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Tina Turner

Tina Turner

American-born singer, dancer, actress and author

Early life

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939,in Brownsville, Tennessee, the youngest daughter of Zelma Priscilla (née Currie) and Floyd Richard Bullock.The family lived in the nearby rural unincorporated community of Nutbush, Tennessee, where her father worked as an overseer of the sharecroppers at Poindexter Farm on Highway 180; she later recalled picking cotton with her family at an early age. When she participated in the PBS documentary African American Lives 2 with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, he shared her genealogical DNA test estimates, which were predominantly African, approximately 33% European, and only 1% Native American. Turner had previously believed that she had a significant amount of Native American ancestry.

Bullock had two older sisters, Evelyn Juanita Currie and Ruby Alline Bullock. She is also the first cousin once removed of Eugene Bridges.[21] As young children, the three sisters were separated when their parents relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee, to work at a defense facility during World War II.[18] Bullock went to stay with her strict, religious paternal grandparents, Alex and Roxanna Bullock, who were deacon and deaconess at the Woodlawn Missionary Baptist Church. After the war, the sisters reunited with their parents and moved with them to Knoxville.[18] Two years later, the family returned to Nutbush to live in the Flagg Grove community, where Bullock attended Flagg Grove Elementary School from first through eighth grade.

As a young girl, Bullock sang in the church choir at Nutbush's Spring Hill Baptist Church. When she was 11, her mother Zelma ran off without warning, seeking freedom from her abusive relationship with Floyd by relocating to St. Louis in 1950. Two years after her mother left the family, her father married another woman and moved to Detroit in 1952. Bullock and her sisters were sent to live with their maternal grandmother, Georgeanna Currie in Brownsville, Tennessee. Turner stated in her autobiography I, Tina that she felt her mother had not loved her, that she "wasn't wanted", and that her mother had planned to leave her father when pregnant with her. "She was a very young woman who didn't want another kid," Turner wrote.

As a teenager, Bullock worked as a domestic worker for the Henderson family. She was at the Henderson house when she was notified that her half-sister Evelyn had died in a car crash alongside her cousins Margaret and Vela Evans. A self-professed tomboy, Bullock joined both the cheerleading squad and the female basketball team at Carver High School in Brownsville, and "socialized every chance she got".When Bullock was 16, her grandmother died, so she went to live with her mother in St. Louis. She graduated from Sumner High School in 1958.After her graduation, Bullock worked as a nurse's aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Ike & Tina Turner

Origins: 1957–1960

"I would have been lost in my life at that point without him. I mean, I could do two things: work in a hospital or sing in Ike's band. I didn't know anything else. Or anyone else. And I wanted to sing."

Bullock and her sister began to frequent nightclubs in St. Louis and East St. Louis.[27] She first saw Ike Turner perform with his band the Kings of Rhythm at the Manhattan Club in East St. Louis.[27] Bullock was impressed by his talent, recalling that she "almost went into a trance" watching him play.[34] She asked Turner to let her sing in his band despite the fact that few women had ever sung with him.[26] Turner said he'd call her but never did.[35] One night in 1957, she got hold of the microphone from Kings of Rhythm drummer Eugene Washington during an intermission and she sang the B.B. King blues ballad, "You Know I Love You".[36][37] Upon hearing her sing, Turner asked her if she knew more songs. She sang the rest of the night and became a featured vocalist with his band.[38][39][40] During this period, he taught her the finer points of vocal control and performance.[38] Bullock's first recording was in 1958 under the name Little Ann on the single "Boxtop". She is credited as a vocalist on the record alongside Ike and fellow Kings of Rhythm singer Carlson Oliver.[41]

In 1960, Turner wrote "A Fool in Love" for singer Art Lassiter. Bullock was to sing background with Lassiter's backing vocalists, the Artettes. Lassiter failed to show up for the recording session at Technisonic Studios.[42] Since Turner already paid for the studio time, Bullock suggested to sing lead.He decided to use her to record a demo with the intention of erasing her vocals and adding Lassiter's at a later date. Local St. Louis disc jockey Dave Dixon convinced Turner to send the tape to Juggy Murray, president of R&B label Sue Records. Upon hearing the song, Murray was impressed with Bullock's vocals, later stating that "Tina sounded like screaming dirt. It was a funky sound."[46] Murray bought the track and paid Turner a $25,000 advance for the recording and publishing rights.Murray also convinced Turner to make Bullock "the star of the show".[48] Turner responded by renaming her "Tina" because it rhymed with Sheena; however, family and friends still called her Ann.[50][51] He was inspired by Sheena, Queen of the Jungle and Nyoka the Jungle Girl to create her stage persona.[52][53] Turner added his last name and trademarked the name as a form of protection, so that if Bullock left him like his previous singers had, he could replace her with another "Tina Turner".[54]

Early success: 1960–1965

Bullock was introduced to the public as Tina Turner with the single "A Fool In Love" in July 1960.[55] It reached No. 2 on the Hot R&B Sides chart and No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. Journalist Kurt Loder described the track as "the blackest record to ever creep into the white pop charts since Ray Charles's gospel-styled 'What'd I Say' that previous summer".[46][56] Another single from the duo, "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the R&B chart in 1961, earning them a Grammy nomination for Best Rock and Roll Performance. Singles released between 1960 and 1962 included the R&B hits "I Idolize You", "Poor Fool", and "Tra La La La La".

After the release of "A Fool in Love", Ike created the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, which included the Kings of Rhythm and a girl group, the Ikettes, as backing vocalists and dancers. He remained in the background as the bandleader. Ike put the entire revue through a rigorous touring schedule across the United States, performing 90 days straight in venues around the country.[58] During the days of the Chitlin' Circuit, the Ike & Tina Turner Revue built a reputation as "one of the most hottest, most durable, and potentially most explosive of all R&B ensembles", rivaling the James Brown Revue in terms of musical spectacle.[59] Due to their profitable performances, they were able to perform in front of desegregated audiences in southern clubs and hotels.[60]

Between 1963 and 1965, the band toured constantly and produced moderately successful R&B singles. Turner's first credited single as a solo artist, "Too Many Ties That Bind"/"We Need an Understanding", was released from Ike's label Sonja Records in 1964.[61][62] Another single by the duo, "You Can't Miss Nothing That You Never Had", reached No. 29 on the Billboard R&B chart. After their tenure at Sue Records, the duo signed with more than ten labels during the remainder of the decade, including Kent, Cenco, Tangerine, Pompeii, A&M, and Minit.[63][64] In 1964, they signed with Loma Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records which was run by Bob Krasnow. Krasnow became their manager shortly after they left Sue Records. On the Warner Bros. label they achieved their first charting album with Live! The Ike & Tina Turner Show, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot R&B LPs chart in February 1965.[65] Their singles "Tell Her I'm Not Home" released on Loma and "Good Bye, So Long" released on Modern Records were top 40 R&B hits in 1965.[66]

Turner's profile was raised after several solo appearances on shows such as American Bandstand and Shindig!, while the entire revue appeared on Hollywood A Go-Go. In 1965, music producer Phil Spector attended an Ike & Tina Turner's show at a club on the Sunset Strip, and he invited them to appear in the concert film The Big T.N.T. Show.[67]

Mainstream success: 1966–1975

Impressed by the duo's performance on The Big T.N.T. Show, Phil Spector was eager to produce Turner.[68] Working out a deal with Ike & Tina Turner's manager Bob Krasnow, who was also head of Loma, Spector offered $20,000 for creative control over the sessions to produce Turner and have them released from their contract with Loma.[69][14] They signed to Spector's Philles label in April 1966 after Turner had already recorded with him.[70] Their first single on his label, "River Deep – Mountain High", was released in May 1966. Spector considered that record, with Turner's maximum energy over the "Wall of Sound", to be his best work.[71] It was successful overseas, reaching No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 1 on Los 40 Principales in Spain,[72] but it failed to go any higher than No. 88 on the Billboard Hot 100.[73] The impact of the record gave Ike & Tina Turner an opening spot on the Rolling Stones UK tour in the fall of 1966.[74] In November 1967, Turner became the first female artist and the first black artist to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.[75][76]

The duo signed with Blue Thumb Records in 1968, releasing the album Outta Season in 1969. The album produced their charted cover of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long". Later that year they released The Hunter. The title track, Albert King's "The Hunter" earned Turner a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.[57] The success of the albums led to the revue headlining in Las Vegas where their shows were attended by a variety of celebrities including David Bowie, Sly Stone, Janis Joplin, Cher, James Brown, Ray Charles, Elton John, and Elvis Presley.[77]

In the fall of 1969, Ike & Tina Turner's profile in their home country was raised after opening for the Rolling Stones on their US tour.[14] They gained more exposure from performances on The Ed Sullivan Show, Playboy After Dark, and The Andy Williams Show.[78][79][80] The duo released two albums in 1970, Come Together and Workin' Together. Their cover of "I Want to Take You Higher" peaked at No. 34 on the Hot 100 whereas the original by Sly and the Family Stone peaked four numbers below that position.[66] The Come Together and Workin' Together albums marked a turning point in their careers in which they switched from their usual R&B repertoire to incorporate more rock tunes such as "Come Together", "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Get Back".[14]

In early 1971, their cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" became their biggest hit. The single reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 and sold more than a million copies, winning them a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.[81][82][83] In July 1971, their live album, What You Hear Is What You Get, was released. It was recorded at Carnegie Hall and became their first certified Gold album. Later that year they had a top 40 R&B hit with "Ooh Poo Pah Doo".[66] Their next three singles to chart, "I'm Yours (Use Me Anyway You Wanna)", "Up In Heah" and "Early One Morning" all peaked at No. 47 on the R&B chart.

In 1972, they opened Bolic Sound recording studio near their home in Inglewood. After Liberty was absorbed into United Artists Records, they were assigned to that label. Around this time, Turner began writing more songs. She wrote nine out of the ten tracks on their 1972 album Feel Good.Their 1973 hit single "Nutbush City Limits" (No. 22 Pop, No. 11 R&B), penned by Turner, reached No. 1 in Austria, No. 4 in the UK and the top 5 in several other countries. It was certified Silver by the BPI for selling a quarter of a million in the UK. As a result of their success, they received the Golden European Record Award, the first ever given, for selling more than one million records of "Nutbush City Limits" in Europe. Follow up hits include "Sweet Rhode Island Red" and "Sexy Ida" in 1974.

In 1974, the duo released the Grammy-nominated album The Gospel According to Ike & Tina, which was nominated for Best Soul Gospel Performance. Ike also received a solo nomination for his single "Father Alone" from the album. Turner's first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On!, earned her a nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. That year, Turner filmed the rock opera Tommy in London. She played the Acid Queen, a drug-addicted prostitute; her performance was critically acclaimed. Shortly after filming wrapped, Turner appeared on Ann-Margret's TV special. Following the release of Tommy in 1975, another solo album by Turner was released titled Acid Queen. The album reached No. 39 on the Billboard R&B chart. It produced charting singles "Baby, Get It On" and a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love".


October 24, 2013
Tina Turner, who has obtained citizenship in Switzerland, where she has lived since 1995, relinquishes her United States citizenship
July 14, 2013
In Switzerland, 73-year-old Tina Turner marries her longtime boyfriend, the record producer Erwin Bach
May 5, 2009
Tina Turner, 69, closes out her 50th Anniversary Tour with a show in Sheffield Arena that turns out to be her last concert
December 6, 2000
Tina Turner wraps up her wildly successful Millennium 2000 Twenty Four Seven tour with a show in Anaheim, California
March 23, 2000
60-year-old Tina Turner launches her Twenty Four Seven tour at the Target Center in Minneapolis
June 9, 1993
Tina Turner's life story, including her stormy relationship with her husband Ike, is portrayed in the film What's Love Got To Do With It, starring Angela Bassett as Tina
January 16, 1988
Tina Turner performs at Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro to a sell-out crowd of 180,000, setting a new record for attendance at a performance by a solo artist
September 7, 1985
For the first time in the Rock Era, the top three songs on the Hot 100 were all written for movies: #1: "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" by John Parr; #2: "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News (from Back to the Future); #3: "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner (from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
July 10, 1985
Tina Turner stars opposite Mel Gibson in the post-apocalyptic action flick Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Turner sings two hit songs for the movie: "One Of The Living" and "We Don't Need Another Hero"
February 26, 1985
"What's Love Got To Do With It" by Tina Turner wins Song of the Year and Record of the Year


Further Resources




September 25, 2007

Tina Turner Greatest Hits Full Album - Tina Turner Best Songs Playlist


May 28, 2018

Tina Turner. Государственный Кремлевский Дворец. 1996 год


March 5, 2021


Mark Sweney
October 6, 2021
the Guardian
Publisher BMG takes on shares of recordings and image management of 'queen of rock'n'roll' in its biggest single artist deal


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