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Ms. Tina--The Best

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Our “Private Dancer,” Tina Turner, has moved on to another dimension where I hope she is at rest. She has passed at age 83. And we,her fans left behind who have been moved, touched and inspired by the music that stretches beyond her long career are here to answer the question, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”   Everything!

The ever high energy, persistent vocalist and powered performer will be missed. In the latter part of her life Ms. Tina spoke to her beginnings with Ike Turner for a forceful string of 'hitrecords' and live shows through the 1960s and ‘70s until she walked away from her horrific marriage of mental, emotional, and physical abuse a winner.  During the next phase of her life, she embrace dinner spirit and enjoyed the triumph of her talent and application of hard work.


As she ventured through that phase of her new independence, she addressed that the past was behind her where she’d like to leave it. However, she  spoke to the never ending thrust of the media asking her the proverbial question that plagued the future she had stepped into. But being the unstoppable spirit, she was,  Ms. Tina kept at her intention to establish herself independent of Ike.

She succeeded and in her middle age phase of life she stood apart from everyone with major chart-topping singles like  “What’s Love Got to Do With It. ”

Turner died Tuesday, after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, where she had become a Swiss citizen, a ten years ago.

With admirers ranging from Beyoncé to Mick Jagger,Turner was one of the world’s most successful entertainers, known for a rock solid collection of songs across genres of pop, rock and rhythm and blues:“Proud Mary,” “Nutbush City Limits,” “River Deep,” “The Best,” Mountain High,”and the numerous hits she made in the ‘80s, among them “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and  “We Don’t Need Another Hero, ” let’s not forget that cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” a masterpiece of electric soul.

When we think of the all- powerful Ms. Tina after her music we think of those powerful legs, her wild fabulous hair, and her show-off that body costumes. Of course, there is her distinctive  very throaty contralto, her infectious smile,and high dominant cheekbones. Not only  did she sell more than 150 million records worldwide, win 12 Grammys, was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, first with Ike into the in 1991 and as a solo artist in 2021. She was honored at the Kennedy Center in 2005, with Beyoncé and Oprah Winfrey among those acknowledged gingerly. Her life became the basis for a film, a Broadway musical and an HBO documentary in 2021 that she called her public farewell.


Until she chose her destiny and left Ike Turner’s reign of terror, she had been silent. By choosing freedom she grew wings and shared her back story and revealed the one created with the “Ike and Tina Turner Revue.  Though it was always obvious that she was talented under Ike he was the leading man, band leader and ran the show. He chose  the material, the arrangements, the back-up singers, and costumes. Not the best money manager Ike, they toured forced them to tour without breaks or time off  for years. Ms. Tina tells of how she was forced to go on with bronchitis, with pneumonia, and with a collapsed right lung.  Then there was physical trauma because of his rage and with black eyes and bruises she performed. Music was her escape.

As she recounted in her memoir, “I, Tina,” Ike began hitting her not long after they met, in the mid-1950s, and only grew more vicious. Provoked by anything and anyone, he would throw hot coffee in her face, choke her, or beat her until her eyes were swollen shut, then rape her.Before one show, he broke her jaw, and she went on stage with her mouth full of blood.

Terrified both of being with Ike and of being without him, she credited her emerging Buddhist faith in the mid-1970s with giving her a sense of strength and self-worth and she finally left in early July 1976. The Ike and Tina Turner Revue was scheduled to open a tour marking the country’s bicentennial when Tina snuck out of their Dallas hotel room, with just a Mobil credit card and 36 cents, while Ike slept. She hurried across a nearby highway,narrowly avoiding a speeding truck, and found another hotel to stay.

“I looked at him (Ike) and thought, ‘You just beat me for the last time, you sucker,’” she recalled in her memoir.

Not surprising, Ms. Tina was among the first celebrities to speak candidly about domestic abuse,  without shame. This bold move made her a heroine to battered women and a symbol of resilience to all. Ike Turner did not deny mistreating her, although he tried to blame Tina for their troubles.

She was such a great performer through it all that only those in the band really knew   what went on behind the scenes. The Turners were a hot act for much of the 1960s and into the ‘70s, evolving from bluesy ballads such as “A Fool in Love” and “It’s Going to Work Out Fine” to flashy covers of “Proud Mary” and “Come Together” and other rock songs that brought them crossover success that rocketed them upward bound.

They opened for the Rolling Stones in 1966 and 1969 and were seen performing a lustful version of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” in the 1970 Stones documentary “Gimme Shelter.” Ike and Tina’s reworking of “Proud Mary,” originally a tight, mid-tempo hit for Creedence Clearwater Revival, helped define their assertive, sexual image. Against a background of funky guitar and Ike’s crooning baritone, Tina began with a few spoken words about how some people wanted to hear songs that were “nice and easy.”

“But there’s this one thing,” she warned, “you see, we never ever do nothing nice and easy.

“We always do it nice — and rough.”

That riled the imagination! By the end of the 1970s, Ms.Tina’s career seemed flat and standing still. At 40 years old, her first solo album had flopped, and her live performances were mostly presented on the cabaret circuit. She was desperate for work, and money and thus she agreed to tour in South Africa under the Apartheid regime and was widely boycotted by most entertainers.

It was the rock stars Rod Stewart, who convinced her to sing “Hot Legs” with him on “Saturday Night Live” and Mick Jagger, who had openly borrowed some of Turner’s on-stage moves, sang “Honky Tonk Women” with her during the Stones’ 1981-82 tour, that gave her a stage. In doing so the world recognized that she was still relevant and so she was back.  At a listening party for his 1983 album “Let’s Dance,” David Bowie told guests that Turner was his favorite female singer.

More popular in England at the time than in the U.S.,she recorded a raspy version of “Let’s Stay Together” at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in London. By the end of 1983, “Let’s Stay Together” was a hit throughout Europe and on the verge of breaking in the states. An A&R man at Capitol Records, John Carter, urged the label to sign her up and make an album.Among the material presented to her was a reflective pop-reggae ballad co-written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle and initially dismissed by Tina as“wimpy.”

“I just thought it was some old pop song, and I didn’t like it,” she later said of “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”

Turner’s “Private Dancer” album came out in May 1984,sold more than eight million copies, and featured several hit singles,including the title song and “Better Be Good To Me.” It won four Grammys, among them record of the year for “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” the song that came to define the clear-eyed image of her post-Ike years.

“People look at me now and think what a hot life I must have lived — ha!” she wrote in her memoir.

Born in Nutbush, Tennessee in 1939 she was never the recipient of expressed love from either her mother or father she testified. Once her parents parted ways she moved often around Tennessee and Missouri, living with various relatives. Fortunately, Ms. Tina was outgoing, loved singing snuck blues club sin St. Louis as an underage teenager, where one of the top acts was Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm. She was not drawn to his physical appearance, but rather his musical acumen.

The rest is history. She married Ike in 1962. Left in1976 and divorced soon after. She gave birth to two son's Craig, with saxophonist Raymond Hill; and Ronald, with Ike Turner, both of whom preceded her in death.  She Erwin Bach, EMI record executive in the 80’s, who became her second husband, former EMI record executive Erwin Bach, in 2013 in Switzerland.

In addition to her recording success, she was featured also in featured as the Acid Queen in the 1975 film version of the Who’s rock opera,“Tommy.” She also starred in the film, “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” and a cameo in, “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”


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