Photo of an 18-Years-old Tina Turner (“Little Ann”) in a Nightclub next to a Microphone in 1958.
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an American-born Swiss[a] singer and actress. Widely referred to as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, she rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue before launching a successful career as a solo performer.
Tina Turner was born in Brownsville, Tennessee. Her family lived in the nearby rural unincorporated community of Nutbush, Tennessee, where her father worked as an overseer of the sharecroppers at Poindexter Farm on Highway 180; she later recalled picking cotton with her family at an early age.
As a young girl, Bullock sang in the church choir at Nutbush’s Spring Hill Baptist Church. When she was 11, her mother Zelma ran off without warning. Bullock and her sisters were sent to live with their maternal grandmother, Georgeanna Currie in Brownsville, Tennessee.
As a teenager, Bullock joined both the cheerleading squad and the female basketball team at Carver High School in Brownsville, and “socialized every chance she got”. When Bullock was 16, her grandmother died, so she went to live with her mother in St. Louis. She graduated from Sumner High School in 1958.
Turner began her career with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm in 1957. Under the name Little Ann, she appeared on her first record, “Boxtop”, in 1958. In 1960, she was introduced as Tina Turner with the hit duet single “A Fool in Love”. The duo Ike & Tina Turner became “one of the most formidable live acts in history”. They released hits such as “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, “River Deep – Mountain High”, “Proud Mary”, and “Nutbush City Limits” before disbanding in 1976.
In 1976 and 1977, Turner earned income by appearing on TV shows such as The Hollywood Squares, Donny & Marie, The Sonny & Cher Show and The Brady Bunch Hour.
In October 1981, Rod Stewart attended Turner’s show at the Ritz in New York City and invited her to perform “Hot Legs” with him on Saturday Night Live. In November, Turner opened for the Rolling Stones during their 1981 American Tour. Turner’s recording of the Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion” for the UK production team BEF became a hit in European dance clubs in 1982.
During her second stint at the Ritz, she signed with Capitol Records in 1983. In November 1983, she released her cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” which was produced by B.E.F. It reached several European charts, including No. 6 in the UK. In the US, the song peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the Hot Dance Club Songs, and No. 3 Hot Black Singles.
Following the single’s surprise success, Capitol Records greenlit a studio album. Turner had two weeks to record her Private Dancer album, which was released in May 1984. It reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 in the United Kingdom. Private Dancer was certified 5× Platinum in the United States, and sold 10 million copies worldwide, becoming her most successful album.
Also in May 1984, Capitol issued the album’s second single, “What’s Love Got to Do with It”; the song had previously been recorded by the pop group Bucks Fizz. Following the album’s release, Turner joined Lionel Richie as the opening act on his tour.
On September 1, 1984, Turner achieved her first and only No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “What’s Love Got to Do with It”. The follow-up singles “Better Be Good to Me” and “Private Dancer” were both U.S. top 10 hits. Turner culminated her comeback when she won three Grammys at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for “What’s Love Got to Do with It”. In February 1985, she embarked on her second world tour to support the Private Dancer album. Two nights were filmed at Birmingham, England’s NEC Arena and later released as a concert on home video. During this time, she also contributed vocals to the USA for Africa benefit song “We Are the World”.
Turner’s success continued when she traveled to Australia to star opposite Mel Gibson in the 1985 post-apocalyptic film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The movie provided her with her first acting role in ten years; she portrayed the glamorous Aunty Entity, the ruler of Bartertown. Upon release, critical response to her performance was generally positive. The film was a global success, grossing more than $36 million in the United States.Turner later received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress for her role in the film. She recorded two songs for the film, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” and “One of the Living”; both became hits with the latter winning her a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
In 1993, the semi-autobiographical film What’s Love Got to Do with It was released. The film starred Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner. Turner contributed to the soundtrack for What’s Love Got to Do with It, re-recording old songs and several new songs. The single “I Don’t Wanna Fight” from the soundtrack was a top 10 hit in the U.S. and UK.