Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939) is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress. She has won eight Grammy Awards. Turner’s consistent contributions to rock music have earned her the title “The Queen of Rock & Roll.” Besides rock music, she has also performed R&B, soul, dance and pop music. She was listed on Rolling Stone’s list The Immortals — The Greatest Artists of All Time. Turner is represented in the Grammy Hall of Fame with two of her singles inducted including “River Deep – Mountain High” (1999) and “Proud Mary” (2003).
On April 26, 2008, Turner announced at a taping of the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas that she will begin another tour in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 1, 2008. Turner told Oprah Winfrey that the actress Sophia Loren convinced her to return to the stage.
Turner has been acknowledged as one of the world’s most popular and biggest-selling music artists of all time and is the most successful female rock artist of all time with record sales exceeding 180 million. She has sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. To date, Turner has 7 Billboard top 10 singles, 16 US top ten R&B singles, and has 33 Top 40 hits in the UK. All of her albums since Private Dancer have been Top 10 UK hits.
Tina Turner has sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer ever. Turner’s world tour Break Every Rule Tour had record breaking ticket sales, visited by over four million fans. Turner also beat out The Rolling Stones by touring Europe with 121 shows during her sold out Foreign Affair Tour in 1990. She ended up playing to four million people in just six months. Her 1996 Wildest Dreams Tour was performed to 3.5 million people over 250 dates through 2 years. Her most recent tour was 2000′s Twenty Four Seven Tour. It was the highest grossing tour of the year and is the 5th biggest grossing tour in America ever.
The popular press has referred to Turner favorably as “the truest rock diva of all,” “soul’s first real diva,” “the most dynamic female soul singer in the history of the music,” and “one of soul music’s most incendiary performers.”
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee on November 26, 1939 to Zelma Currie, a factory worker, and Floyd Richard Bullock, a Baptist deacon, farm overseer and factory worker. Tina is of African-American, European, and Native American descent specifically of the Cherokee and Navajo tribe making her of many people who are both of African American and Native American descent. Turner and her elder sister, Alline Bullock, were abandoned by their father and temporarily by their mother. Turner attended Flag Grove School in Haywood County, Tennessee. The land for the school was sold below market value to the school trustees by Turner’s great granduncle in 1889. They moved from Nutbush, Tennessee to St. Louis to reunite with their mother in 1956. In St. Louis, Anna met a rock and roll musician Ike Turner and later asked him if she could sing for him. Ike was initially skeptical, but after much persistence on Bullock’s part, Ike Turner eventually decided to let her perform for him. At age 16, Bullock moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she attended Sumner High School. She became well known for the The Ike & Tina Turner Revue during the 1960s and 1970s. At the height of The Revue’s success, Tina Turner developed a reputation as a consummate live entertainer. Thus, Bullock became an occasional vocalist in Ike’s shows at the age of 18. In 2 years, Ike named her Tina after Sheena: Queen of the Jungle. She was also the spotlight of a soul revue led by Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm.
In 1960, when a singer scheduled to record the song, “A Fool In Love”, didn’t appear, Bullock stepped in and recorded the vocals instead. “A Fool In Love” was a huge R&B hit reaching #2 crossing over to the top 30 of the US pop chart. After this, Ike changed Bullock’s name to Tina Turner and his band’s to the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. In 1962, the two married in Mexico.
Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, Ike and Tina rose to stardom. As times and musical styles changed, Tina developed a unique stage persona as a singer-dancer-performer which thrilled audiences of the group’s live concerts. Tina and the Revue’s backup singers, The Ikettes, wove intricate and electrifying dance routines into their performances and influenced many other artists including Mick Jagger (for whose 1966 UK tour they opened).
Ike and Tina Turner recorded a string of hits in the 1960s, including “A Fool In Love,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” “I Idolize You,” and the groundbreaking “River Deep, Mountain High” with producer Phil Spector in his Wall of sound style. By the end of the decade, Tina had discovered rock and roll and the duo began including their interpretations of classics such as “Come Together”, “Honky Tonk Woman,” and “I Want to Take You Higher” in their act. In fact, their high-energy cover version of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s 1968 “Proud Mary” remains Tina’s signature hit and one of her longest enduring standards. “Proud Mary” was the duo’s greatest commercial success peaking at number four in March 1971. The single also won a Grammy for “Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo or Group.”
While many of its original recordings failed to chart, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue was lauded by The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sly Stone, Janis Joplin, Cher, James Brown, Ray Charles, Elton John and Elvis Presley. A one-night gig at a small, predominantly-black supper club in the South could be followed in the same week by a show at a major venue in Las Vegas or a national TV appearance. Ike acted as the group’s manager and musical director, calling all the shots and ruling the act – and Tina – with an iron fist. While a fine musician and an early rock and roll influence, Ike’s control of the Revue’s management, recording contracts and performances eventually led to their decline as his drug abuse worsened. This controlling (and often violent) atmosphere caused the musicians and backup singers to come and go frequently, and Tina later reported being isolated and physically abused by Ike on a regular basis for most of their marriage.
Turner raised four sons — Ike Jr. and Michael (from Ike’s previous relationship), Craig (born 1960, from her earlier relationship with Raymond Hill, a saxophone player in Ike’s band) and Ronald (son of Ike and Tina; born 1961). Turner’s long-term partner is German Erwin Bach, a record executive. They live together in Küsnacht, Zürich, Switzerland, and Nice, France.
By the mid-1970s, Turner’s personal life and marriage began to deteriorate. Ike’s drug use led to increasingly erratic and physically abusive behavior. Their act was losing speed largely due to Ike’s refusal to accept outside management of their recording or touring as well as the cost of maintaining a rather voracious alleged cocaine habit. Touring dates began to decline and record sales were low, their last success being “Nutbush City Limits”, a song penned by Tina about her home town, which reached US #22 and UK #4 in 1973.
Having opened his own recording studio – Bolic Sound – following the lucrative success of Proud Mary, Ike produced Tina’s first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On! in 1974. It failed to make an impact on the charts, as did the follow-up, Acid Queen (1975), released to tie in with Tina’s critically acclaimed big-screen debut in the role of the same name in The Who‘s rock opera, Tommy.
After a final vicious beating before an appearance in Dallas over the Fourth of July weekend in 1976, Tina abruptly left Ike fleeing with nothing more than thirty-six cents and a gas-station credit card. She spent the next few months hiding from Ike, staying with various friends and relying on food stamps to exist.
Tina credited her newfound Buddhist faith with giving her the courage to eventually strike out on her own. By walking out on Ike in the middle of a tour, she learned she was legally responsible to tour promoters for the cancelled tour. Needing to earn a living, she became a solo performer, supplementing her income with TV appearances on shows such as The Hollywood Squares, Donny and Marie, The Sonny & Cher Show and The Brady Bunch Hour.
Her divorce was finalized in 1978 after 16 years of marriage, later accusing Ike of years of severe spousal abuse and rampant drug addiction in her autobiography I, Tina which was later made into the film What’s Love Got to Do with It?. She parted ways with him, retaining only her stage name, and assuming responsibility for the debts incurred by the cancelled tour, as well as a significant IRS lien.
Turner ended the decade by releasing her first album since her separation from Ike. Rough (1978) was a departure from the R&B sound of the Revue, and featured strong readings of rock songs, demonstrating the direction in which she wished her musical career to progress. The record did not sell well, and 1979′s Love Explosion – an attempt to attract the disco market – also failed.
Turner began touring extensively around the world but her career stalled until teaming up in 1982 with B.E.F. for a remake of the Temptations’ Ball of Confusion. The producers were so impressed by the recording, they persuaded her to record a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.
While she was largely considered to be unmarketable by the American recording industry, her popularity as a top stage act never faded in Europe and other parts of the world. Capitol signed her to a limited deal with their UK label. She divided her time between appearing at small venues in the US in order to keep herself in the public eye but continued to sell out major venues in Europe.
When Turner’s version of “Let’s Stay Together” was released in the United Kingdom, it became a huge hit that peaked at number six and marked a major turning point in Turner’s solo career. Capitol released the record in the US where it made the Top 20. It was a major success on the R&B charts reaching number four and also reached number one on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Charts. Given this turn of events, Capitol Records was quickly forced to review their previous assessment of Turner’s chart ability and put forth the resources to let her record an album.
Although well-known and respected as a performer before she separated from Ike Turner, it was in 1984 that she staged what has been widely considered the most “amazing comeback in rock music history”. In the spring of 1984, Turner released her fifth solo album, Private Dancer. The album was a huge success and established Turner as a credible solo artist. Private Dancer charted a total of five top forty singles and three singles reached the top ten in the states. After the success of “Let’s Stay Together”, Capitol issued the number-one hit ” What’s Love Got to Do With It”, which helped Turner win Record Of The Year, Song of the Year (won by the songwriters Graham Lyle and Terry Britten) and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1985 Grammy Awards. The third single, “Better Be Good To Me” reached number five on the charts and won the 1985 Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy. Originally, Tina hated the song “What’s Love Got To Do With It” because she felt it was too “Pop” and not “rough” enough. She thought that “Better Be Good to Me” should be the second single from the album but Capitol convinced her otherwise and Tina grew fond of What Love Got To Do With It after it inched up the American charts. The album’s title track, written by Mark Knopfler, peaked at number seven pop in early 1985. The Private Dancer album additionally received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The fifth single, “Show Some Respect” entered the top forty and stayed there for a respectable three weeks. Private Dancer peaked at number three on the US album sales chart and sold consistently throughout the year. It also remained at number-one for five weeks on the US R&B album sales chart. Private Dancer remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. Worldwide the album has been estimated having sold up to ten to eleven million copies, but also some sources estimating it sold over 20 million copies, thus making Private Dancer Turner’s most successful solo album.
In 1985, Turner released a duet with Bryan Adams entitled “It’s Only Love” which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Turner also contributed her voice to the best-selling charity song “We Are the World”, along with various famous musicians, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick. In July of that same year, Turner famously duetted with Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones in a performance of “State of Shock” and “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll” at the Live Aid benefit concert at JFK Stadium. The same year Turner won four Grammy Awards — Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in “Better Be Good to Me”, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year (shared with Terry Britten) in “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”
Turner appeared as the character, “Aunty Entity” in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with Mel Gibson and scored additional hits from the movie’s soundtrack: “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” and “One of the Living”. “We Don’t Need Another Hero” (which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal performance, Female) was a huge success on the radio charts, peaking at number two in the US and hitting number one across Europe. “One of the Living”, the second single from Thunderdome, peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Hot 100, was also quite popular, later winning Turner a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance.
Turner settled in Europe in 1986 to share a home with Erwin Bach, a German-born EMI record company executive 16 years her junior. In addition to a lakeshore home on the Goldküste, Zurich, Turner has an estate in France at Villefranche-sur-Mer, a small town about four miles (six kilometers) east of the city of Nice. Her home there sits atop Mont Vinaigrier, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1986, Tina Turner released her sixth solo studio album, Break Every Rule. The album was another success, and the accompanying world tour was a record-breaking success in tickets sales. It spawned a number of hit singles including “Typical Male”, which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number two and went number-one on the United World Chart. “Typical Male” received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance. Break Every Rule garnered Turner her third consecutive Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy for the Bryan Adams-penned “Back Where You Started.”
Turner entered the Guinness Book of World Records during her Break Every Rule tour when she performed in front of the largest paying audience ever to see a single performer. The audience was made up of over 184,000 spectators at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1988, she released Tina Live In Europe which brought her a fourth and final Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy Award. She shares the title for most, and most consecutive, Female Rock Vocal Grammy Awards with Pat Benatar.
In 1989, Tina Turner released her last album of the 1980s, Foreign Affair. This album sold over 6 million copies worldwide. The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal performance at 1989 Annual Grammy Awards. The following year, Steamy Windows, received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal performance. It spawned a variety of different hit singles with the most enduring being the hit “The Best” (often referred to as “Simply the Best”), originally a song on a Bonnie Tyler album. The song peaked at number 15 on the U.S. Hot 100, and peaked at number five in the United Kingdom. Also, “I Don’t Wanna Lose You,” peaked at #8 on the UK Charts. The album package was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Packaging Design, but lost to David Bowie.
Turner began the decade with her record-breaking Foreign Affair European Tour, which ran throughout the spring and summer of 1990. Also in that year, she contributed a song – Break Through The Barrier – to the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise film, Days of Thunder, and recorded a version of It Takes Two with Rod Stewart for use in a high-profile Pepsi advertising campaign, this song was a big success in Europe, reaching Top 5 in the UK and other countries.
During the early 1990s, “The Best” became the theme song of three athletes – boxer Chris Eubank, Brazilian Formula One racer Ayrton Senna and retired tennis player Martina Navratilova. A version of the song featuring Jimmy Barnes was also used to promote Australia’s professional rugby league football competition. This advertising campaign brought interest to the game and reached its height when Turner performed the song at the 1993 New South Wales Rugby League premiership’s Grand Final. A rugby league version of the song’s video clip was also released at around the same time and remained in the top ten videos in Australia for a long time. The song was also used successfully in advertisements for HBO, previewing shows and movies, unofficially becoming HBO’s second theme, for years.
In 1991, Turner released her first greatest hits compilation, Simply the Best, which contained three new tracks. The compilation album went platinum in the U.S. and sold 2.4 million copies in the UK. In 1993, Tina received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal performance, Female, for her cover of Elton John‘s “The Bitch is Back” from the Two Rooms tribute CD. She also had a cameo in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, The Last Action Hero.
This was also the year that her 1986 autobiography I, Tina (an international best-seller) was made into a motion picture entitled What’s Love Got to Do with It?. Angela Bassett won the role of Tina Turner in the movie (Whitney Houston had declined due to imminent maternity; Halle Berry had also auditioned for the role) and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance. Laurence Fishburne played Ike and also received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal.
Turner returned to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 with the film’s theme song, “I Don’t Wanna Fight” (which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal performance, Female) and embarked on a tour of North America and Australasia. Tina, What’s Love Live! was broadcast by FOX in the United States at the conclusion of her tour.
In 1995, Turner recorded the title theme of the James Bond film GoldenEye, penned by Bono and The Edge of U2. Shortly thereafter, Turner released her eighth original studio album, entitled Wildest Dreams. In the same year she embarked in her record breaking Wildest Dreams World Tour becoming one of the most extensive tours ever by a single performer grossing over $100 million in Europe alone. The video, “Tina Turner Live in Amsterdam,” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Video, Long Form. After the tour ended in 1997, she teamed up with Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti to record “Cose Della Vita/Can’t Stop Thinking Of You”, which was a hit in some parts of Europe. In 1999, Tina recorded the theme song for “The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride” called “He Lives In You”. She also performed on VH1 Divas Live ’99 in April 1999, alongside artists such as Cher, Whitney Houston, Elton John and Mary J. Blige.
Turner’s ninth studio album, Twenty Four Seven, was released in November 1999 in usic|1999]]. It produced several hits including “Whatever You Need” and “When the Heartache Is Over” which was a UK Top 10 hit and peaked at #3 on the US Dance/Club Play Charts. It was not as successful as Tina’s past albums, but was still a success. It sold one million copies in the US, becoming platinum. Following the release of her album, Tina officially announced that she would embark on her last major arena and stadium promotional tour. Ending on a high note, her Twenty Four Seven World Tour grossed over $80 million in the US alone (23 international sold out stadium shows were not taken into consideration—with mid-range ticket prices) during the summer becoming the 5th biggest concert tour ever in the U.S. earning her the title of top-grossing tour in the year 2000.
Turner retired from major tours after 2000. However, she continues to make public appearances and collaborations. In 2001, Tennessee State Highway 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush was named “Tina Turner Highway”. In 2003, she teamed up with Phil Collins to record the song “Great Spirits” for the Disney film Brother Bear.
In 2004, Turner released her latest greatest hits compilation album, All the Best. It peaked at #2 on Billboard. The album is both her highest debut on the Billboard 200 and her highest-charting album ever in the U.S. The album included a new single, “Open Arms”; the song reached the UK Top 25.
In early 2005, Turner gave several live television performances in the US and Europe, and appeared at a private charity ball in St. Petersburg, Russia in November. Tina was also honoured as one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 legends – African-American women who broke barriers through their work.
At the end of the year, Turner was recognised by the Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC and was elected to join an elite group of entertainers. Several artists paid tribute to her that night including Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Etheridge, Queen Latifah, Beyoncé, and the Reverend Al Green. Oprah stated, “We don’t need another hero. We need more heroines like you, Tina. You make me proud to spell my name w-o-m-a-n,” and “Tina Turner didn’t just survive, she triumphed.”
In early 2006, the All the Invisible Children soundtrack was released. Turner sang “Teach Me Again” with Elisa which charted at #1 in Italy. In April, the NRL (National Rugby League), one of the most popular sporting competitions in Australia and New Zealand, announced that Tina would return as the face and spokesperson of the rugby league in 2008 due to the overwhelming popularity of Turner’s previous campaign.
In October 2006, in an interview with Billboard Magazine, Guy Chambers, Robbie Williams’ former producer, revealed that his next project is Turner’s comeback album. At the premiere of Casino Royale in Zurich November 16, 2006, Turner confirmed that she has recorded several new tracks for the album. This will be her first full recording of new material in 8 years. In May of 2007, Tina returned to the stage to headline a benefit concert for the Cauldwell Children’s Charity at London’s Natural History Museum. This was her first full show in seven years.
Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock released an album, paying tribute to his longtime associate and friend, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, entitled River: The Joni Letters on September 25, 2007. Turner contributed her vocals to a version of “Edith and The Kingpin”. On October 16th, 2007, guitar legend Santana released an album entitled Ultimate Santana, which features Tina singing “The Game Of Love” a song she recorded in 2002 but was previously unreleased.
On December 12, 2007, Turner issued a brief statement through a spokesperson regarding the death of her former husband Ike that day: “Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made.”
On February 10, 2008, Turner performed together with Beyoncé at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards broadcasted live on CBS. This was Turner’s first real public appearance since her record-breaking Millennium Tour “Twenty Four Seven” and at 68 years of age. The performance has been met with highly positive reviews in the press.
On April 29, 2008, it was announced that Tina Turner would come out of retirement and kick off her tour at the newly built Sprint Center in Downtown Kansas City, MO to start it off. The tour will start October 1, 2008. – adapted from Wikipedia