Rock & R&B legend and force of nature, Tina Turner has passed away at the age of 83 following a long illness.
Born Annie Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, Tina first achieved fame with her husband Ike as the lead vocalist in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. While they scored numerous hits on the R&B charts, crossing over to Top 40 in the early 60s proved sporadic. Phil Spector took Tina into the studio (famously locking Ike out) and created the classic “River Deep, Mountain High.” While the song raced up the charts in the UK (peaking at #3), it failed to score in the U.S. (reaching only #88).
It wasn’t until the Rolling Stones used the Ike & Tina Revue as the opening act on their 1969 tour of the United States that she finally received her first real success on American pop charts, scoring a huge hit with a reimagining of Creedence Clearwater’s “Proud Mary” in 1971 and a minor success in 1973 with the original “Nutbush City Limits,” written by Tina herself.
Finally splitting from her overcontrolling and abusive husband Ike, Tina achieved the total pop success she deserved with the 1984 release of her debut Capitol album Private Dancer. The multi-platinum release spawned three Top 10 successes with “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “Better Be Good to Me” and the title track.
Her life and turbulent marriage then became the subject of the 1993 hit movie What’s Love Got to Do with It, based on Tina’s autobiography, with Angela Bassett earning an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Tina.
From then on, her position as a rock icon was firmly established. Tina eventually settled in Switzerland and became a citizen of that country. She has been hailed for overcoming all the stereotypes about race, gender and age with a career that lasted into her old age.
We will miss her.