Turner, Tina 1939–

views updated

Tina Turner 1939

Singer, actress

Yearned to Sing

Toured and Became a Mother

River Deep

Left Ike

Made Comeback

Film Bio and Album a Hit

Retired as Rock Star

Selected discography

Sources

We never do anything nice and easy, intones Tina Turner in the spoken introduction to her famed rendition of the rock classic Proud Mary, recorded with her then-husband Ike. We always do it nice...and rough. Tinas life as a hard-working soul singer was often rough and anything but nice; she endured endless touring andaccording to her own allegations and those of many othersabuse and exploitation from Ike Turner, who discovered her. She sang with his revue for years and racked up hits like Proud Mary and Nutbush City Limits before finally leaving him in the mid-1970s, casting about and starting virtually from scratch before returning to prominence in 1984 with a number one hit.

Since then, Turner has remained in the public eye, becoming, in the words of Vanity Fair s Maureen Orth, the queen mother of rock n roll. A 1992 film version of her life storybased on her 1986 autobiographywas a surprise hit, and even when well into her fifties, she continued drawing large crowds to her concerts. As much as her gritty, rafter-shaking voice, Turners strength in the face of adversity has made her a legend. I was a victim; I dont dwell on it, she told Orth, adding, I stood up for my life.

Tina was an invention of Ikes; the singer was born Anna Mae Bullock in rural Tennessee in 1939. Her father, Floyd Richard Bullock, was a farm overseer and church deacon who fought perpetually with his black Indian wife, Zelma. According to the singers recollection in her autobiography J, Tina, the family grew its own food, buying only flour and sugar from the country store in Nutbush. The town, in and around which she spent her childhood, was tiny and sparsely populated. At various points, young Anna and her sister were raised by their grandmothers, since their parents moved about, changed jobs, quarreled, and finally split up. Zelma ran off to St. Louis when Anna was eleven, and Floyd stayed only a year longer. Anna found herself in the care of other relatives and cousins over the years. She began working for a friendly white family, the Hendersons, in nearby Ripley, and remembered years later fashioning her dreams of a stable home on their lives.

Yearned to Sing

At a Glance

Born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, TN; daughter of Floyd Richard, and Zelma Bullock; married Ike Turner, c. 1958 (divorced 1976); children: Raymond Craig (with saxophonist Raymond Hill), Ronnie (with Ike Turner), and two stepsons (Ike, Jr. and Michael, from Ike Turners previous marriage). Religion: Buddhist,

Career: Sang with like Turners Kings of Rhythm and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, 1956-76; solo performer 1976-. Hit recordings include A Fool in Love, Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits and Whats Love Got to Do With it Solo albums include Private Dancer, 1984; Break Every Rule, 1986; Whats Love Cot to Do With It (soundtrack), 1996; Wildest Dreams, 1996; Twenty-Four-Seven, 2000. Appeared in films Tommy, 1975, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, 1985; Whats Love Got to Do With It, 1993, Participated in relief concert Live Aid, 1984, and charity recording We Are the World, 1985. Author of autobiography I, Tina, 1986.

Selected awards Grammy Awards for best rhythm and blues vocal performance by a group (with Ike Turner) for Proud Mary, 1971; best female pop vocal performance and record of the year for Whats Love Got to Do With It, 1984; and best female rock performance for Better Be Good to Me, 1984, One of the Living, 1985, Back Where You Started, 1986, and Tina Live in Europe, 1988. American Music Awards for best female vocalist and best video performer, 1984; inducted (with Ike Turner) into Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, 1991; Essence award, 1993.

Addresses; Record company Virgin Records, 338 North Foothill Rd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210-3608; or 30 West 21st St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10010-6983. Agent Roger Davies Management, 3575 Cahuenga Blvd. W., Suite 580, Los Angeles, CA 90068.

Anna became a cheerleader in high school. Never satisfied with her own looks, she declaredaccording to a quote in I, Tina from her girlhood friend Carolyn BondIf its the last thing I do, Im gonna have long hair and some big hips and big legs. Years later, as Tina Turner, her hair and legs would be her defining features.

In the 1950s, she moved to St. Louis to be with her mother, and it was there that she met the manand heard the musicthat would dominate her future. Ike Turners Kings of Rhythm were local stars, enthralling club audiences with their energetic R&B in the early 50s, the germinating years of rock and roll; their 1951 single Rocket 88 was a number one R&B hit and has been called the first rock and roll record. Ike, the bandleader and guitarist, had an evil reputation and myriad girlfriends. Anna, who had always loved singing hymns in church, used to sing along from the audience; I wanted to get up there so bad, she remembered in her autobiography.

Annas sister Alline was dating Ikes drummer Gene Washington, who heard Anna sing and eventually arranged to suspend a microphone off the stage so the audience could hear her. He compared her voice to that of blues legend Bessie Smith, noting, A woman doing that type of thing then was kind of a no-no; in other words earthy and sexy in a way that was guaranteed to thrill Ikes audience.

Although it took her a considerable length of time to get Ikes attention (since she was too thin to arouse his otherwise voracious carnal appetite), she did finally get him to hear her. Belting out the B.B. King tune You Know I Love You when Ike played it on the organ during an intermission, she made a distinct impression, as she recollected to co-author Kurt Loder: Boy, Ikethat blew him away. He went Giirrrlll! And he stopped playing the organ and he ran down off that stage and he picked me right up! He said, I didnt know you could really sing. What else do you know? Soon she was performing regularly with the band but concealing her new activity from her mother, who predictably forbade it when she found out. Ike, however, made a special visit to Zelma and turned on his considerable charm, winning her approval and securing Anna a regular gig. Singing gutsy R&B cover tunes with Ike and the band made her feel like a star.

Toured and Became a Mother

Life on the R&B club scenethe so-called chitlin circuit was hardly safe, Ikes assurances to Zelma notwithstanding. Soon Anna became pregnant by Ikes saxophone player and bore her first son, Raymond Craig, in 1958. She took a job in a hospital to supplement her musical income, which was soon raised from $15 to $25 a week. She then moved into Ikes house, though she compared their initial relationship to that of siblings. Later, however, he began moving in on her life and would eventually exercise almost complete control over her.

In the meantime, however, she sang on Ikes single Box Top. It wasnt until the single A Fool in Love, however, that she would see chart success; the record scored on the R&B and pop charts, after being released under the name Ike and Tina Turner. The name Tina appealed to Ike because it rhymed with Sheena, the jungle queen from a 1940s movie serial; it became Anna Maes new moniker. The surname accompanied a quickie marriage in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1962. I was now Mrs. Ike Turner, Tina remarked of the event. Or whatever. The group, over the objections of some of its members, became the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

Tina, as she was now known, was soon pregnant by Ike. Though she felt gratitude and loyalty toward her mentor and husbandwho was technically a bigamist, since he had married another woman previously and didnt obtain a divorce for many yearsshe acknowledged in her memoir that he kept control of me with fear. He worked her relentlessly, forcing her to tour even when she was hospitalized with jaundice, and beat her when he perceived (or suspected) insolence. Meanwhile, he carried on with various IkettesTinas backup singer/dancersand many other women. The Revue, however, was hot, riding the success of A Fool in Love to prestige gigs at New Yorks Apollo Theater, venues in Las Vegas, and a spot on televisions American Bandstand. The group had a string of R&B hits, some of which also made the pop charts.

Ike renewed his record contract and bought a large house in Los Angeles; his and Tinas children were brought there from St. Louis. The Revue kept touring under increasingly stressful conditions, even as Ikes shrewd business sense earned him ever larger sums. The Ikettes left, partly in response to his treatment of Tina. Later, Ike and Tina signed up with Loma Records, a Warner Bros. R&B subsidiary headed by Bob Krasnow. The Revue appeared in a pop festival that was later released as a concert film, The Big TNT Show. They also toured with English rock sensations the Rolling Stones, instantly winning favor with the British band, who worshiped the gritty, soulful sound of black American music and were electrified by Tinas performance.

River Deep

Krasnow received a call from legendary pop producer Phil Spector, who wanted Tina to sing on a record without Ike. The normally autocratic husband agreed to the arrangement thanks to a generous financial offer, although Spector stipulated that Ike stay out of the studio. He then went to work on a lavish production of the song River Deep, Mountain High, a barnstorming soul number that took his patented wall of sound approach to new heights. At his request, Tina refrained from the high-pitched wailing and chitlin circuit theatrics Ike had always demanded, in favor of a controlled delivery that stuck closer to the written melody. Released late in 1966 with a tremendous advance hype, the song flopped in the U.S.perhaps due to botched promotionbut was a hit in the United Kingdom. It has, in retrospect, reached the status of a classic.

England, Tina explained, was the beginning of my escape from Ike Turneran escape that wouldnt be realized physically for more than a decade. But the countrys rock musicians tended to adore Tina, and this adoration somewhat cushioned the impact of Ikes blows, which rained down upon her resilient flesh with ever greater frequency and fury as he descended into blow himself: cocaine. The Revue and Ikes virtual harem began to appear to Tina as, in her words, a sadistic little cult; eventually she tried to run away from him, but he tracked her down. Tina even attempted suicide by taking fifty Valium tablets; though the hospital pumped her stomach, she didnt revive until Ike spoke to her, seemingly brushing aside death in his all-encompassing claim on the woman hed discovered, managed, married, and monopolized.

Ike and Tina scored another big hit with Otis Reddings Ive Been Loving You Too Long in 1969, but Tina was by this time less interested in R&B than in rock. And it would be rock songs, for the most part written by young white artists, that would provide her biggest hits. In 1970 the Revue scored with their versions of the Beatles Come Together and I Want to Take You Higher by funk-rocker Sly Stone; the following year saw their greatest hit, a jumping rock-and-soul rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revivals Proud Mary. It sold over a million copies. The Revue again toured with the Rolling Stones. They failed to score any more huge hits until Nutbush City Limits, penned by Tina, stormed up the U.S. and U.K. charts in 1973.

Left Ike

Tina had been introduced to Buddhism by a friend, and her chanting helped her survive Ikes increasing abuse and cocaine dependency. In 1975 she starred in her first film, portraying the Acid Queen in Ken Russells production of the Whos rock opera Tommy. Tina was befriended by co-star Ann-Margret, a longtime fan, and appeared on the stars London television special. She also released a solo collection of country songs, but it didnt fare well commercially. Ike and Tina had their last hit together in 1975, BabyGet it On, and that year saw the release of Tommy, which garnered Tina rave reviews. Eventually, she vowed to leave Ike buoyed by predictions of psychics that she would become a big star without himand fought back against a beating while the band was on tour in Texas in 1976. She then fled with only thirty-six cents and a gas station credit card to her name. Ike pursued her but seemed to realize she was determined to stay away from him. He continued to harass her, however, from a distance, and his threats led her to surrender almost every claim for monetary recompense during their divorce proceedings. My lifes more important, she declared, leaving Ike with the lions share of their community holdings and shouldering the debt for the shows canceled after she left him.

Tina worked cleaning friends houses and even living on food stamps while she began putting her life together. Nonetheless, she savored her freedom. Caring for their children for a while, she eventually sent them off: I had been their mother, I had been his wife. Now it was time to be me. Her 1978 album Rough sank, but she supported herself with cabaret-like shows in Las Vegas and at similar venues. Even so, she remained massively in debt for the canceled performances from the last Ike and Tina tour. Through Ann-Margret she hooked up with Australian manager Roger Davies, who had relocated to the States. He, in turn, revamped her showbiz act, replacing the tuxedoed dancers and elaborate costumes for a stripped-down rock band. She toured Europe in 1980-81, and Davies finally helped her stage the beginning of her U.S. comeback with a well-publicized performance at New Yorks The Ritz, where Tina Turner brought down the house. A number of celebrities turned up, including members of the Rolling Stones.

Made Comeback

Shortly thereafter, Tina joined Rod Stewart in a rendition of his Hot Legs on televisions Saturday Night Live; the Stones then invited her to tour with them. Her new-wave version of the Temptations classic Ball of Confusion, recorded in England with the synthesizer duo Ware and Marsh, appeared on a collection with other star readings and charted well there but wasnt released in America.

Davies, meanwhile, managed to get Tina a deal with Capitol Records, but only for the European market. Her next single with Ware and Marsh, a remake of soul legend Al Greens Lets Stay Together, was a smash hit in the U.K., and only when imports and dance clubs established its potential in the U.S. did Capitol agree to release it stateside. The company then insisted that Turner cancel her scheduled tour and record an album. Davies insisted that it be recorded in England in tandem with the tour. While she performed, he gathered material for her, and the result, 1984s Private Dancer, would return her to the top in her own country. With hits like Whats Love Got to Do With It, Better Be Good to Me and the title song by Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler, the album shot to number one. Soon she graced the cover of Roiling Stone magazine, took home two American Music Awards, and won two Grammys. In Loders words, After a quarter of a century, Tina Turner was an overnight sensation.

After appearing at the gigantic 1984 Live Aid benefit concert, Turner acted in George Millers 1985 film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, scoring another hit with the song We Dont Need Another Hero from the films soundtrack. In 1986 she published J, Tina, which wasnt a blockbuster, but told her fans the intimate details of her personal struggles. She sang on the all-star charity recording We Are the World, won a Grammy for her performance in the Princes Trust All-Star Rock Concert and scored a number of hit singles and albums in the ensuing years. In 1991 she and Ike were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Film Bio and Album a Hit

The year 1993 saw the release of the Touchstone Pictures film version of Tinas life, Whats Love Got to Do With It, starring Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike. It was a smash; Tina re-recorded several hits for the soundtrack and even appeared at the films end as herself. In the wake of the films success, she went on tour again. Variety remarked in a review of a 1993 concert that watching Tina Turner perform is like watching a tornado traverse the landscape as it builds in power and intensity. The Los Angeles Times called her show more effective as a sweeping piece of theater than as a concert, but admired her energy and heart. She had reached the pinnacle of her profession, and found love with a younger man, German record executive Erwin Bach. She publicly refused Ikes request to open for her on tour, declaring, in a Time interview, He must live his own life now. And I must live mine.

When Turner recorded GoldenEye in 1995, she joined the ranks of women, including Gladys Knight and Shirley Bassey, who have recorded theme songs for the James Bond film series. The song, which shares the same title as the film, was written by Bono and the Edge, members of the rock group U2. Turner, who admitted to Jet that she is a Bond fan and has always wanted to be a Bond girl, said, It (the song) sounds like the right track for the movie.

Retired as Rock Star

Turner launched her Wildest Dreams album and its accompanying tour in Europe in April of 1996. Both the album and tour were greeted with great success and the album, in turn, was repackaged and released in the United States. Virgin Records U.S. president and CEO Phil Quartararo told Billboard that the album was probably more suited to America than anything Tinas made in 10 years. The album featured Bono and the Edges GoldenEye, as well as a song written by Sheryl Crow. Sting provided guest vocals on the track, On Silent Wings. The album also featured a cover of John Waites Missing You. A U.S. tour was slated to begin in May of 1997.

In conjunction with the Wildest Dreams American tour, Turner signed on as Hanes Hosierys spokesperson. Roger Davies, Turners manager commented in Billboard that Turner is a natural choice as Haness spokesperson because Shes famous for her legs. Hanes Hosiery president Cathy Volker told Brandweek that Turner was a perfect choice because she transcends age and color, and touches women in a way that makes them believe they can do just about anything. The Hanes ad campaign featured Turners hits, Simply the Best and Missing You. Hanes sponsored the Wildest Dreams tour and ran a contest in which fans were asked to send in letters describing their wildest dreams. Winners were then invited along on the tour. Its really quite different and enjoyable, Turner said of the campaign in Billboard. And it adds a little bit more [to] going back to America. And its a new way of introducing myself to an audience.

In January of 2000, Turner sang at the Super Bowl. The album Twenty-Four-Seven was released in February and debuted at number 21 on the Billboard Top 100 Albums list. In March, Turner guest-starred on FOXs hit series, Ally McBeal. The sexagenarian was still, as Ray Cooper, U.S. co-president of Virgin Records, told PR Newswire, the hardest working person in show business. So it understandably came as a shock to many when it was announced the Turners 2000 tour would be her last. David Menconi wrote in the News & Observer that Turner was someone you just cant imagine retiring. To Menconi, Turner seems to delight in performing far to much to ever retire. Turner giving up live performance Menconi wrote, is like a bird swearing off flying. Regardless, Turner remained committed to her decision. She told the South China Morning Post, There comes a point where it is just undignified to be a rock n roll star.

Selected discography

With Ike Turner

A Fool in Love, Sue, 1960.

Live! The Ike and Tina Turner Show, Warner Bros., 1965.

River Deep, Mountain High, Philles, 1966.

Ive Been Loving You Too Long, Blue Thumb, 1969.

Outta Season, Blue Thumb, 1969.

The Hunter, Blue Thumb, 1969. In Person, Minit, 1969.

Come Together, Minit, 1970.

I Want to Take You Higher, Liberty, 1970.

Workin Together (includes Proud Mary), Liberty,1971.

Live at Carnegie Hall What You See Is What You Get, United Artists, 1971.

Nuff Said, United Artists, 1971.

Feel Good, United Artists, 1972.

Nutbush City Limits, United Artists, 1973.

BabyGet It On, United Artists, 1975.

Solo recordings

On United Artists

Let Me Touch Your Mind, 1972.

Tina Turns the Country On, 1974.

The Acid Queen, 1975.

Love Explosion, 1977.

Rough, 1978.

On Capitol

Private Dancer (includes Whats Love Got to Do With It, Better Be Good to Me, and Private Dancer), 1984.

Break Every Rule, 1986.

Tina Live in Europe, 1988.

Foreign Affair, 1989.

On Virgin

Whats Love Got to Do With It (soundtrack), 1993.

Wildest Dreams, 1996.

Twenty-Four-Seven, 2000.

With other artists

Tommy (soundtrack; appears on Acid Queen), RSO, 1975.

Live Aid, 1984.

Bryan Adams, Reckless (appears on Its Only Love), A&M, 1985.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (soundtrack; performs We Dont Need Another Hero), 1985.

GoldenEye (soundtrack; performs theme GoldenEye), 1995.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 1, Gale, 1989.

Rees, Dafydd, and Luke Crampton, Rock Movers & Shakers, Billboard Books, 1991.

Stambler, Irwin, Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul, St. Martins Press, 1989.

Turner, Tina, with Kurt Loder, I, Tina, Morrow, 1986.

Periodicals

Billboard, August 10, 1996, p. 11.

Brandweek, August 18, 1997, p. 15.

Essence, May 1993, p. 108; July 1993, pp. 51-52, 101-04.

Jet, November 20, 1995, p. 60.

Los Angeles Times, September 17, 1993, pp. F1, 15.

Minority Markets Alert, February 1, 1997.

News & Observer, October 10, 2000.

Newsweek, June 21, 1993, p. 66; July 5, 1993.

PR Newswire, February 15, 2000, p. 702.

South China Morning Post, December 2, 1999.

Time, June 21, 1993, pp. 64-65.

Upscale, August 1993, pp. 89-92.

Vanity Fair, May 1993, pp. 114-21, 166-77.

Variety, September 22, 1993.

Simon Glickman and Jennifer M. York

Turner, Tina 1939–

views updated

Tina Turner 1939

Singer, actress

Yearned to Sing

Touring and Mothering

River Deep

Leaving Ike

Tinas Comeback

Film Bio and Album a Hit

Selected discography

Sources

We never do anything nice and easy, intones Tina Turner in the spoken introduction to her famed rendition of the rock classic Proud Mary, recorded with her then-husband Ike. We always do it niceand rough. Tinas life as a hard-working soul singer was often rough and anything but nice; she endured endless touring andaccording to her own allegations and those of many othersabuse and exploitation from Ike Turner, who discovered her. She sang with his revue for years and racked up hits like Proud Mary and Nutbush City Limits before finally leaving him in the mid-1970s, casting about and starting virtually from scratch before returning to prominence in 1984 with a number one hit.

Since then, Turner has remained in the public eye, becoming, in the words of Vanity Fairs Maureen Orth, the queen mother of rock n roll. A1992 film version of her life storybased on her 1986 autobiographywas a surprise hit, and even when well into her fifties, she continued drawing large crowds to her concerts. As much as her gritty, rafter-shaking voice, Turners strength in the face of adversity has made her a legend. I was a victim; I dont dwell on it, she told Orth, adding, I stood up for my life.

Tina was an invention of Ikes; the singer was born Anna Mae Bullock in rural Tennessee in 1939. Her father, Floyd Richard Bullock, was a farm overseer and church deacon who fought perpetually with his black Indian wife, Zelma. According to the singers recollection in her autobiography I, Tina, the family grew its own food, buying only flour and sugar from the country store in Nutbush. The town, in and around which she spent her childhood, was tiny and sparsely populated. At various points, young Anna and her sister were raised by their grandmothers, since their parents moved about, changed jobs, quarrelled, and finally split up. Zelma ran off to St. Louis when Anna was eleven, and Floyd stayed only a year longer. Anna found herself in the care of other relatives and cousins over the years. She began working for a friendly white family, the Hendersons, in nearby Ripley, and remembered years later fashioning her dreams of a stable home on their lives.

Yearned to Sing

Anna became a cheerleader in high school. Never satisfied with her own looks, she declaredaccording to a quote in I Tina from her girlhood friend Carolyn BondIf its the

At a Glance

Born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, TN; daughter of Floyd Richard (a farm overseer and church deacon), and Zelma Bullock; married Ike Turner, c. 1958 (divorced 1976); children: Raymond Craig (with saxophonist Raymond Hill), Ronnie (with Ike Turner), and two stepsons (Ike, Jr. and Michael, from Ike Turners previous marriage). Religion: Buddhist (since early 1980s).

Singer and film actress. Sang with Ike Turners Kings of Rhythm and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, 1956-76; solo performer 1976. Hit recordings include A Fool in Love, Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits and Whats Love Got to Do With It. Appeared in films Tommy, 1975, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, 1985, and Whats Love Got to Do With It, 1993. Participated in relief concert Live Aid, 1984, and charity recording We Are the World, 1985. Author of autobiography I Tina.

Selected awards: Grammy Awards for best rhythm and blues vocal performance by a group (with Ike Turner) for Proud Mary, 1971; best female pop vocal performance and record of the year for Whats Love Got to Do With It, 1984; and best female rock performance for Better Be Good to Me, 1984, One of the Living, 1985, Back Where You Started, 1986, and Tina Live in Europe, 1988. American Music Awards for best female vocalist and best video performer, 1984; inducted (with Ike Turner) into Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, 1991; Essence award, 1993.

Addresses: Record company Virgin Records, 338 North Foothill Rd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210-3608; or 30 West 21 st St., 11 th Floor, New York, NY 10010-6983. Agent -Roger Davies Management, 3575 Cahuenga Blvd. W., Suite 580, Los Angeles, CA 90068.

last thing I do, Im gonna have long hair and some big hips and big legs. Years later, as Tina Turner, her hair and legs would be her defining features.

In the 1950s, she moved to St. Louis to be with her mother, and it was there that she met the manand heard the musicthat would dominate her future. Ike Turners Kings of Rhythm were local stars, enthralling club audiences with their energetic R&B in the early 50s, the germinating years of rock and roll; their 1951 single Rocket 88 was a number one R&B hit and has been called the first rock and roll record. Ike, the bandleader and guitarist, had an evil reputation and myriad girlfriends. Anna, who had always loved singing hymns in church, used to sing along from the audience; I wanted to get up there so bad, she remembered in her autobiography.

Annas sister Alline was dating Ikes drummer Gene Washington, who heard Anna sing and eventually arranged to suspend a microphone off the stage so the audience could hear her. He compared her voice to that of blues legend Bessie Smith, noting, A woman doing that type of thing then was kind of a no-no; in other words earthy and sexy in a way that was guaranteed to thrill Ikes audience.

Although it took her a considerable length of time to get Ikes attention (since she was too thin to arouse his otherwise voracious carnal appetite), she did finally get him to hear her. Belting out the B.B. King tune You Know I Love You when Ike played it on the organ during an intermission, she made a distinct impression, as she recollected to co-author Kurt Loder: Boy, Ikethat blew him away. He went Giirrrlll! And he stopped playing the organ and he ran down off that stage and he picked me right up! He said, I didnt know you could really sing. What else do you know? Soon she was performing regularly with the band but concealing her new activity from her mother, who predictably forbade it when she found out. Ike, however, made a special visit to Zelma and turned on his considerable charm, winning her approval and securing Anna a regular gig. Singing gutsy R&B cover tunes with Ike and the band made her feel like a star.

Touring and Mothering

Life on the R&B club scenethe so-called chitlin circuitwas hardly safe, Ikes assurances to Zelma notwithstanding. Soon Anna became pregnant by Ikes saxophone player and bore her first son, Raymond Craig, in 1958. She took a job in a hospital to supplement her musical income, which was soon raised from $15 to $25 a week. She then moved into Ikes house, though she compared their initial relationship to that of siblings. Later, however, he began moving in on her life and would eventually exercise almost complete control over her.

In the meantime, however, she sang on Ikes single Box Top. It wasnt until the single A Fool in Love, however, that she would see chart success; the record scored on the R&B and pop charts, after being released under the name Ike and Tina Turner. The name Tina appealed to Ike because it rhymed with Sheena, the jungle queen from a 1940s movie serial; it became Anna Maes new moniker. The surname accompanied a quickie marriage in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1962. I was now Mrs. Ike Turner, Tina remarked of the event. Or whatever. The group, over the objections of some of its members, became the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

Tina, as she was now known, was soon pregnant by Ike. Though she felt gratitude and loyalty toward her mentor and husbandwho was technically a bigamist, since he had married another woman previously and didnt obtain a divorce for many yearsshe acknowledged in her memoir that he kept control of me with fear. He worked her relentlessly, forcing her to tour even when she was hospitalized with jaundice, and beat her when he perceived (or suspected) insolence. Meanwhile, he carried on with various IkettesTinas backup singer/dancersand many other women. The Revue, however, was hot, riding the success of A Fool in Love to prestige gigs at New Yorks Apollo Theater, venues in Las Vegas, and a spot on televisions American Bandstand. The group had a string of R&B hits, some of which also made the pop charts.

Ike renewed his record contract and bought a large house in Los Angeles; his and Tinas children were brought there from St. Louis. The Revue kept touring under increasingly stressful conditions, even as Ikes shrewd business sense earned him ever larger sums. The Ikettes left, partly in response to his treatment of Tina. Later, Ike and Tina signed up with Loma Records, a Warner Bros. R&B subsidiary headed by Bob Krasnow. The Revue appeared in a pop festival that was later released as a concert film, The Big TNT Show. They also toured with English rock sensations the Rolling Stones, instantly winning favor with the British band, who worshipped the gritty, soulful sound of black American music and were electrified by Tinas performance.

River Deep

Krasnow received a call from legendary pop producer Phil Spector, who wanted Tina to sing on a recordwithout Ike. The normally autocratic husband agreed to the arrangement thanks to a generous financial offer, although Spector stipulated that Ike stay out of the studio. He then went to work on a lavish production of the song River Deep, Mountain High, a barnstorming soul number that took his patented wall of sound approach to new heights. At his request, Tina refrained from the high-pitched wailing and chitlin circuit theatrics Ike had always demanded, in favor of a controlled delivery that stuck closer to the written melody. Released late in 1966 with a tremendous advance hype, the song flopped in the U.S.perhaps due to botched promotionbut was a hit in the United Kingdom. It has, in retrospect, reached the status of a classic.

England, Tina explained, was the beginning of my escape from Ike Turneran escape that wouldnt be realized physically for more than a decade. But the countrys rock musicians tended to adore Tina, and this adoration somewhat cushioned the impact of Ikes blows, which rained down upon her resilient flesh with ever greater frequency and fury as he descended into blow himself: cocaine. The Revue and Ikes virtual harem began to appear to Tina as, in her words, a sadistic little cult; eventually she tried to run away from him, but he tracked her down. Tina even attempted suicide by taking fifty Valium tablets; though the hospital pumped her stomach, she didnt revive until Ike spoke to her, seemingly brushing aside death in his allencompassing claim on the woman hed discovered, managed, married, and monopolized.

Ike and Tina scored another big hit with Otis Reddings Ive Been Loving You Too Long in 1969, but Tina was by this time less interested in R&B than in rock. And it would be rock songs, for the most part written by young white artists, that would provide her biggest hits. In 1970 the Revue scored with their versions of the Beatles Come Together and I Want to Take You Higher by funk-rocker Sly Stone; the following year saw their greatest hit, a jumping rock-and-soul rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revivals Proud Mary. It sold over a million copies. The Revue again toured with the Rolling Stones. They failed to score any more huge hits until Nutbush City Limits, penned by Tina, stormed up the U.S. and U.K. charts in 1973.

Leaving Ike

Tina had been introduced to Buddhism by a friend, and her chanting helped her survive Ikes increasing abuse and cocaine dependency. In 1975 she starred in her first film, portraying the Acid Queen in Ken Russells production of the Whos rock opera Tommy. Tina was befriended by co-star Ann-Margret, a longtime fan, and appeared on the stars London television special. She also released a solo collection of country songs, but it didnt fare well commercially. Ike and Tina had their last hit together in 1975, BabyGet It On, and that year saw the release of Tommy, which garnered Tina rave reviews. Eventually, she vowed to leave Ikebuoyed by predictions of psychics that she would become a big star without himand fought back against a beating while the band was on tour in Texas in 1976. She then fled with only thirty-six cents and a gas station credit card to her name. Ike pursued her but seemed to realize she was determined to stay away from him. He continued to harass her, however, from a distance, and his threats led her to surrender almost every claim for monetary recompense during their divorce proceedings. My lifes more important, she declared, leaving Ike with the lions share of their community holdings and shouldering the debt for the shows cancelled after she left him.

Tina worked cleaning friends houses and even living on food stamps while she began putting her life together. Nonetheless, she savored her freedom. Caring for their children for a while, she eventually sent them off: I had been their mother, I had been his wife. Now it was time to be me. Her 1978 album Rough sank, but she supported herself with cabaret-like shows in Las Vegas and at similar venues. Even so, she remained massively in debt for the cancelled performances from the last Ike and Tina tour. Through Ann-Margret she hooked up with Australian manager Roger Davies, who had relocated to the States. He, in turn, revamped her showbiz act, replacing the tuxedoed dancers and elaborate costumes for a stripped-down rock band. She toured Europe in 1980-81, and Davies finally helped her stage the beginning of her U.S. comeback with a well-publicized performance at New Yorks The Ritz, where Tina Turner brought down the house. A number of celebrities turned up, including members of the Rolling Stones.

Tinas Comeback

Shortly thereafter, Tina joined Rod Stewart in a rendition of his Hot Legs on televisions Saturday Night Live; the Stones then invited her to tour with them. Her new-wave version of the Temptations classic Ball of Confusion, recorded in England with the synthesizer duo Ware and Marsh, appeared on a collection with other star readings and charted well there but wasnt released in America.

Davies, meanwhile, managed to get Tina a deal with Capitol Records, but only for the European market. Her next single with Ware and Marsh, a remake of soul legend Al Greens Lets Stay Together, was a smash hit in the U.K., and only when imports and dance clubs established its potential in the U.S. did Capitol agree to release it stateside. The company then insisted that Turner cancel her scheduled tour and record an album. Davies insisted that it be recorded in England in tandem with the tour. While she performed, he gathered material for her, and the result, 1984s Private Dancer, would return her to the top in her own country. With hits like Whats Love Got to Do With It, Better Be Good to Me and the title song by Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler, the album shot to number one. Soon she graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, took home two American Music Awards, and won two Grammys. In Loders words, After a quarter of a century, Tina Turner was an overnight sensation.

After appearing at the gigantic 1984 Live Aid benefit concert, Turner acted in George Millers 1985 film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, scoring another hit with the song We Dont Need Another Hero from the films soundtrack. In 1986 she published, I Tina, which wasnt a blockbuster, but told her fans the intimate details of her personal struggles. She sang on the all-star charity recording We Are the World, won a Grammy for her performance in the Princes Trust All-Star Rock Concert and scored a number of hit singles and albums in the ensuing years. In 1991 she and Ike were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Film Bio and Album a Hit

The year 1993 saw the release of the Touchstone Pictures film version of Tinas life, Whats Love Got to Do With It, starring Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishbume as Ike. It was a smash; Tina re-recorded several hits for the soundtrack and even appeared at the films end as herself. In the wake of the films success, she went on tour again. Variety remarked in a review of a 1993 concert that watching Tina Turner perform is like watching a tornado traverse the landscape as it builds in power and intensity. The Los Angeles Times called her show more effective as a sweeping piece of theater than as a concert, but admired her energy and heart. She had reached the pinnacle of her profession, and found love with a younger man, German record executive Erwin Bach. She publicly refused Ikes request to open for her on tour, declaring, in a Time interview, He must live his own life now. And I must live mine. And for a Newsweek feature about older rockers who continue to Light Our Fire, it was Tina who graced the cover.

Selected discography

With Ike Turner

A Fool in Love, Sue, 1960.

Live! The Ike and Tina Turner Show, Warner Bros., 1965.

River Deep, Mountain High, Philles, 1966.

Ive Been Loving You Too Long, Blue Thumb, 1969.

Outta Season, Blue Thumb, 1969.

The Hunter, Blue Thumb, 1969.

In Person, Minit, 1969.

Come Together, Minit, 1970.

I Want to Take You Higher, Liberty, 1970.

Workin Together (includes Proud Mary), Liberty, 1971.

Live at Carnegie Hall/What You See Is What You Get,

United Artists, 1971.

Nuff Said, United Artists, 1971.

Feel Good, United Artists, 1972.

Nutbush City Limits, United Artists, 1973.

BabyGet It On, United Artists, 1975.

Solo recordings

On United Artists

Let Me Touch Your Mind, 1972.

Tina Turns the Country On, 1974.

The Acid Queen, 1975.

Love Explosion, 1977.

Rough, 1978.

On Capitol

Private Dancer (includes Whats Love Got to Do With It, Better Be Good to Me, and Private Dancer), 1984.

Break Every Rule, 1986.

Tina Live in Europe, 1988.

Foreign Affair, 1989.

On Virgin

Whats Love Got to Do With It (soundtrack), 1993.

With other artists

Tommy (soundtrack; appears on Acid Queen), RSO, 1975.

Live Aid, 1984.

Bryan Adams, Reckless (appears on Its Only Love), A&M, 1985.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (soundtrack; appears on We Dont Need Another Hero), 1985.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 1, Gale, 1989.

Rees, Dafydd, and Luke Crampton, Rock Movers & Shakers, Billboard Books, 1991.

Stambler, Irwin, Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul, St. Martins Press, 1989.

Turner, Tina, with Kurt Loder, I, Tina, Morrow, 1986.

Periodicals

Essence, May 1993, p. 108; July 1993, pp. 51-52, 101-04.

Los Angeles Times, September 17, 1993, pp. F1, 15.

Newsweek, June 21, 1993, p. 66; July 5, 1993.

Time, June 21, 1993, pp. 64-65.

Upscale, August 1993, pp. 89-92.

Vanity Fair, May 1993, pp. 114-21, 166-77.

Variety, September 22, 1993.

Simon Glickman

Turner, Tina

views updated

Tina Turner

Singer

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Tell me, who sounds like Tina Turner? asks the I lady herself. Nobody. Its a strange little gutsy kind of voice, isnt it? I never liked how it sounded but I always felt good when I was singing. And I always kept doing it in spite of not liking how I looked or how I sounded; I knew it was all I had. When its all you have, whatever it is, you keep on opening doors with it. Tina Turner may be the only person on earth who does not like her distinct sound, a sound that engenders respect, admiration, and soul from an audience.

Tina Turners life, details of which have been published in her autobiography,/, Tina, began as Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee. She spent her adolescence in St. Louis, where, in 1956, she first met Ike Turner, then performing with his band, The Kings of Rhythm, at the Club Manhattan. She sang with them as Little Anna and, when a male vocalist missed a recording session, filled in on Turners Fool in Love (Sue Records, 1960). The song was a hit and brought them from race record status to the Billboard rhythm and blues charts. Ike Turner redesigned the band and its live performances to feature Bullock, now named Tina Turner. The Ike and Tina Turner Revue, with heavy rhythm in music and dance routines, toured the country while a series of singles, such as I Idolize You and Bold Soul Sister for Sue and Blue Thumb, climbed the R&B charts.

The Ike and Tina Turner Revue achieved crossover success with the still-controversial single River Deep, Mountain High. The pop songby Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Phil Spector, as produced by Spectorwas a number one hit in England and gained the Revue an engagement as the opening act for the Rolling Stones on their European and American tours. River Deep, Mountain High, which Rolling Stone recently listed as number 30 in its top 100 singles of all time, was a flop in the United States, but the Rolling Stone tour brought the Turners to great prominence. At its peak in popularity, the Revue featured Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm in slicked-back hair, suits, and leather accessories while Tina Turner and her back-up singers, the Ikettes, wore microskirts, high boots, and wild wigs. Rolling Stone described it in 1984 as everyones favorite gutbucket soul revue.

The Revue defined itself in the song Proud Mary, originally a pleasant paean to life on a riverboat recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival. In her intro, Tina Turner warned that We never do nothin nice and easy were gonna do it nice and rough. In his Onstage column in the Village Voice in 1971, critic John Lahr described her act as creating the illusion of mythic gestures: Tinas presence is her power. She knows she has energy and every performance is a

For the Record

Born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939 (some sources say 1938, others say 1941) in Nutbush (some sources say Brownsville), Tenn.; father was a share-cropper; mothers name, Zellma; married Ike Turner (a musician), 1960 (some sources say 1956); divorced; children: one son by previous relationship; one son by Turner; two stepsons. Religion: Buddhist (since early 1980s).

Singer, 1956. Performer with Ike Turners Kings of Rhythm (name later changed to The Ike and Tina Turner Revue), 1956-76; solo performer, 1976. Member of USA for Africa relief effort, 1985.

Awards: Winner of seven Grammy Awards, including 1971, (with Ike Turner) for best rhythm and blues vocal performance by a group, for Proud Mary; 1984, for record of the year and for best female pop vocal performance, for Whats Love Got to Do with It?, and for best female rock performance, for Better Be Good To Me; 1985, for best female rock performance, for One of the Living; 1986, for best female rock performance, for Back Where You Started; and 1988, for best female rock performance, for album Tina Live in Europe.

Addresses: ManagerRoger Davies, 3575 Cahuenga Ave. West, Los Angeles, CA 90068. Agent Triad, 10100 Santa Monica Blvd., 16th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

conquest which not only renews us but makes her stronger. Whoever created her act knows how to make a myth and keep it gorgeously alive. The Revues production values and insistent danceable beat brought the Turners to popularity in the United States, Europe, and Asia through their own tours, continuing Rolling Stones engagements, and the film Gimme Shelter which documented the groups 1969 tour. Proud Mary was awarded the Grammy for best R&B vocal in 1971, and they released three major albums for United ArtistsBlues Roots (1972), Nutbush City Limits (1973), and The Gospel According to Ike and Tina (1974).

Ike and Tina Turners marriage and joint career broke up in 1976, and Tina Turner was forced to create a completely new act for herself. In her autobiography, she discussed the abuse that led her to the split which occured during a national tour. She had released two solo albums, Let Me Touch Your Mind (1972) and Tina Turns the Country On (1974) before the final breakup and developed a single act. United Artists released an unsuccessful solo album, Rough, in 1978. Turner then performed in Europe and with the Rolling Stones 1981 United States tour. Her single Lets Stay Together with members of the English synth-pop band Heaven 17, reached the top five in Great Britain and led Capitol Records to produce a new album.

In 1984 she was still appearing in small clubs and at McDonalds conventions when she returned to the top in England and the United States. Turners comeback was assured with the overwhelming popularity of her album Private Dancer (1984), which went double platinum within the year. It spawned hit singles for the title song, Lets Stay Together, Better Be Good, and Whats Love Got to Do with It, which reached number one. In 1984 she won solo Grammys for best female pop vocal performance and for best female rock vocal performance, as well as taking record of the year honors.

Her vocal prowess was equalled by her performance power, which had even more impact on MTV and other cable music video shows as it had in live appearances. An HBO television special, also called Private Dancer was aired in 1985. She performed in Azzedine Alaia dresses that were couture versions of her Ikette miniskirts. The Turner legs became as well known and admired as the Turner voice. Her next recordings, Been There and Back and Break Every Rule, added to her fame. Turner has also appeared in film roles that augment her stage personality, among them, the Acid Queen in the rock opera Tommy (1975) and Aunty Entity, the leader of a post-millenium civilization in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).

Turners popularity in Europe and the United States has, if anything, grown, thanks to the universality of video and recordings. People magazine described the frenzy of a Munich audience during the Private Dancer tour: Under 30-foot high scarlet red letters that spelled her name, Tina Turner came galloping across the stage, white-hot, humming with energy, those incredible legs pumping, pumping, pumping. From that first moment, they belonged to her, 12, 000 West Germans screaming with pure and mindless joy.

Turner has claimed that her 1987-1988 world tour will be her last, at least in the foreseable future. She has discussed both a recording of ballads with Interview certain types of ballads not real tearful, and not just with a piano, but with synthesizers and the electric soundand a return to a raunchy rock album with the New York Times. She plans to concentrate on filmmaking and stop live performance for the first time in more than thirty years.

Selected discography

Major single releases; with Ike Turner

A Fool in Love, Sue, August, 1960.

Its Gonna Work Out Fine, Sue, July, 1961.

You Shoulda Treated Me Right, Sue, June, 1962.

River Deep, Mountain High, Philles, May, 1966.

Ive Been Loving You Too Long, Blue Thumb, April, 1969.

The Hunter, Blue Thumb, July, 1969.

Proud Mary, Liberty, 1971.

Major single releases; solo

Lets Stay Together, Capitol, 1984.

Private Dancer, Capitol, 1984.

Whats Love Got to Do with It?, Capitol, 1984.

Better Be Good, Capitol, 1984.

One of the Living, Capitol, 1985.

LPs; with Ike Turner; compilations

Get Back, Liberty, 1985.

Golden Empire, Striped Horse, 1986.

Its Gonna Work Out Fine, EMI America, reissued, 1986.

Workin Together, EMI America, reissued, 1986.

The Ike and Tina Sessions, Kent, 1987.

The Best of Ike and Tina Turner, EMI America, 1987.

Cookin, JEM Classic Series.

The Dynamic Duo, Crown.

The Soul of Ike and Tina, Kent.

LPs; solo

Let Me Touch Your Mind, United Artist, 1972.

Tina Turns the Country On, United Artists, 1974.

Acid Queen, United Artists, 1975.

Love Explosion, United Artists, 1977.

Rough, United Artists, 1978.

Private Dancer, Capitol, 1984.

Break Every Rule, Capitol, 1986.

Tina Live In Europe, Capitol, 1988.

Sources

Books

Turner, Tina, and Kurt Loder,/, Tina, Morrow, 1985.

Periodicals

Ebony, November, 1986.

Interview, November, 1984.

New York Post, September 20, 1985; August 12, 1987.

New York Times, July 24, 1985; August 12, 1987.

People, July 15, 1985.

Rolling Stone, October 11, 1984; September 8, 1988.

Village Voice, April 8, 1971.

Barbara Stratyner

Turner, Tina

views updated

Tina Turner

Singer

For The Record

Abuse Took a Toll

On Her Own

At the Movies

Private Life of Private Dancer

Selected discography

Sources

Tina Turner exploded into the rhythm & blues charts as a lead singer in 1960. Forty years later, as a solo artist, she had proved herself a die-hard singer of rock and roll. By 2000, her credits included 27 top ten songs and more than 180 million records sold worldwide. She once played to a crowd of 180,000 people in Brazil and was the subject of the intense biographical film, Whats Love Got to Do with It in 1993. Twenty years after the release of her 1960s recording of River Deep, Mountain High, with the Ike & Tina Turner Review, the song appeared among the top 20 recordings in Rolling Stones top 100 hits of all-time. Youthful, ageless, and a wellspring of energy, even as the diva turned 60 years old, she continued to entertain eager audiences, leaving her legions of fans to marvel at the music that never seemed to stop.

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1938. She grew up in Nutbush, Tennessee, not far from Brownsville, where she lived with her sharecropping family in a two-room shack. Her musical talent emerged when she was still a youngster, but it was during her teen years in St. Louis in the mid-1950s that she made her historic liaison with a band leader, named Ike Turner, whom she married in 1960. The collaboration between the couple began at the Manhattan Club in East St. Louis, Kansas. Initially Tina Turner performed under the stage name of Little Anna, until the bands first hit single, A Fool in Love, scurried up the Rhythm & Blues charts in 1960, with Tina Turner as lead singer. The success of that record led Ike Turner to reinvent his band to spotlight Tina Turner. Thereafter the group performed as the Ike & Tina Turner Review. They embarked on a national tour, and a succession of recordings followed, including several hit singles. During the 1960s, the Turners worked as an opening act for the Rolling Stones and released a crossover hit, called River Deep, Mountain High, that moved them into the forefront of popular music.

Tina Turners Lei Me Touch Your Mind, released in 1972, during the Ike & Tina Turner Review days, was her first solo album. In 1973 she released a second album, called The Country of Tina Turner. The Turners performances, enhanced with high-energy backup singers, called the Ikettes, brought them to the forefront of rock and roll between 1958 and 1978. Proud Mary, the Turners frenzied arrangement of a popular classic, became a trademark theme, with music erupting from a slow and soothing introduction into an unbridled melee of rhythm. Proud Mary peaked at number four on the record charts, and in 1971, the duo won a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for Best R&B Vocal for their interpretation of the rhythmic, pile-driving ballad.

For The Record

Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1938, in Nutbush, TN; married Ike Turner (divorced 1976); children: one son with Turner, one son from a previous relationship (Craig and Ron), and two stepsons (Ike Jr. and Michael).

Sang with Ike Turners Kings of Rhythm, late 1950s (later changed to the Ike & Tina Turner Revue); solo career, 1976.

Awards: Winner of seven Grammy Awards, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences: 1971, 1984 (3 awards), 1985, 1986, 1988; Essence Award, 1993.

Addresses: Record company Virgin/Parlophone Records, e-mail: [email protected]

Abuse Took a Toll

One fact that remained hidden to the public throughout the Turners years of stardom, was the presence of severe domestic violence that plagued the Turner marriage. Tina Turner, who suffered intense physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband, reached her limit in June of 1976. She took a severe beating, shortly after the couples arrival in Dallas for their first stop on a national performance tour, and in desperation at the situation she abandoned Ike Turner without warning and even though the two were committed to a major tour. She left with less than 50 cents in her pocket and spared no time to collect her baggage.

One month later, on July 27, 1976, Tina Turner filed for divorce, and emerged with a small fortune in settlement property. The money paid off lawsuits from canceled Ike & Tina Turner Review engagements, leaving Turner virtually penniless. She slumped into poverty, but only very briefly. Without a backward glance she turned her life around, and embarked on a full-blown solo career.

On Her Own

In 1977, she moved to London, England and spent the remainder of that decade living and working in Europe. Undaunted by the poor showing of her 1978 solo album, Rough, from United Artists, Turner hired manager Roger Davies in 1979. She returned to the United States in 1981, toured with the Rolling Stones, and renewed her efforts to revitalize her career as a solo artist. She met with success in 1984 when her album, Private Dancer, sported three top ten singles, including, Whats Love Got to Do with It. The song became her first number one hit record, and she won three Grammys that year, including best female pop vocalist, best female rock vocalist, and record of the year. She veered onto a stable course as a comeback sensation, and in 1985 she scored with a number two hit, We Dont Need Another Hero, from the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Additionally, her recording of One of the Living won the Grammy award for best rock vocal performance by a female.

Yet as she conquered the issues of her tempestuous marriage to Ike Turner, she quickly tired of explaining to the press and to the public about the years that she spent under his domineering spell. In an attempt to bring closure to the affair, she immersed herself in documenting the painful details of her ex-marriage in an autobiography,/, Tina. The book, a Morrow publication, appeared in 1986. That same year her Break Every Rule album went multi-platinum (more than one million sold), and she added a Grammy to her collection, for Back Where You Started. In 1987, Turner took to the road for 18 months for a world tour of 25 countries that lasted into 1988. She performed 220 concerts during that promotion, including a phenomenal program in Brazil where she appeared before an audience of 182,000, among the largest concert audiences ever assembled anywhere. Turners concert tours sold out repeatedly, her recordings registered brisk sales, and her Capitol Records release, Tina Live in Europe, won a Grammy for best rock vocal performance by a female.

Turners image by then had solidified to legendary proportions, as she oozed sexuality from every pore inher gritty and growling performances , according to John Bush in All Music Guide. She took some time to rest after the well-received tour and in 1989 returned to Europe where she bought a home in London at Notting Hill Gate and settled there. Her 1989 release, called Foreign Affair, largely self-produced, was her first album after a years hiatus.

At the Movies

From time to time, Turner performed in selected motion pictures, although acting was never the focus of her career. In 1975, she appeared as the Acid Queen in the film version of the rock opera, Tommy, by The Who, and in 1985 she portrayed the character of Auntie Entity in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Overall, Turner rejected the majority of roles that became available to her because they failed to appeal to her sense of reality; while too many roles were characterized as sexy, Turners preference was to appear in roles of women who emote strength.

In 1993, a British video appeared, called Tina Turner: The Girl from Nutbush, a documentary including rare footage from the early years of the Ike and Tina Turner years. The low-visibility project was upstaged, however, when film director Brian Gibson transformed Turners 1976 autobiography into a feature film. Kate Lanier wrote the screenplay for the movie, which starred Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and Turner generously lent creative consultation to the project. In related interviews when the movie opened in theaters, Turner expressed her desire to let go of the memories portrayed in the film; Ike Turner meanwhile avoided endorsement of the final product.

In 1996, the indefatigable Turner released an album, called Wildest Dreams, featuring Bono, Sheryl Crow, Sting, and Antonio Banderas among others. Turner, nearing 60 years old by then, seemed a human dynamo. On her tenth solo album, Twenty Four Seven, released by Virgin Records in January of 2000, she collaborated with several younger artists. It was her first album since 1997, and critics applauded the effort. Los Angeles Times said of Turner that she, successfully meshes retro-soul with techno flava [and] is still up to any challenge. In conjunction with the release of her album in 2000, she performed in the pre-game show of Super Bowl XXXIV, and she embarked on an international tour, beginning in South Africa and encompassing 49 cities with a grand finale at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Turner, a bona fide rock and roll icon, displayed no sense of slowing down. When she announced her plans to retire from touring following her millenium tour in 2000, New York Times