The legendary Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner, aged 83, died in her home in Küsnach near Zurich Switzerland.
Anna Mae Bullock (Tina Turner) was born November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee. Turner was an American-born singer who succeeded in the 1960s rhythm and blues, soul, and rock genres with her then-husband Ike Turner. She later separated from her husband in the late 1970s, taking on an international solo career and contributing to her legendary status.
Turner was born into a sharecropping family in rural Tennessee to Zelma Priscilla (Currie) and Floyd Richard Bullock. Raised by her grandmother as her mother and father abandoned her and her sister, they were raised in the segregated South. Turner began singing as a teenager soon after moving to St. Louis, Missouri, immersing herself in the local rhythm and blues scene. At the age of 16, Turner reunited with her mother in Missouri soon after her grandmother died. She met her late husband, Ike Turner, at a nightclub where she was called up on stage as her vocals ranges were tested by Ike and his bandmates, later joining his band called,’ Kings of Rhythm.’ In 1956 Turner began performing as ‘Tina Turner,’ her electric stage presence captivating audiences every time. In 1960, Ike and Turner’s song, “A Fool in Love,” hit the pop charts, and a string of hit singles followed. Ike and Turner were married in 1962 in Mexico.
In 1966 the historical recording of the Phil Spector production ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ cross-over became Ike and Turner’s greatest attempt. While it did not experience commercial success in the United States, it was a hit in Europe. By the late 1970s, Turner had become a European superstar with top hits like “Proud Mary” and “Nutbush City Limits.”
Turner released a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in 1983 and boosted her career soon after. After a series of guest appearances on the albums of other artists, she released her debut solo album “Private Dancer” in 1984. Private Dancer record hit #6 on the British charts, and Capitol Records sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, winning three Grammy Awards, including a record of the year and best female vocal performance for “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” This became Turner’s first #1 single, and the album stayed close to the top 10 for months. In 1985, Turner was nominated for rock, R&B, and pop categories and was rewarded with four awards. Ike and Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Turner was also given a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2018. The hit Broadway musical “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical,” based on Turner’s life and directed by Phyllida Lloyd premiered in 2019. The musical was nominated for 15 Tony Awards in 2020, including best musical, best choreography, best direction of a musical, and many more, with Adrienne Warren winning for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical. In 2021, Turner sold her music rights, including her likeness, name, and image, to BMG, making the deal the company’s largest artist acquisition in its history. Turner said in a statement, “Like any artist, the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal. I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music, my work is in professional and reliable hands.”
Turner later revealed that she suffered a stroke in 2013 and was having trouble with her health. She was diagnosed with early-stage intestinal cancer and kidney failure. The cancer was successfully treated by the removal of part of her colon, but by that time, her kidney disease had progressed to the point where a transplant was required, and she would have to go on dialysis until a kidney donor was found. Turner’s husband, Erwin Bach, offered his kidney as their blood types matched. Unfortunately, Turner would later lose her eldest son Craig to suicide. She is survived by her husband and two sons she adopted from Ike Turner.
With the world once at her fingertips and music in her soul, she will continue to be honored for her lifetime of talent, work, determination, and success.
Released in 1985, “We Don’t Need Another Hero” appeared in the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, starring Tina Turner and Mel Gibson, receiving both Grammy and Golden Globe nominations.