Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tina Turner, The #80 Artist of the Rock Era

"The woman with the legendary voice and legs."

"Tina is a legend."

"Tina Turner is nothing short of amazing."

"One of the greatest ever."

"Fantastic singer."

"Awesome performer."

"Legend legend legend."

"Her voice was magic and she had an explosive stage performance."

"One of the best and truly modern women in the history of popular music."

" A real powerhouse of a songstress, the true definition of a diva."





Anna Bullock was born November 26, 1939 in Nutbush, Tennessee.  Separated from her parents when they moved to Knoxville to work at a defense facility during World War II, Anna and her sister Aillene went to live with her father's grandparents.  After the war, the sisters moved to Knoxville to join their parents.  Two years later, the family moved back to Nutbush.

Bullock sang in the church choir at Spring Hill Baptist Church.  When she was 11, her mother left the house to avoid an abusive relationship with her father.  Two years later, Anna and her sister were sent to live with their grandmother in Brownsville, Tennessee.  Anna was a cheerleader and a member of the girl's basketball team at Carver High School.  However, her grandmother died in her sophomore year, so Anna moved to St. Louis to be with her mother.  She graduated from Sumner High School and after graduation, worked as a nurse's aide with the hopes of becoming a nurse.  

Bullock met Ike Turner at a St. Louis nightclub when she saw his band, the Kings of Rhythm, perform.  Anna felt the urge to get up on stage and sing with the group.  One night during intermission at the club, the drummer gave Anna a microphone.  Ike asked if she knew any other songs, she could sing.  From that night on, Bullock was a guest vocalist. 

Soon, Ike sent a tape of Anna's singing to Sue Records.  At this time, Turner convinced Anna to change her stage name to Tina Turner.  After a couple of R&B hits and minor popular hits, Ike & Tina signed with Loma Records, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, and ended up signing with 10 labels over the next several years.  The couple married in 1962. 
The couple charted 20 times through 1974, and are best known for their version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic "Proud Mary". 

In 1974, Tina released her first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On!, which was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards.   Later in the year, she traveled to London to play The Acid Queen in the filming of the rock musical Tommy.  Upon returning to the United States, Turner continued performing with Ike in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.  She released a second solo album, Acid Queen, in 1975.

Ike increasingly used cocaine, leading to shows canceled.  As we later learned from Tina, there were several incidents of domestic abuse against her.  In 1976, Ike and Tina had a bloody fight while riding to a hotel in Dallas, Texas.  Soon after the arrived at the hotel, Tina ran off and found refuge at a friend's house.  On July 27, Tina sued for divorce.
In 1977, Tina received financial backing from Richard Stewart, an executive at United Artists, which allowed her to perform in Las Vegas, Nevada.  She began performing at other venues around the United States and appeared on several television shows.  By the end of the year, Turner headlined a solo concert tour in Australia.

In 1978, Tina released the albums Rough and Love Explosion, but neither caught on.  Turner left the label and signed a management contract with Olivia Newton-John's manager, Roger Davies, in 1980.  By 1981, Turner opened for Rod Stewart on a tour of the United States.  Following several more short tours, Turner signed a singles only contract with Capitol Records.  She was about to make one of the most astounding comebacks in the Rock Era.

In 1983, Turner released a remake of the Al Green smash "Let's Stay Together", her first single to reach the Top 40 in 13 attempts that also rose to #4 in the Netherlands and #6 in the U.K.  The response to the song was so strong that Capitol drew up a new deal with Tina that included an agreement to record three albums.  Turner recorded an album in two months and released Private Dancer in 1984.

Turner released the single "What's Love Got To Do With It", which rushed to #1 in the United States, Canada and Australia, #3 in the U.K., #4 in Austria, #7 in West Germany and #8 in Switzerland.  The song sold over one million copies in Tina's best market, the United States.

Turner began a world tour in support of the album.  Tina had a strong follow-up in the chute, "Better Be Good To Me".  The single raced to #5 in the U.S., #6 in Canada, and was highly underrated everywhere else.

The album reached #1 in Canada and Austria, #3 in the U.S., and in the Top 10 in every major country except France.  Private Dancer has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.  The title song jumped to #4 in the Netherlands and #7 in the United States. 
It was indeed a huge comeback.  Turner scored American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Female Video Artist and was nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Video Artist.  Tina was nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for "Let's Stay Together") and Best Short Form Music Video (for "Private Dancer"), and won trophies for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "What's Love Got To Do With It" and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Better Be Good To Me".  

She won Billboard Music Awards for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Soul/R&B Artist of the Year and Comeback of the Year and was nominated for Song of the Year for "What's Love Got To Do With It".  She also won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video for the song.

In 1985, she sang on the classic U.S.A. for Africa charity single "We Are The World".  She starred with Mel Gibson in the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and recorded two songs for the soundtrack album.  "We Don't Need Another Hero" topped charts in Germany, Canada, Australia and Switzerland, and hit #2 in the United States and Austria, #3 in the U.K. and France and #7 in the Netherlands.

Tina was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards and for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.  The single "One Of The Living" landed in the Top 10 in some markets but peaked at #15 in the U.S.  It earned Turner another Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
Tina was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards and for Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards.
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Turner performed at Live Aid and recorded "It's Only Love" with Bryan Adams.  The song did the best in the United States, but even there was an underrated #15.  It was nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.  Tina and Bryan won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Stage Performance in a Video.

Tina captured the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist.  In 1986, Turner released her autobiography, I, Tina, which became a best-seller.  She released the album Break Every Rule.  The lead single "Typical Male" rushed to #2 in the U.S. and Switzerland, #3 in West Germany and #6 in Austria.

"Two People" gave Tina another Top hit in West Germany and Switzerland, but was an underrated #30 in the United States.

She pulled another hit with "What You Get Is What You See", which did the best in the U.S. at #13.

Tina won a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance (for "Back Where You Started") and was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Typical Male".  The album topped the Swiss chart and landed in the Top 10 in every major country except Australia and France.  It has now sold over one million in the U.S. and over four million copies worldwide. 


Tina received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  While performing in 1988, Turner sang to large audiences including an appearance with Paul McCartney in Rio de Janeiro that drew an estimated 184,000 fans.

Turner released the album Foreign Affair, another Gold album.  The single "The Best" reached #2 in Austria, #3 in Canada and Switzerland, #4 in West Germany and Australia and #5 in the U.K. and the Netherlands.  With a peak of #15 in the United States, the song is one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.

"Steamy Windows" is another strong song, although it was only a minor hit in every major country in the world.
Foreign Affair went to #1 on the Album charts in U.K. Germany, Switzerland and Austria.  Turner was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for her work on the album and earned another nomination in the category for the song "Steamy Windows".

In 1991, Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although they only had one song of any lasting significance and Tina has been far more successful than the couple ever were.  Tina received a World Music Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.  

The movie What's Love Got To Do With It was based on Ike & Tina's life and failed marriage, and Tina recorded the song "I Don't Wanna' Fight" for the soundtrack.  The single hit #1 in Canada, #7 in the U.K. and #9 in the U.S. 

Turner was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards.  It was Tina's final Top 10 of her career.  She toured the United States for the first time in seven years, and moved to Switzerland afterwards.
Tina toured Europe to promote the album, which went Gold.  
In 1991, Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  She released her compilation Simply The Best, which went Platinum.  

In 1995, Tina was honored with the Legend Award at the World Music Awards.  In 1996, she released the album Wildest Dreams, #1 in Switzerland and #2 in Austria and Germany but only #61 in the United States.

In 1999, Tina emerged out of the shadows to appear in the Vh-1 special Divas Live '99.  She released the album Twenty Four Seven, another #1 album in Switzerland and #3 in Germany.  The following year, Turner scored the top-grossing tour of the year, as fans paid over $100 million.  
In 2002, a stretch of Tennessee State Route 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush was named "Tina Turner Highway".  In 2004, Tina released her compilation album All the Best, another album to top the one-million mark in sales.

The following year, Tina received Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.  In 2008, Turner went on her first tour in 10 years to mark her 50th anniversary in the music business.

Tina was fortunate to beat the rush and obtained her Swiss citizenship in 2013 and relinquished her American citizenship.

Turner has accumulated 19 hits, with seven reaching the Top 10 and one #1.
Tina has won three American Music Awards from four nominations, two World Music Awards, seven Grammy Awards from 19 nominations, four Billboard Music Awards out of seven nominations and three MTV Video Music Awards from five nominations.  Turner's song "What's Love Got To Do With It" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

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