Tina Turner was an American pop sensation and actress, known for her distinctive, raspy singing style and all out stage performances. She was born on November 26, 1939 in Tennessee to a poor farming family. When her parents split, Tina and her sister lived with their grandmother until her death in the early 1950s. Tina then moved to St. Louis, Missouri to live with her mother. She became involved in the area’s music scene, and frequented a club called “Club Manhattan” where she met her future husband Ike Turner. Ike was the singer of a band called “Kings of Rhythm” which regularly performed at the club. Tina began to perform with the band and soon became a major attraction in their act. In 1960, she sang the lead on one of their songs called “A Fool in Love”. This track was sent to a radio station in New York where it became a huge success.
The group capitalized on their success and started touring. They called themselves “The Ike and Tina Turner Review” and released a quick succession of singles the very next year such as “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” “Poor Fool” and “Tra La La La La”. The couple were married in 1962 and had a son named Ronnie, along with one of Tina’s children and two of Ike’s children from previous relationships. In 1966, they recorded the hit album “River Deep, Mountain High” with the famous producer Phil Spector. It wasn’t very popular in the U.S. but immensely well received in Europe. In 1969, they performed on a Rolling Stones tour gaining still more popularity and fans. They kept churning out one hit after the other such as “Proud Mary” and “Nutbush City Limits”.
In 1975, Tina made her movie debut with Ken Russell’s film “Tommy” in which she played a drug addict. Despite the duo’s success, as well as Tina’s own personal success, their marriage was falling apart. Ike had increasingly taken to drug and alcohol use to keep himself going and he often cheated on and physically abused Tina. The couple separated in 1976 and divorced in 1978. Tina was broke and at her wits end to care for her children. She took on a series of menial jobs but continued to perform in any capacity she could. Her solo career was not promising at first but she achieved her first success with her cover of Al Green’s song “Let’s Stay Together” in 1983. The very next year, she launched her first solo album titled “Private Dancer” which won 4 Grammy Awards and sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
Tina returned to Hollywood in 1985, this time starring with Mel Gibson in the film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and sang “We Don’t Need Another Hero” for the movie’s soundtrack. In 1986, she published her autobiography titled “I, Tina” which was later adapted as the film “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”. She sang the soundtrack of the film which achieved yet more success for her. The same year, she released her second solo album titled “Break Every Rule”, followed by “Tina Live in Europe” in 1988, for which she won the Grammy Award for Female Rock Vocal Performance. Her next album was “Foreign Affair” from which the song “(Simply) The Best” was her biggest smash hit.
She released two more albums in the 1990s – “Wildest Dreams” and “Twenty Four Seven”. She also sang on several film soundtracks such as “Goldeneye” and “He Lives In You”. In 1991, her and Ike were both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2008, she made headlines again with the “Tina! 50th Anniversary Tour” and all of her shows were sold out. Tina is no longer actively performing and lives with her second husband Erwin Bach in Switzerland. She married Bach at the age of 73 and now holds Swiss citizenship.