A rags to riches and rags to riches again story. Tina Turner’s story is one that legends are made of. (Not to mention her possessing one kick ass pair of legs!)
Tina Turner, nee Anna Mae Bullock, was born in the small town of Brownsville Tennessee in 1939. Times were hard on the Bullocks and Anna Mae and her sister Alline were abandoned by both their mother and father. This might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The sisters re-located to St. Louis, Missouri in 1956 and the rest is, shall we say, history.
It was while in St. Louis that Tina was destined to meet and marry one Ike Turner
. It seems he was the head of a local band that went under the name of Kings of Rhythm
and Tina was persistent in her efforts to get a try out with the band. After being turned down many times, Ike finally relented and let her sing
back-up vocals. In 1958
, Ike and Tina, still a back up singer, decided to get married.
As fate would have it, in 1960 Ike had penned a tune what went by the name of “A Fool In Love.”. They were all set to record it but the lead singer didn’t show up for the session. Tina was recruited and the song became hit. Shortly after, the band was re-named the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.
During the 60’s and early 70’s the band continued to crank out hits such as Nutbush City Limits and a great cover of John Fogerty’s Proud Mary. Ike seemed to have a problem dealing with success and his violent nature was exposed along with his drug use. Tina was the target of his abuse and finally after years of suffering, the couple split and Tina went out on her own in 1976. The settlement of their divorce was also not kind to her, she was struggling under a mountain of debt.
Her first role as a solo artist was that of the Acid Queen in The Who’s rock opera Tommy but after that her career took a downturn. The industry seemed to be disinterested in her work and other so called divas were gathering more and more of the spotlight. Although still popular in places such as Las Vegas, Tina’s career seemed to have bottomed out.
It wasn’t until 1979 when she met an Australian manager by the name of Roger Davies that Tina began to regain her stride. With his help, she re-discovered some of the flame that sparked her earlier works. Her big break came when she was asked to perform a supporting role in the Rolling Stones United States tour in 1981. Based on reviews from the show, Capitol Records decided to offer her a solo contract in 1982.
I don’t think they (Capitol Records) were too disappointed. Her album, Private Dancer and the lead single wound up selling over 11 million copies.
Since then, she’s had quite a run. In the movie world, she paired up with Mel Gibson as Auntie Entity in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. In the world of music, she was paired up with Mick Jagger at Live Aid for a duet and has been the recipient of many a Grammy Award. She has also went on to record and perform with the likes of Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Elton John, David Bowie, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler. She wrote a best selling autobiography titled I, Tina that was later turned into a pretty good movie called What’s Love Got To Do With It.
Recently, Tina announced that her career of touring was over but we all know how that goes. Should she decide to return to the stage, she could expect to be greeted by sellout shows. She still plans to record and write music that will continue to please her fans.
Discography (Post Ike)
Break Every Rule
Tina Live in Europe
Simply The Best
What’s Love got to Do With It
Twenty Four Seven