What’s Love Got to Do with It
“I will never give in to old age until I become old. And I’m not old yet.” Tina Turner
Entering the music scene as the vocalist of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue (formerly the Kings of Rhythm), seven-time Grammy winner Tina Turner was widely applauded for the single “What’s Love Got to Do with It” (1984, won 3 Grammy Awards), which later became the title of a 1993 movie based on her autobiography “I, Tina” (1986). The singer, who is famous for her long legs, big hair and raspy voice, also scooped up Grammy Awards for the singles “Better Be Good To Me” (1985), “One of the Living” (1985, soundtrack of 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome) and “Back Where You Started” (1986), as well as for the album Tina Live in Europe (1988).
Turner, who was honored with the 1993 World Music’s Outstanding Contribution to Music Award and the 1999 MOBO Lifetime Achievement Award, also tried acting. After several small stints, the performer landed a female lead role in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985, as Aunty Entity) and took home an Image Award.
Off stage, Turner received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. She also became the second artist of “VH1’s Greatest Women of Rock N Roll,” an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with Ike Turner) in 1991, and the 6th celebrity of VH1’s “100 Sexiest Artists.” In appreciation for her artistic commitment, she received a Kennedy Center Honors in 2005.
Turner, who once had reconstructive nose surgery due to her ex-husband’s frequent beatings, began practicing Buddhism in 1975. She was married to Ike Turner (1962-1978, had a son), who abused and oppressed her. Now, she lives with EMI record executive Erwin Bach in Zurich, Switzerland. Turner is also the mother of a son from her previous relationship with Raymond Hill.
Childhood and Family:
Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee. Her father is Native American and her mother is Afro-American. After being abandoned by their parents, Anna Mae and her elder sister, Alline Bullock, lived with their grandmother until they were reunited with their mother.
Anna Mae met Ike Turner, a noted pioneer of rock and roll, and joined his band, the Kings of Rhythm. At age 18, she launched her professional career as a vocalist under the stage name “Tina Turner.” Within a couple of years, she became the spotlight of the band’s soul sound.
As for her romantic life, in 1958, Tina gave birth to a son from her relationship with Raymond Hill, a saxophone player in the Kings of Rhythm. In 1962, she tied the knot with Ike, with whom she had a son named Ronnie. She also has two stepsons, Ike Jr. and Michael, from Ike’s previous marriage. However, due to Ike’s constant physical abuse and alleged drug use, the couple divorced on March 29, 1978.
One of the Living
Following several stage gigs, Tina Turner and the Kings of Rhythm immediately burned up the R&B and pop charts with the single “A Fool in Love” (1960). Later billed as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, the musical group gained higher prominence through their attractive live performances and catchy singles. Although they failed to impress listeners with “River Deep – Mountain High” (1966), the Turner Revue rose to eminence with the cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s hit, “Proud Mary” (1971). The latter song eventually became the band’s most successful single.
The group began falling apart after Ike’s iron hand and drug use daunted other group members. Meanwhile, Tina Turner, who in 1974 released the solo album Tina Turns the Country On, branched out to acting and appeared as The Acid Queen in the rock opera Tommy (1975, also performed in the album), produced by the band The Who. Three years later, she took the small part of a guest at Heartland in the musical family film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978). After being physically abused by Ike Turner right before the tour show, the vocalist eventually left and walked out of the band.
Due to her legal debt to the tour promoter and her need to make a living, Turner went to the screen and made an episodic performance in such shows as “The Brady Bunch Hour” (1977), a 1978 episode of “Musikladen” (1978) and a 1979 episode of “The Midnight Special.” She also performed in the TV special program Olivia Newton-John: Hollywood Nights (1980) and Rod Stewart: Tonight He’s Yours (1981), as well as made live performances in the US and UK.
Launching the long-awaited solo album Private Dancer (1984), Turner was a hit as a soloist. The album set off three Top Ten singles, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “Better Be Good To Me” and the titular track (released in 1985). Furthermore, the hit single “What’s Love Got to Do with It” swept up three Grammies (one for Record Of The Year, one for Song Of The Year, and one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance), whereas “Better Be Good To Me” donated a Grammy (for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance) to the album.
In 1985, Turner took home an Image award for Best Actress thanks to her female lead role of Aunty Entity, opposite Mel Gibson, in the action film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). For the movie, she also performed “We Don’t Need Another Hero” (peaked at No.2 in the US) and “One of the Living” (won a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance).
Turner then released Break Every Rule (1986), spawning the No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 single “Typical Male” and the Grammy-winning “Back Where You Started.” It was then followed by Foreign Affair (1989), which was famous for the track “The Best.” The latter song became the theme song of boxer Chris Eubank and the late F1 racer Ayrton Senna, as well as the anthem of the Rugby League in Australia.
In 1993, Turner won a Grammy for Tina Live in Europe (1988) and released a titular soundtrack album for the movie What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), which was based on her autobiography. The double platinum recording included the Top 10 track of the Billboard Hot 100 “I Don’t Wanna Fight.” On screen, she made a cameo performance as the mayor in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring Last Action Hero (1993).
The recipient of the 1993 World Music’s Outstanding Contribution to Music award issued the compilation album The Collected Recordings - Sixties to Nineties, in 1994. She next performed the titular theme of the James Bond movie Goldeneye (1995) before tossing out the studio album Wildest Dream (1996, also featured the Goldeneye theme song). Her theme song performance in “He Lives In You,” for Disney’s animated feature The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998), led to the release of her platinum album Twenty Four Seven, in 1999.
Still in 1999, Turner received a MOBO Lifetime Achievement award and performed in VH1’s Divas Live ’99, with several major artists like Cher, Whitney Houston, and Elton John. Gradually withdrawing from the music scene, the singer recorded “Great Spirits” for Disney’s Brother Bear (2003) and released the greatest hits compilation All the Best (2004).
Still enjoying international recognition, Turner topped the Italian single charts with her duet with artist Elisa in “Teach Me Again” (2006), from the soundtrack of All the Invisible Children (2005). Reportedly, the veteran singer is currently working on a new album.
- MOBO (Music of Black Origin): Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999
- World Music: Outstanding Contribution to Music Award, 1993
- Grammy: Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Tina Live in Europe, 1989
- Image: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 1986
- Grammy: Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, “Back Where You Started,” 1987
- Grammy: Best Rock Vocal Performance, “One of the Living,” 1986
- Grammy: Record Of The Year, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” 1985
- Grammy: Song Of The Year, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” 1985
- Grammy: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” 1985
- Grammy: Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, “Better Be Good To Me,” 1985