R.I.P. Tina Turner


Music icon Tina Turner died today at the age of 83. Turner had been ill with hypertension, intestinal cancer and kidney failure over the past decade. The acknowledged Queen Of Rock and Roll started her career in 1957 when she performed with her ex-husband in Ike Turner’s Kings Of Rhythm. They became one of the best live acts of the 1960s and had hit records with “River Deep Mountain High,” “Proud Mary,” “Nutbush City Limits” and “A Fool In Love.” They disbanded in 1976 after years of a tumultuous marriage and significant career success. Turner went solo and started appearing on television shows to pay her bills. At this time she was considered an act of the past because working in Vegas was seen as a retirement plan for musicians. It was after four albums and a cover of Al Green’s”Let’s Stay Together”she was able to attract a recording contract with Capitol Records. Private Dancer was released in 1984 and it was the start of the greatest comeback story in the music industry.

The album became the catalyst that transformed her from being almost obscure to being seen on a worldwide stage. Private Dancer had multiple singles to chart, sold millions of copies and kicked off a tour with 177 shows across the globe. Tina Turner proved that being a pop star was not reserved for the young and the album took home four Grammys out of the six nominations. Private Dancer became one of the best-selling albums of all time and Turner had become a worldwide star with tremendous crossover appeal. She would release four more albums that all did well on the charts. Her first memoir, I, Tina My Life Story came out two years after Private Dancer. She would receive accolades for the rest of her life after the success of this album. 

In 1991, she and Ike Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was famously portrayed by Angela Bassett in the 1993 film What’s Love Got To Do With It. Years later in the 2000s, she helped create Tina, a musical about her life. An appearance at the 2008 Grammys paired her onstage with Beyoncé and the following year she officially retired as a performer. There were two more memoirs, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award during the last two decades of her life. In 2021, Turner was inducted again into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Tina, the documentary was also released that year and the following there was Barbie doll created in her likeness. The former Anna Mae Bullock was one of few Black women to take rock music to its next level in the ’60s onward. Her competence as a performer and famous legs set a standard for every woman rock singer that came after her. But her comeback story, perseverance, and longevity continue to provide inspiration for anyone struggling to become.