Legend Tina Turner has died aged 83 of natural causes.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Tina Turner,” a statement from her family read. “She has captivated millions of fans around the world with her music and boundless passion for life.” She has certainly inspired, and continues to inspire, the stars of today and the stars of tomorrow.
Ike and Tine
Tina’s life was far from easy, and in many ways her story is one of the most remarkable when it comes to pop star life. And one of the saddest.
Tina was a queen on stage, no doubt.
But behind the image, life was colored with sorrows and difficulties. Not only did she have to endure her husband’s abuse, but Tina has struggled with numerous health issues over the years.
She suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after a terrible marriage, severe kidney failure, high blood pressure and colon cancer.
On top of that, she suffered a stroke in 2013.
Ike and Tina
18 year old single mother
Tina was born on November 26, 1939 in the southern United States, specifically in Tennessee, the youngest of three sisters from a poor family and named Anna Mae.
She met Ike Turner, who would later become her husband, at a nightclub where he sang with his band, the Kings of Rhythm.
It was 1957 and Tina was having an affair with saxophonist Raymond Hill and soon became pregnant. But Hill left Tina around the time their son, Craig, was born, and Tina was a single mother then, just 18 years old.
Tina liked the music of Ike and his band, but not necessarily Ike himself. She asked to sing, but he didn’t accept her at first. But they met regularly in clubs and eventually Tina was able to record the song and after that they started performing together in public. They also started an affair, but Tina later said that in her mind it was closer to a sibling relationship.
Anna Mae becomes Tina
They made a demo recording which they sent to Sue Records CEO Jiggy Murray. He liked it, but thought Anna Mae’s name was not marketable and suggested she call Tina.
And with that, little Anna Mae, who had mostly sung in church choirs, gradually became superstar Tina Turner.
Ike and Tina had a hit in 1960 with the song A Fool in Love, and hit after hit followed.
Ike and Tina were the music world’s dream couple, but the reality was even more disgusting. He, on the other hand, has been hidden for many years.
Ike and Tina had son Ronnie in 1960 and two years later they married. Ike adopted Craig who later took the name Craig Raymond Turner. Tina, on the other hand, adopted Ike’s two sons from a previous relationship, Ike Jr. and Michael.
The couple was considered magnificent on stage, almost all of their songs became extremely popular, and the money flowed in. Tina was a superstar, and in 1967 she not only became the first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, but she was also one of the first black performers to appear on the cover of the magazine.
But within the walls of their mansion, Ike beat Tina almost every day during their marriage.
“He was scared, he was scared that I had become more popular than him and would leave him,” Tina said in a 2018 interview.
He kept avoiding me but I didn’t care, I loved him but I was never in love with him. It was the mental and physical abuse that was the hardest.”
In 1993, a film was made about Tina’s life, “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, starring Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike. The violence is done in a stark-looking way, and Bassett and Fishburne are simply gorgeous as Tina and Ike.
Tina let violence take hold of her for years, but finally filed for divorce in 1978. She walked out penniless, with 37 cents in her pocket.
The largest “comb tray” in history
And two years later, Tina had one of the biggest comebacks in music history.
She was then 41 years old and few believed that a woman in her fifties could start a successful solo career. But Tina did not listen to these naysayers and released the album Private Dancer, which included the super popular song “What’s Love Got to Do with It”. Tina won a Grammy Award for Best Album in 1994.
She was 44 when she reached the milestone of being the oldest woman to ever top the US charts.
Tina was known for her wild hair and sexy clothes. Who doesn’t remember Tina’s little leather skirts?
She politely silenced them, predicting that a woman her age was out of the question to become a superstar, let alone sexy. Tina was unstoppable on stage and never let her illness stop her or talk about it.
The suicide of the son
But sadness knocked on Tina’s door again in 2018 when her eldest son, Craig Rayomond, took his own life.
She later said she had never experienced anything more terrifying than losing her son. “He was 59 but he will always be my little boy.”
Tina rarely talked about her private life, but in 1985 she met Erwin Bach, whom she called the great love of her life. She moved with him to Switzerland in 1995 and after 27 years of relationship, in 2013 they finally got married.
Tina with the love of her life.
Tina Turner’s story will always be one of the greatest in music history
She was a magnificent artist who always refused to give up no matter what. Tina showed that women can break the glass ceiling if they have the will and the power to do so.
She had a great voice, a wide vocal range that could express the full range of emotions, and her passion and depth captured everyone.
Tina struggled with poverty, racism, and misogyny, but never let anything stop her, instead interpreting her experiences through her music.
Tina will live on through her music for years to come.
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