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Anna Mae Bullock (born November 26, 1939) better known by her stage name Tina Turner, is an American singer whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards. Turner started out her music career in the mid-1950s as a featured singer with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, first recording in 1958 under the name Little Ann with the song, "Box Top". Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in the early 1960s with Ike as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Success followed with a string of notable hits including "River Deep Mountain High" (1966) and "Proud Mary" (1971).
Turner later revealed several severe instances of domestic abuse in her autobiography, I, Tina, against her by Ike Turner prior to their 1976 split and subsequent 1978 divorce. Raised a Baptist, Turner converted to Buddhism in 1974, crediting the religion and its spiritual chants for getting her through difficult times in her life. Following her divorce from Ike Turner, she rebuilt her career by constantly performing, eventually launching another series of hits starting in 1983 with the single "Let's Stay Together" and the 1984 release of her fifth solo album Private Dancer. "What's Love Got to Do with It," the most popular single from the album, would later serve as the title of a biographical film about Turner that was adapted from her autobiography. In addition to her music career, Turner has also experienced success in movies, including a role in the 1975 rock musical, Tommy and a starring role in the 1985 Mel Gibson action flick, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, later appearing in a cameo role in the 1993 film, Last Action Hero.
One of the world's most popular entertainers, Turner has been called the most successful female rock artist,, winning 8 Grammys and selling more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. She has also been named "one of the greatest singers of all time" by Rolling Stone. Her combined album and single sales total approximately 200 million copies worldwide. She is known for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, career longevity, and widespread appeal. In 2008, Turner left semi-retirement to embark on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour. Turner's tour became one of the highest selling ticketed shows of 20082009. Rolling Stone ranked her at 63 on their 100 greatest artists of all time and considers her the "Queen of Rock and Roll".
Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, an unincorporated area in Haywood County, Tennessee, on November 26, 1939 at Haywood Memorial Hospital, to Zelma Priscilla (née Currie) and Floyd Richard Bullock. Both Zelma and Floyd were factory workers while Floyd worked as a Baptist deacon and overseer of the sharecropping farm, Pointdexter Farm. Turner is of African American, Native American and European descent. Turner's mother had Cherokee and Navajo ancestry along with African American ancestry. While appearing on the PBS documentary, African American Lives 2, Turner had done a test of her lineage and the test, as revealed by host Henry Louis Gates, only showed Turner to only have 1% Native American blood. However, the genetic testing that was done was flawed because it excluded many of her ancestors. Therefore, Turner may actually have a much greater percentage of Native American blood in her lineage. She attended the local Flag Grove School, the land for which had been sold below market value to the school trustees by her great-great-uncle in 1889. Ann had an older sister, Ruby Aillene. For a time during World War II, their parents relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee to do work at a wartime defense facility.
During this period, Ann and Aillene were split up and lived in different homes, with Ann settling at her strict and religious paternal grandparents. Eventually the sisters reunited with their parents after moving with them to Knoxville. During their time in Knoxville, they worked out at the farm picking cotton and strawberries. Turner also had her first singing experiences at Knoxville's Spring Hill Baptist Church. By the time Ann was eleven, her mother had left her father for good, later divorcing, following a marriage that had been abusive, disappearing without telling her kids. Zelma relocated to St. Louis to live with Turner's aunt. After marrying another woman, Floyd Bullock also left the family for Detroit, when Turner was 13. The sisters then were sent to live with their grandmother Georgeanna in Brownsville. Turner would later write in her memoirs that she felt she had been unwanted due to her parents' strained marriage. Before her teens, Turner became a domestic worker for a family named The Hendersons in Ripley.
Growing up a tomboy, Turner joined both the cheerleading squad and the female's basketball team in her local high school and "socialized every chance she got". At sixteen, her grandmother died suddenly. Following Georgeanna's funeral, Turner's mother brought her to St. Louis, where her sister had already relocated to. In St. Louis, she attended Sumner High School. Ann eventually graduated from the school in 1958 and subsequently found work as a nurse's aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, hoping to be a nurse.
Ike & Tina Turner
Shortly after moving to St. Louis where she reunited with her sister, the duo started frequenting nightclubs at the St. Louis and East St. Louis areas. It was while attending Club Manhattan, a nightclub in the East St. Louis area that Ann first saw Ike Turner and his band, the Kings of Rhythm, perform. Though not taken by his looks, Tina said she was impressed by the music and of Ike's talent, later claiming the bandleader's music put her "into a trance". Noticing that women volunteered to sing with Ike, Ann felt the urge to get on stage, despite the fact that Ike wasn't serious about allowing female singers in his band. One night in 1957, Kings of Rhythm drummer Gene Washington pulled out a microphone from his drum set to Ann's and sister Aillene's table. After Aillene shied away from the microphone, Ann took it and began singing while the rest of the band was in intermission. Stunned from hearing Ann's voice, Ike left his piano and asked Ann if she knew other songs. By the end of the night, Ann sung lead for the entire duration of the night's performance. Turner soon allowed Ann to join the band full time afterwards. During this transition, Turner taught Ann the points of voice control and performance. Ann's first studio recording was singing background on the Ike Turner song, "Box Top" in 1958, alongside singer Carlson Oliver under the nickname, "Little Ann", released under the Tune Town label.
In 1959, Ike had written a song for male vocalist Art Lassiter. When Lassiter failed to show up for the recording session for the song, Turner, who had booked expensive studio time, allowed "Little Ann" to sing on the record as a "dummy vocal", with the intention of erasing her vocals and adding Lassiter's at a later date. Despite the demo showcasing Ann's voice as "high pitched" and "screechy", the song was given decent play in St. Louis. Local St. Louis deejay Dave Dixon convinced Ike to send the tape to Juggy Murray, president of R&B label, Sue Records. Upon hearing the track, Murray was impressed with Ann's vocals later stating that her vocals "sounded like screaming dirt... it was a funky sound." Murray bought the track and paid Ike a $25,000 advance for recording and publishing rights. Murray also convinced Turner to make Ann "the star of the show". Ike renamed "Little Ann" to "Tina", rhyming it with his favorite television character, Sheena. Another reason for Ann's name change to Tina Turner was due to stopping Ann from running off with the name, in case she left Ike, he could replace her with another singer and have her perform as Tina. Ike would later say another reason for the name change was to discourage one of Tina's former lovers from returning to her. Afterwards, Sue released the record under the billing "Ike and Tina Turner". Ike would take credit for helping to mold and shape Tina's style and image.
"A Fool in Love" became an immediate hit after its release reaching #2 on the Hot R&B Sides chart by August of 1960, and #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 by that October. It was described by Kurt Loder years later as "the blackest record to ever creep into the white pop charts since Ray Charles' gospel-styled 'What'd I Say' that previous summer". Their second pop hit, "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", was released a year later, where it peaked at #14 on the Hot 100 and later won the duo their first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock and Roll Performance. Other hit singles the duo scored during this early period included the top ten R&B singles, "I Idolize You", "Poor Fool" and "Tra-La-La-La". After a few more recordings failed to generate success, the Turners left Sue in 1964 and signed with Kent Records for a brief spell, releasing the song, "I Can't Believe What You Say", which failed to chart. They then signed with the Bob Krasnow-run label, Loma Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records, in 1965. Krasnow replaced Juggy Murray as the group's manager. In a five-year span, Ike & Tina signed with more than ten labels between 1964 and 1969.
The duo's early success was mainly built around live performances across the United States, which the duo would gig 90 days straight in dates around the country. During the days of the chitlin' circuit, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue built a reputation that a writer for the History of Rock site cited as "one of the most hottest, most durable and potentially most explosive of all R&B ensembles" with its show rivaling that of the James Brown Show in terms of musical spectacle. The shows, organized by Ike Turner, provided them with financial earnings. Due to their successful performances, the couple were able to perform in front of diverse crowds in the American South due to the money they would make from performing in Southern clubs. Between 1963 and 1966, the band toured constantly without the presence of a hit single. Tina's own profile was raised after several solo appearances on shows such as American Bandstand and Shindig!, while the entire Revue appeared on shows such as Hollywood A Go-Go, The Andy Williams Show and, in late 1965, in the concert film, The Big T.N.T. Show.
In 1965, Phil Spector sought to work with Tina after catching an Ike & Tina show in Los Angeles. Upon working out the deal, Spector gave Ike a $20,000 advance to keep out of the studio, to which Ike agreed. With Spector, Turner produced the song, "River Deep - Mountain High", which would be released in 1966 on Spector's Philles record label. Though the record didn't do well in the US, the song became successful overseas, finding its peak in the United Kingdom, where it reached #3 on the singles chart. The success of the record led to them opening for The Rolling Stones on their UK tour later that fall, which the Turners later extended by performing all over Europe and Australia. In 1968, Ike & Tina's chart success was renewed following the release of their Blue Thumb album, Outta Season, which produced their cover of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long". They'd follow this up with The Hunter, which produced charted singles including the title track and an original composition, "Bold Soul Sister", which later won Tina Turner a solo Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1970. The success of these albums led to the duo performing in bigger venues including a residence in Las Vegas where their shows would be attended by a variety of celebrities including David Bowie, Sly Stone, Janis Joplin, Cher, James Brown, Ray Charles, Elton John and Elvis Presley. A second opening gig with The Rolling Stones for their US tour led the duo and its Revue to more exposure from mainstream critics. Turner became the first woman to grace the cover of the rock magazine, Rolling Stone during this time.
The success of the tour led to the Turners signing with, first Minit Records, and then, Liberty Records, where they released two recordings, Come Together and Workin' Together, released in 1970 and 1971. In 1970, they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and had their first top 40 pop song in nearly ten years with their remake of Sly & The Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher". Their cover of The Beatles' "Come Together" also charted beginning the period of the act covering rock songs rather than the usual blues and R&B in their repertoire. In early 1971, the duo's cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" became their biggest hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and selling over a million copies. The song later won the duo a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group. The duo's live album, What You Hear Is What You Get, culled from a gig at Carnegie Hall, became the band's first gold-selling album. The success of their 1971 recordings led to Ike Turner creating Bolic Sound Studios near their home in Inglewood, California. Reassigning to the United Artists label, the duo would release ten albums between 1971 and 1974, with little success. The duo's final hit single, "Nutbush City Limits", which included lyrics from Tina, was released in 1973, peaking at #22 on the Hot 100, while reaching #4 in the UK. A year later, Turner, with help from outside producers in Bolic, released her first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On! Turner was critically raved for her vocal performances on the album, leading to another solo Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1975. Her and Ike's work on their gospel album, The Gospel According to Ike & Tina, led to a nomination for Best Soul Gospel Performance. One of the Turners' last albums together, Sweet Island Rhode Red, produced the funk hit, "Sexy Ida, Pt. 1".
In 1974, Tina traveled to London to participate in the filming of the rock musical, Tommy, in which she played The Acid Queen, and sung the song of the same name. Turner's performance was critically acclaimed. Shortly after filming wrapped, Turner appeared with Ann-Margret on her TV special in London. Returning to the United States, Turner continued her career with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Following the release of Tommy, another Turner solo album, Acid Queen, was released in 1975. Though it included a variety of producers, Ike Turner contributed on a few of the songs, including the raunchy duet, "Baby Get It On", which became Ike & Tina's final charted single.
By 1975, the Ike & Tina Turner Revue's success had tapered off. Ike Turner's troubling cocaine habit had hampered his ability to produce music and some gigs would be canceled, leading to a drop in ticket sales in their concerts. Throughout that year, Tina would appear solo without Ike in several shows including The Cher Show. Tina, around this time, had begun chanting after having converted to Nichiren Buddhism in 1974, as a means to get through rough times, which mainly included Ike's own rough treatment of her. On July 2, 1976, Turner and her husband had a violent fight on their way from Los Angeles to Dallas where the Revue had a gig at the Dallas Statler Hilton. Following their arrival to the hotel, Turner left Ike, fleeing with nothing more than thirty-six cents ("a quarter, a dime and a penny", Tina said) and a Mobil gas station credit card in her possession. She spent the next few months hiding from Ike while staying with various friends. Following this, Tina filed for divorce on July 27 after 14 years of marriage, ending the Ike & Tina Turner Revue for good.
Tina would later credit the Nichiren Buddhist faith with giving her the courage to strike out on her own. By walking out on Ike in the middle of a tour, however, she learned she was legally responsible to tour promoters for the canceled shows. After a year in court, their divorce was made final on March 29, 1978. In the divorce, she completely 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 Internal Revenue Service lien.
First solo performances
After Ike & Tina's divorce was finalized in March 1978, Tina set on reviving her flagging career. With the help of United Artists Records executive Richard Stewart, Turner was given the finances to produce her own show. Inspired by the cabaret-styled Las Vegas shows she had witnessed during her Ike & Tina years, Tina produced a similar show and began performing in venues in Las Vegas and in small clubs in the United States. To earn further income due to issues with the IRS, Turner began appearing in shows such as The Hollywood Squares, Donny and Marie, The Sonny & Cher Show and The Brady Bunch Hour. Later in 1978, United Artists released Turner's third solo album, Rough, with distribution both in North America and Europe with EMI. The record failed to chart as well as her follow-up album, Love Explosion, which included a brief diversion to disco rhythms. The albums completed Turner's contract with United Artists/EMI and Turner left the label without renewing the contract. Continuing to perform in small clubs with her cabaret styled act, Turner spent most of 1978 and 1979 on the road promoting her Wild Lady of Rock 'n' Roll tour, where she continued to be a successful live act even without a hit record.
Following an appearance on Olivia Newton-John's musical variety show in Newton-John's native Australia, she sought contact with her management team, which included Lee Kramer and Roger Davies. Kramer and Davies saw Turner perform in San Francisco in 1980 and agreed to work with her, with Kramer becoming Turner's manager and Davies becoming the booking agent for Turner's shows. Through Kramer's and Davies' insistence, Turner cut most of her entourage including longtime associate Rhonda Gramm, and her band, and revived her show from cabaret styled shows to a gritty rock'n'roll showcase, debuting Turner's new show in venues both in and outside the United States. In 1981, Kramer and Davies set up a showcase for Tina at the Ritz in New York, which led to Rod Stewart having Tina perform with him, first on Saturday Night Live and then on several dates of his U.S. tour. Following this, Turner opened three shows for The Rolling Stones. In both tours, Turner gained recognition for her success as a live performer. In 1982, she recorded a cover of The Temptations' "Ball of Confusion" for the UK production team, B.E.F., which became a hit in European dance clubs. Throughout 1982, Turner performed in both bigger and smaller venues, including another showcase at the Ritz in December of that year, which led to a singles deal with Capitol Records under the insistence of David Bowie.
Return to prominence
In November 1983, Tina released her cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together", with Capitol. The record became a hit, first in Europe where it reached the top forty and top ten in some countries including the UK and then in the Americas, peaking at #26 on the US pop chart in February 1984, becoming Turner's first solo single to chart putting an end to the singer's eight-year absence from the charts, also peaking at the top 5 of the US R&B and dance charts as well. The success of the single led Capitol to rethink its contract with Turner and offered the singer a three-album deal, demanding an album on short notice, which had Turner staging what Ebony magazine later called an "amazing comeback". Done in two months, the album Private Dancer, was released in June 1984. That same month, Turner issued the album's second single, "What's Love Got to Do with It". It quickly climbed to the Top 10 within a month and in September had reached #1 on the Hot 100 in the U.S., making it the first time in Turner's career that she had reached that position. Private Dancer peaked at the Top 5 of the Billboard album charts later selling five million copies in the U.S. and a total of eleven million copies worldwide, though some sources stated the album has sold over twenty million making it her most successful album. Private Dancer also featured two more Top 10 singles, the rock-oriented "Better Be Good to Me" and the seductive title track "Private Dancer" while another U.S. single, "Show Some Respect", became a modest Top 40 hit. Turner's comeback was culminated in early 1985 when she won four Grammy Awards including Record of the Year for "What's Love Got to Do with It". In February of that year, she embarked on her second world tour supporting the Private Dancer album, where she toured to huge crowds. One show, filmed at Birmingham, England's NEC Arena, was later released on home video. During this time she also contributed on vocals to the USA for Africa benefit song "We Are the World".
Turner's success continued in 1985 when she appeared in the film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, playing Aunty Entity, the ruler of Bartertown her first acting role in 10 years. Upon its release, the film grossed $36 million. Turner later received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress for her role in the film. She also contributed songs to the film's soundtrack, two of which, "We Don't Need Another Hero" and "One of the Living", became hits, with "One of the Living" later winning Turner a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In July, Turner performed at Live Aid alongside Mick Jagger. Encouraged by a performance together during Tina's filmed solo concert in England, singer Bryan Adams released their duet single together, "It's Only Love", later resulting in a Grammy nod for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Turner returned with her next solo album, Break Every Rule, in 1986. The album quickly became platinum launching several hit singles including "Typical Male", "Two People" and "What You Get Is What You See" going on to sell two million copies in the United States and four million altogether worldwide. That same year, Turner published her autobiography, I, Tina, in which she talked about her early life and volatile marriage to Ike Turner. She later received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that summer. Turner's European Break Every Rule Tour, which culminated in March 1987 in Munich, Germany, contributed to record breaking sales and concert attendances. In January 1988, Turner made history alongside Paul McCartney when she performed in front of the largest paying audience (approximately 184,000) to see a solo performer in Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, earning her a Guinness World Record. The success of Turner's two live tours led to the recording of Tina Live in Europe which was released that April. Turner lay low following the end of her Break Every Rule Tour, emerging once again with Foreign Affair which included one of Turner's signature songs, "The Best". She later embarked on a Europe-only tour to promote the album. While Foreign Affair would go gold in the United States, with its singles "The Best" and "Steamy Windows" becoming Top 40 hits there, it wasn't as successful as Turner's previous offerings, though it was hugely successful in Europe, where Turner had personally relocated.
In 1991, Ike & Tina Turner were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Phil Spector later accepted on their behalf. That same year, the ex-couple signed away their rights to have their lives dramatized in the semi-autobiographical film, What's Love Got to Do with It, later released in 1993 and starring Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike, with the actors winning Best Actress and Best Actor Academy Award nominations for their portrayals of the former husband-and-wife team. Turner contributed to the soundtrack for What's Love Got to Do with It, re-recording songs from her Ike & Tina days and recording several newer songs including what turned out to be her last Top 10 U.S. hit, "I Don't Wanna Fight". Other than helping Bassett with her wardrobe and teaching her dance steps as well as providing songs for the soundtrack, she refused to be involved fully in the film, telling an interviewer, "Why would I want to see Ike Turner beat me up again? I haven't dwelled on it; it's all in the past where it belongs." Following the film's and soundtrack's release, Turner embarked on her first US tour in seven years. Following the tour's end, Turner moved to Switzerland and took a year off from the road at the end of the tour.
Turner returned in 1995 with the U2 composition, "GoldenEye" for the James Bond film of the same name. Its huge success in Europe and modest success in her formerly native United States led Turner to record a new album, releasing the Wildest Dreams album in 1996. Though the album itself was not as hugely successful in the United States, thanks to a world tour and a much played Hanes hosiery commercial, the album went gold in the United States. The album reached platinum success in Europe where Turner had hits with "Whatever You Want", "Missing You", which briefly charted in the U.S., "Something Beautiful Remains", and the sensual Barry White duet "In Your Wildest Dreams". Following the tour's end in 1997, Turner took another break before re-emerging again in 1999 appearing on the VH-1 special Divas Live '99. In 1998 the duet with Italian superstar Eros Ramazzotti in "Cose della Vita" that became a European hit. Before celebrating her 60th birthday, Turner released the dance-infused song, "When the Heartache Is Over" and its parent album, Twenty Four Seven the following month in Europe, releasing both the song and the album in North America in early 2000. The success of "When the Heartache is Over" and Turner's tour supporting the album once again helped in the album going gold in the U.S. The Twenty Four Seven Tour became her most successful concert tour to date and became 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. Afterwards Turner announced a semi-retirement.
In 2002, Tennessee State Route 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush was named "Tina Turner Highway". The following year, she recorded the duet "Great Spirits" with Phil Collins for the Disney film, Brother Bear. In 2004, Tina made her first professional appearances following her semi-retirement, releasing the compilation album, All the Best, which produced the single "Open Arms", and sold more than a million copies in the US.
At the end of the year, Turner was recognized by the Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and was elected to join an elite group of entertainers. President George W. Bush commented on Turner's "natural skill, the energy and sensuality", and referred to her legs as "the most famous in show business". Several artists paid tribute to her that night including Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Etheridge (performing "River Deep - Mountain High"), Queen Latifah (performing "What's Love Got to Do with It"), Beyoncé (performing "Proud Mary"), and Al Green (performing "Let's Stay Together"). Winfrey stated, "We don't need another hero. We need more heroines like you, Tina. You make me proud to spell my name w-o-m-a-n," and "Tina Turner didn't just survive, she triumphed." In November, Turner released All the Best Live Collection and it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Turner participated in the soundtrack to All the Invisible Children, providing duet vocals to the song, "Teach Me Again", with singer Elisa, finding success in Italy where it peaked at the top spot. Turner gave her first live performance in seven years, in 2007, headlining a benefit concert for the Cauldwell's Children Charity at London's Natural History Museum. That year, Turner performed a rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Edith and The Kingpin" on Herbie Hancock's Mitchell tribute album, River: The Joni Letters. Turner's original vocals for Carlos Santana's "The Game of Love" were included in a Santana greatest hits compilation. Label demands led to Turner's vocals being replaced at the last minute by Michelle Branch.
On December 12, 2007, Turner's ex-husband Ike Turner died from a cocaine overdose, brought on by emphysema and cardiovascular disease. Reached for comment, Turner issued a brief statement through her spokesperson stating: "Tina hasn't had any contact with Ike in more than 30 years. No further comment will be made." Turner made her public comeback in February 2008 at the Grammy Awards where she performed alongside Beyoncé. In addition, she picked up a Grammy as a featured artist on River: The Joni Letters. In October 2008, Turner embarked on her first tour in nearly ten years with the Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour. In support of the tour, Turner released another hits compilation. The tour became a huge success and culminated in the release of the live album/DVD, Tina Live. In 2009, Turner participated in the Beyond singing project with fellow musicians Regula Curti, Seda Bagcan and Dechen Shak Dagsay. This album combined Buddhist chants and Christian choral music along with a spiritual message read by Turner. The album was released only in Germany and a handful of other countries. It peaked at #7 in Switzerland. In 2011, Children Beyond followed and charted again in Switzerland. In April 2010, mainly due to an online campaign by fans of the Glasgow Rangers Football Club, Turner's 1989 hit, "The Best", returned to the UK singles chart, peaking at #9 on the chart. In June 2012, Turner was spotted attending a fashion show in Beijing to support Giorgio Armani. Turner is currently recording Beyond 2, the follow up to the Beyond CD.
In 1958, eighteen-year-old Tina became a mother for the first time, giving birth to her son Craig in August of that year. Craig was the offspring of Tina's and Kings of Rhythm saxophonist Raymond Hill. The news of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy and her performances with the Kings of Rhythm caused her mother Zelma to kick her out of her house. Hill abandoned her and their child, and Tina eventually moved into Ike Turner's house in East St. Louis. Within a couple of years, Tina was pregnant with Ike's child, and their son, Ronald, was born in October 1960. After marrying Turner in 1962, she became the stepmother of Ike's sons, Ike, Jr. (b. 1958) and Michael (b. 1959). Turner was pregnant again with Ike's child in 1968, but after discovering that her friend, Ikette member Ann Thomas, was also carrying Ike's baby, she quietly had her baby aborted.
During Ike and Tina's divorce trial, Ike sent Craig, Ronnie, Ike, Jr. and Michael to live at her home. Following Tina's ascent to solo success, Ike would accuse Tina of not being a good mother to her children, even alleging that Tina had sent Michael to a mental hospital after he had entered Tina's home allegedly to have her and Ike reunite. Tina later denied Ike's allegations and later told Australian magazine TV Week, "he gave me those children and not a penny to look after them with". Tina's relationship with her mother remained estranged throughout her mother's lifetime. After Tina left Los Angeles to move to England, she had her mother move to that home. Zelma Bullock died in 1999. Tina's elder sister Aillene died after a long bout with illness in 2010.
Relationship and marriage to Ike Turner
Initially, Turner's relationship with Ike Turner was friendly. Following the birth of her first child, Ike eventually allowed Tina to move in at his home in East St. Louis. During this early period, Ike began helping Tina with her voice. Initially neither Ike nor Tina felt attraction for the other: Tina thought Ike was not the ideal-looking man while Ike dismissed Tina as being "too skinny". Tina later acknowledged that Ike favored curvaceous women. Ike was still married to Lorraine Taylor during this period. In late 1959, Taylor and Turner separated and shortly afterwards, Tina and Ike engaged in a sexual romance, much to Tina's chagrin. Ike later stated that having sex with Tina "felt like I was strewing [sic] my sister." Tina and Ike married in Tijuana in 1962. As a result, Tina's son Craig adopted Ike's last name. Tina would later state that the first account of Ike's abusive dominance over her began after she thought of leaving Ike's group due to a financial dispute. Tina said Ike grabbed a shoe stretcher and hit her in the eye with it. Tina then said afterwards, Ike would ask her to have sex with him. Tina would write in her memoirs, I, Tina, that the incident was the first time that Ike had "instilled fear" in her.
While Tina would write and explain Ike's levels of abuse, Ike's own accounts differed. In a 1985 interview with Spin magazine, Ike admitted, "Yeah I hit her, but I didn't hit her more than the average guy beats his wife...If she says I abused her, maybe I did." He worded this slightly different in his 1999 memoirs, Taking Back My Name writing: "Sure, I've slapped Tina... There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I have never beat her." Turner also claimed on more than one occasion that he and Tina weren't even legally married. In the 1985 Spin article, Ike said, "As God is my judge, of all my wives, Tina is the only one I was never legally married to." He explained in later years that Tina took his name in order to discourage a former lover from returning to her. Ike himself said he had married at least 14 times and five times before he allegedly married Tina. Tina herself admits she "never felt like [she] was married" to Ike.
Before a show in Los Angeles in 1969, Turner tried to commit suicide by swallowing 50 Valiums. In early July 1976, after years of abuse, Tina left Ike after suffering a beating from him while in Dallas. Later that month, Tina filed for divorce and left most of the monetary assets in Ike's care while retaining the use of her stage name as a means to perform. Following the divorce, Turner had corrective surgery on her nasal septum due to Ike Turner's constant hits. Later, Turner dismissed popular notions that she was a "victim" of Ike Turner's abuse stating she had argued with producers of her loosely-based biopic, "What's Love Got to Do with It" over her depiction in the film. Friends of Ike Turner said he never fully got over their divorce. Their son Ronald once alleged that Ike used to come to his house and snoop through his phone book to locate his mother.
Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, Turner was Baptist. Turner was introduced to Buddhism by a friend of hers and Ike's in 1972. Turner wrote in her autobiography that she first used Buddhist chants (mainly Nam Myh Renge Ky) before performing at a recording session at Ike's Bolic Sound studio. The result led to Ike, instead of berating her or hitting her for supposed wrong notes, sending her money to go shopping, something Tina took to her advantage later on. Two years later, she converted to Nichiren Buddhism and later credited the religion for getting her through the rough times. Turner considers herself a "Buddhist-Baptist". Turner stated she still prays in the traditional Baptist sense while also meditating and chanting.
While still attending high school in Brownsville, Tina had her first relationship with a boy from a rival high school named Harry Taylor, which occurred after Taylor transitioned to Tina's school to be near her. The relationship broke after Tina learned that Harry had went off and married another girl, leaving her heartbroken. Following her divorce from Ike Turner, Tina decided to remain single as she struggled to get her career back on track.
In 1985, she met her current partner, German-based music executive Erwin Bach, while at a record label party in London. They began dating a year later and have remained together since. Turner has been living in a lake house called Chateau Algonquin in Zurich, Switzerland since moving there in 1994. She owns property in Los Angeles, and has residences in London, Cologne, Germany, and a villa on the French Riviera named Anna Fleur.
Awards and accolades
Turner was listed on Rolling Stone's list "The Immortals The Greatest Artists of All Time". Turner is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and three of her recordings, "River Deep - Mountain High" (1999), "Proud Mary" (2003) and "What's Love Got To Do With It" (2012) are in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Turner has won 8 Grammy Awards.
Bryan Adams, who toured with her on the Private Dancer Tour, praised Turner's live performances, saying, "I never saw Tina walk through a performance, she always put on a great show, and was gracious and grateful to her audience."
Her legs were noted specifically as she was honored by President George W. Bush.
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