May 24, 2023- Before Beyonce, before Rihanna, even before Aretha and Diana, there was Tina Turner. She transcended being treated, and mistreated, as a commodity by her first husband, then by Phil Spector, the latter at least acknowledging her particular vocal talent. She wore it and shook it off, keeping her stage name as a mark of survival.
Anna Mae Bullock was born to an indifferent mother and unsettled father, and frequently made to feel like an appendage. Her grandparents taught her Gospel music and a strong work ethic, which she exhibited throughout her musical and film career. She stuck with Ike Turner for nearly twenty years, until his addiction-fueled, abusive behaviour made her overcome any remaining loyalty or feeling like he had somehow “made” her career. Tina, she remained, and true to her vocal talents, she kept on performing, rejuvenating her career in the 1980s, a decade in which she said she “fit”. Tina Turner remarried, in 2013, finding happiness with her long-time friend and collaborator, Erwin Bach. That same year, she became a citizen of Switzerland, relinquishing her U.S. citizenship. Her last ten years of life were wracked by disease, tempered by her faith in the Divine and the love she shared with her husband.
Tina was the ultimate show artist,and while her view of her native land was harsh-so was much of the life she lived here. She made a grand contribution to American popular music, nonetheless, rejuvenating both her career and the entirety of the genre, at a time when both were in a low ebb. Tina Turner will remain in many hearts, for a long, long time.