In April, 2023, Tina Turner said she wanted to be remembered as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “as a woman who showed other women that it is OK to strive for success on their own terms.”
Forty years ago, in April 1983, it was actually very easy to have a conversation with the performing sensation.
Her Ike and Tina Turner days were behind her. The second coming of a fascinating superstar status career was yet to occur.
I was a young part-time carpenter trying to augment an unpredictable career as a private investigator. The father of two babies, it was in my blood to work hard to support a young family.
My work took me to Corpus Christi and I heard on the radio Tina Turner would be performing at a club called the Yellow Rose on Saratoga Blvd.
Years before, watching Turner perform “Proud Mary” on television’s Midnight Special program, was exciting and her energetic aura was Elvis Presley-like!
Arriving early, I studied the stage to determine where she might enter and exit to strategically place myself to possibly meet her. It worked.
During an intermission (I think perhaps unplanned because of a wardrobe malfunction) I was able to shake her hand and ask a few questions. She was so nice, but so full of raw energy, it was her determined energy to be on stage.
Turner died at age 83 today at her home in Switzerland. Like millions of fans around the world, I prayed and thanked God for her…including the few minutes to meet with this beautiful legend.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” her Facebook page said. “With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”
To many, from the 1960s into the 2000s, she is one of our era’s most enduring female artists, with smash hits like “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” “Proud Mary,” “Simply the Best,” and memorable movie appearances.
Rolling Stone once named her “one of the greatest singers of all time.”
Born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939, in Tennessee, Turner began performing at a young age. As a teenager, she immersed herself in the local rhythm and blues scene.
In 1956, she met Ike Turner from the band, Kings of Rhythm, and became part of their act under the stage name, Tina Turner.
Together, they recorded hits in the 1960s including, “A Fool in Love,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” “I Idolize You” and “River Deep — Mountain High” as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.
Tina and Ike Turner married in Mexico in 1962, two years after the birth of their son, Ronnie.
In 1971, their cover version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” became a hit. Their song “Nutbush City Limits” also climbed the charts in 1973.
Two solo albums while she was a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue were released: “Tina Turns the Country On!” in 1974 and “Acid Queen” in 1975.
Turner divorced Ike Turner in 1978, alleging years of physical abuse and infidelity.
In 2018, she talked about her marriage.
“There was violence, because he had this fear that I was going to leave him,” she said. “The other women, because I didn’t love him that way … the other women weren’t so bad, but it was the constant, constant ill treatment.”
Following their divorce, Turner released her third solo album, “Rough,” an album of blues and disco cover songs with a rock influence.
Turner continued to perform with stars including Rod Stewart and Chuck Berry, and performed in hotel ballrooms and clubs across the country. But it wasn’t until September 1984, when she achieved her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”
The song earned her a Grammy for record of the year in 1985.
That same year, she starred alongside Mel Gibson in “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” as the character Aunty Entity.
The film was a worldwide success that earned her the NAACP Image Award for outstanding actress for her role in the movie. As part of the film, she also recorded two songs: “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” and “One of the Living.” “One of the Living” earned her a Grammy Award for best female rock performance.
Turner’s career continued to skyrocket following “Mad Max.” She performed with Mick Jagger at Live Aid, released her sixth solo album “Break Every Rule” the following year, and published her autobiography, “I, Tina.”
She received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and went on a “Break Every Rule World Tour,” which began in March 1987 in Munich.
After her tour in 1989, she released the “Foreign Affair” album, which sold over 6 million copies worldwide and included her hit single “The Best.”
In 1993, “What’s Love Got to Do With It” — a semi-autobiographical film — was released, starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner. Both actors received Oscar nominations for their roles.
In 2018, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the past decade, a biographical musical on Turner’s life was developed and premiered in April 2018 in London. The musical won a Tony Award in 2020.
Turner also released her third book in 2020, “Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life For Good.”
Turner is survived by her children, Raymond Craig — whom she shared with Raymond Hill — and Ronnie Turner — whom she shared with Ike Turner. She is also survived by her sons Ike Turner Jr. and Michael Turner, who she adopted from her ex-husband Ike Turner.
Tina Turner worked hard. She earned every drop of stardom and accolades she achieved.
IN GOD WE TRUST
CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor
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A beautiful, sincere soul who loved to entertain. Tina shared her passion and joy to the fullest. Now there is a deeper peace and rest for Tina.😇 ❤️❤️
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Amazing lady – “simply the best!” And what a great role model to encourage women to leave abusive relationships and flourish!
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