Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock;
November 26, 1939) started out her music career as an occasional vocalist in Ike's shows at the age of 18. Going by the
name "Little Ann," Bullock was also the spotlight of a soul revue led by
Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm band.
Ike changed Bullock's name to Tina Turner and that of his band to The
Ike & Tina Turner Revue.
In 1960, when a singer scheduled to record the song, "A Fool in Love",
didn't appear, Tina stepped in and recorded the vocals instead. "A
Fool in Love" was a huge R&B hit reaching #2, crossing over to the
top 30 of the US pop chart.
Did You Know?
The first time Tina Turner performed song "A Fool in Love" on national television
was on the October 3, 1960 episode of American Bandstand, while she was
nine months pregnant with Ike's child. Also Tina performed this song
during her 2000 concert tour, and her performance of this song can be
seen on the One Last Time concert DVD, from her Twenty Four Seven Tour.
Success followed with a
string of hits including "River Deep, Mountain High" and the 1971 hit
By the mid-1970s, Tina's personal life and marriage began to fail.
Ike's drug use led to increasingly erratic and physically abusive
behavior. Their act was losing speed largely due to Ike's refusal to
accept outside management of their recording or touring, as well as the
cost of maintaining his allegedly voracious cocaine habit. Touring
dates began to decline and record sales were low; their last success
was "Nutbush City Limits", a song penned by Tina Turner about her home
town, that reached #22 on the Hot 100 and #4 in the United Kingdom in
Having opened his own recording studio, Bolic Sound, following the
lucrative success of "Proud Mary", Ike produced Tina's first solo album,
Tina Turns the Country On
in 1974. It failed to make an impact on the charts, as did the
follow-up, Acid Queen (1975), which was released to tie in with Tina's
critically acclaimed big-screen debut in the role of the same name in
The Who's rock opera, Tommy.
After a violent argument before an appearance at the Dallas Statler Hilton
in July 1976, Tina abruptly left Ike, fleeing with nothing more than
thirty-six cents and a gas-station credit card. She spent the next few
months hiding from him while staying with various friends.
By walking out on Ike in the middle of a tour, she learned she was
legally responsible to tour promoters for the canceled tour. Needing to
earn a living, she became a solo performer, supplementing her income
with TV appearances on shows such as The Hollywood Squares and, Donny and Marie, The Sonny & Cher Show, and The Brady Bunch Hour.
Her divorce was finalized in 1978 after sixteen years of marriage. She
parted ways with him, retaining only her stage name, and assuming
responsibility for the debts incurred by the canceled tour as well as a
significant IRS lien.
virtually disappearing from the music scene for several years following
her divorce from Ike, Tina Turner rebuilt her career, launching a
string of hits beginning in 1983 with the single "Let's Stay Together"
and the 1984 release of her fifth solo album Private Dancer.
In 1984, Turner staged what Ebony magazine called an "amazing
comeback". The album "Private Dancer" was released in June 1984, and
the first single, "What's Love Got to Do with It", peaked at number-one
in the US and number three in the UK. It became, and still is, Turner's
only number-one hit in either the US or UK.
The single hit the top ten in several other European countries. Private
Dancer went on to sell five million copies in the US, and a total of 11
million copies worldwide, though some sources stated the album has sold
over twenty million, making it her most successful album. Besides
"Let's Stay Together" and "What's Love Got to Do With It", the album
also yielded the hits "Better Be Good To Me" (US #5, UK #45) and
"Private Dancer" (US #7, UK #26) Turner would later win an MTV Video
Music Award, two American Music Awards and four Grammy Awards,
confirming her year as "the comeback queen". In February 1985, Turner
embarked on her first solo world tour, the Private Dancer Tour, which
saw her performing in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. She
also collaborated on the USA For Africa song "We Are The World" which
helped famine victims in Africa.
Following her biggest years of her career, Turner continued her widely
successful solo career releasing the album, Break Every Rule, in 1986.
That same year, Turner published her autobiography, I, Tina, which she
talked about her early life and volatile marriage to Ike Turner. Later
that summer, the singer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Turner's Break Every Rule yielded the hits, "Typical Male", "Two
People", "Back Where You Started" and "What You Get Is What You See"
and reportedly sold over nine million copies worldwide.
In March of the following year, Turner embarked on her Break Every Rule
Tour in Munich. On January 16, 1988, Turner made history when she
entered the Guinness World Records alongside with Paul McCartney
performing in front of the largest paying audience (over 184,000) to
see a solo artist in Maracanã Stadium,
Rio de Janeiro. In April, Turner's double live album, Tina Live in
Europe, was released. In late 1989, Turner released her seventh studio
album, Foreign Affair, which included the international smash, "The
Best". The single became one of Turner's signature singles. In 1990,
she embarked on a hugely successful European tour to promote the album
playing to nearly four million fans and touring over 121 shows in
Europe, beating records set by The Rolling Stones' last tours.
In 1991, Turner released a compilation album, Simply the Best. Her
modern dance-pop cover of "Nutbush City Limits" hit the top thirty in
In 1993, she recorded a cover of The Trammps' "Disco Inferno" and two
newer songs, the Lulu cover, "I Don't Wanna Fight" and the R&B
ballad, "Why Must We Wait Until Tonight" (written by Bryan Adams). The
soundtrack went platinum in America and yielded Turner's final top ten
U.S. single, "I Don't Wanna Fight", which peaked at number nine. Later
that year, Turner went out on a sold-out U.S. tour, her first in seven
years, to promote the soundtrack. Afterwards, Turner moved to
Switzerland and took a year off from the road at the end of the tour.
In 1995, Turner returned to recording with the title track for the James Bond flick, Goldeneye,
written by U2's Bono and The Edge. "Goldeneye" hit the top ten in
several European countries. In 1996, Turner's Wildest Dreams album was
released. Due to its later successful world tour and a commercial where
she promoted Hanes hosiery, the album hit gold in the U.S. while it
went platinum in Europe based on the success of singles such as
"Whatever You Want", the cover of John Waite's "Missing You",
"Something Beautiful Remains" and the Barry White duet, "In Your
Wildest Dreams". In May 1996, Turner embarked on a year-long world tour
which again broke concert ticket sales records. The tour lasted into
April 1997 and grossed a combined total of $130 million in sales. At
the end of the year, Turner and one of her musicians co-wrote an
English version of the Italian ballad "Cose della vita" with Italian
singer Eros Ramazzotti. Their duet became a European hit. In April
1999, Turner opened at the VH-1
special, Divas Live '99, performing several of her 1980s hits and
performing with both Elton John and Cher to "Proud Mary". Turner later
remarked that she was recording a new album. In November 1999, Turner
released the dance single "When the Heartache Is Over", its parent
album, "Twenty Four Seven", was released in Europe the following month.
In February 2000, the album was released in America and was certified
Gold by the RIAA. Later that year, Turner went out on one of her most
successful tours of her career. By tour's end, the Twenty Four Seven
Tour had become the highest-grossing tour of 2000 according to Pollstar
grossing over $100 million. Later, Guinness World Records announced
that Turner had sold more concert tickets than any other solo concert
performer in music history.
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