#RespectYourElders: Tina Turner, 79, is an American-Swiss singer and actress. The Grammy-winning singer is often called “The Queen of Rock and Roll.”
Born Anna Mae Bullock in 1939, she was the child of poor sharecroppers living in Nutbush, Tennessee. Turner and her sister were abandoned at an early age, leaving their grandmother to raise the two of them. After their grandmother passed away, Turner moved to St. Louis, Missouri to live with her mother again.
Turner got involved in the rhythm-and-blues scene as a teenager and spent her time at Club Manhattan. There she met Ike Turner, who played with a group called Kings of Rhythm. The band recognized her talent, and before long, she became their centerpiece performer.
Ike and Tina Turner recorded “A Fool in Love” in 1959 and it quickly became a massive success in the pop and R&B worlds. The duo began touring as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue and married shortly after. They came out with hit after hit in the ’60s and Tina Turner hypnotized crowds with her raw, dynamic performances. The duo reached worldwide success when they opened for the Rolling Stones in 1966.
In 1976, Tina had finally had enough of Ike who had become abusive towards her. She left him with 36 cents and a Mobil credit card, and that was the end of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.
The famous singer struggled financially for several years following the duo’s split, but she appeared in several films and still performed shows. She came back in a big way with her fifth solo studio album “Private Dancer,” which was released in 1984. Her album featured one of her most famous hits “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” which reached No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts and won her a Grammy for Record of the Year.
Turner published her autobiography, “I, Tina,” several years later. This was eventually adapted to the 1993 film about her life, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner.
Twenty-six years later, Tina Turner’s powerful story is still told. “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” arrived on Broadway in October. Following the show’s opening night performance, Turner surprised the audience with a post-show speech.
“This musical is my life but it’s like poison that turned to medicine,” Turner said at the show.
“People think my life has been tough, but I think it’s been a wonderful journey,” Turner said in 2018. “The older you get, the more you realize it’s not what happened, it’s how you deal with it,”