Happy 74th Birthday, Music Legend Tina Turner

Tina TurnerAccording to Wikipedia.com, Anna Mae Bullock (born November 26, 1939), best known by her stage name Tina Turner, is a world-renowned singer, dancer, actress, and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards.  Born and raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, she is now a Swiss citizen.

Turner began her musical career in the mid-1950s as a featured singer with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, first recording in 1958 under the name “Little Ann”.  Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.   Success followed with a string of notable hits credited to the duo, including “River Deep – Mountain High” (1966), “Proud Mary” (1971) and “Nutbush City Limits” (1973), a song which she wrote. In her autobiography, I, Tina, she revealed several instances of severe domestic abuse against her by Ike Turner prior to their 1976 split and subsequent 1978 divorce.  Raised as a Baptist, she melded her faith with Buddhism in 1974, crediting the religion and its spiritual chant of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for helping her to endure during difficult times.

After her divorce from Ike Turner, she rebuilt her career through performances, though she initially struggled to make an impact on the music charts as a solo artist. In the early 1980s, she launched a comeback with another string of hits, starting in 1983 with the single “Let’s Stay Together” followed by the 1984 release of her fifth solo album Private Dancer which became a Grammy-winning, worldwide success. “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, the most successful single from the album, was later used as the title of a biographical film adapted from her autobiography, I, Tina.  In addition to her musical career, Turner has also experienced success in films, including a role in the 1975 rock musical Tommy and a starring role in the 1985 Mel Gibson blockbuster film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, as well as a cameo role in the 1993 film Last Action Hero.

One of the world’s most popular entertainers, she is sometimes called “the queen of rock.”  She has also been named “one of the greatest singers of all time” by Rolling Stone.  Her combined album and single sales total approximately 100 million copies worldwide.  She is noted for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, and career longevity.  In 2008, Turner returned from semi-retirement to embark on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour. Turner’s tour became one of the highest-selling ticketed shows of 2008–2009.  In 1991, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This year, Turner married her longtime love Erwin Bach and has officially retired from touring.  To learn more about her life and music, click here.  In the meantime, here’s a video of a live performance of Tina’s iconic cover of “Proud Mary” from 2009, when she was 70 years young. Enjoy!

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

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