Take A Look Back At The Life And Success Of One Of The Greatest To Ever Do It
It’s a sad day for music and entertainment as a whole today. After a long battle with intestinal cancer, legendary singer Tina Turner passed away today at 83 in her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland.
A Rise & Return
Born Anna Mae Bullock, Tina rose to stardom in the late 1960s as the singer for the band Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Ike Turner was her husband and had discovered her star power before adding her as the band’s lead singer. However, they would later divorce after years of Ike’s physical and emotional abuse, ending the band forever.
From the ashes of her marriage, Tina Turner made one of the greatest comebacks in music history, releasing the album Private Dancer,” which included the massive hits “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “Private Dancer,” selling over 180 million albums all over the world.
The album would win her multiple awards, like the Grammy’s for Record and Song of the Year, and Female Pop Vocals. The album spent 11 weeks at No. 3 on the top charts, losing out to Prince’s Purple Rain and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Born in the U.S.A. However, the album was still cemented as one of the all-time greats in history, being certified five times platinum in the United States.
Following the album’s success, Turner would star in the classic film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985, where she played the ruthless leader of Bartertown. She would also put out the hit songs “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” and “One of the Living.”
That same year, Turner returned to the Top 20 on the charts with the release of “It’s Only Love,” a duet that she performed with fellow singer Bryan Adams from his album Reckless, before following the song with her famous collaboration with Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and many other artists for the insanely popular smash hit, “We Are the World,” dedicated to famine relief. Her next album dropped in 1986 with the single “Typical Male” and spent three weeks at the No.2 spot on the Hot 100 chart before also going platinum.
An Icon’s Success
Tina Turner’s success on the charts would be mixed in the following years, with her last big hit in the U.S. being 1993’s “I Don’t Wanna Fight” from the soundtrack to the film What’s Love Got to Do with It, which was based on her autobiography. The album itself would become the last of her four platinum albums, although her 2005 compilation album would later reach the No.2 spot in the U.S.
Tina Turner’s pioneer status extended into 1980s television when she became a staple of MTV, which had mainly only featured music videos from white artists at the time. She also had a fondness for rock music, despite being an R&B singer, performing with Mick Jagger and David Bowie more than once.
She also had a film career, appearing in films like Tommy (1975) by Ken Russell and The Last Action Hero (1993) later on. What’s Love Got to Do With It, the biopic of her life, released in 1986 with Angela Bassett playing her and Laurence Fishburne playing her ex-husband Ike and garnered $60 million globally, as well as earning the two leading actors Oscar nominations for their roles.
An Icon’s Legacy
Tina Turner is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and is a perennial on many greatest performers lists and won the Kennedy Center Honors in 2005. She would eventually bring her fantastic career to a close in 2009 following the Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour, one of the highest-grossing musical tours of the 2000s.
She wouldn’t enter the public spotlight again until 2018 with the release of her West End musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical starring Adrienne Warren. The show would later make its way to Broadway in 2019 but was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returning in 2021 and ending last year.
The world lost one of the greatest performers ever today, and she will be missed by the music industry and those who were touched by her songs. There will be a private funeral ceremony for only close family and friends who knew and loved the icon.
Tina! – The Tina Turner Musical | West End Trailer