Tina Turner

"Like a Phoenix from the ashes . . ."

The dynamics of a soul singer

Big hair — check. Pouty lips — check. Powerful, growly voice — check. Long, sexy legs — double check!

And there you have it — the riveting presence of the "Queen of Rock," Anna Mae Bullock, aka Tina Turner.

The early years

Anna Mae was born in November 1939 to an African American and Cherokee couple in Nutbush, Tennessee, about 50 miles northeast of Memphis. The town's small, rural location was the inspiration for one of her songs, "Nutbush City Limits."

Ike and Tina Turner

Anna Mae was discovered by Ike Turner, an early rock 'n roller. He had her change her first name to Tina and her last name to Turner by way of marriage, to become a part of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue in the 1960s and early '70s. Ike had a band at the time called the "Kings of Rhythm," which continued as their backup group.

Although the Revue enjoyed a few fleeting hits — "A Fool in Love;" It's Gonna Work Out Fine;" "River Deep, Mountain High" — they were better known for their live concerts where the finale was a frenetic rendition of Credence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary."

Tina splits

Ike, as told in Tina's autobiography, I, Tina, was so abusive that she was compelled to divorce him after 16 years of marriage. In the divorce settlement, Tina took with her only the stage name that Ike had given her — no money, no property.

For emotional support, she turned to Buddhism. To make ends meet, Tina began to tour. After a few years of supreme struggle, she scored minor successes in the pop singles market with remakes of "Ball of Confusion," and "Let's Stay Together."

Capitol Records took notice and produced Tina's album Private Dancer (1984). That release contained three singles hits, including the title track, "Better Be Good to Me," and the Song of the Year, "What's Love Got to Do with It?," which also propelled her to a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Off an' runnin'

Turner's career rose like the proverbial Phoenix from the ashes. She put a spark into the road-warrior film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, starring Mel Gibson, in 1985. That movie produced another solid hit in "We Don't Need Another Hero."

Tina Turner

Turner turned her success into long concert runs on world tours, and in the early 1990s, recorded "Simply the Best," which British boxer Chris Eubank used as his theme song whenever he entered the ring.

The song also was adopted by the Australian Rugby League, which worked it into a huge advertising campaign. Turner then performed the song at the 1993 League Final.

In 1995, Turner recorded "GoldenEye," the title track to a James Bond movie of the same name.

Her last concert of 2000 was the highest-grossing performance of the year, solidifying her place as the "most successful female rock artist in history."

The new millenium

Turner is now semi-retired, shuttling between her villas in Zurich and Nice, while getting in the occasional duet with the likes of Phil Collins. They recorded "Great Spirits" for Brother Bear, a Disney film (2003).

Approaching (incredibly) her 65th birthday, she released "All the Best," a collection of her greatest hits in 2004, rising as high as No. 2 on the charts. In December 2005, she joined Tony Bennett, Suzanne Farrell, Julie Harris, and Robert Redford as recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors of the year.

Off-site search results for "Tina Turner"...

Lynn Turner
Houston County, Georgia Glenn Turner and Randy Thompson had little in common, except for Lynn Turner, a former 911 operator that Thompson dated and Turner married, and their causes of death - anti-freeze poisoning. Glenn was a Cobb County ...

Nat Turner
Nat Turner"The Prophet" October 2, 1800 - November 11, 1831 Nat Turner, a black slave preacher believed that God had called on him to lead his people out of slavery. Start your search on Nat Turner. Now Available in Paperback President Who ...
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Nat Turner
history began on the night of August 21, 1831, when Turner and seven fellow slaves murdered their master and his family while they slept, and then set out on a campaign of brutal murder that terrorized the countryside and killed 55 white people.

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