-
time great, and no one can deny it!