(born Anna Mae Bullock
, November 26, 1939) is an
American singer and actress whose career has spanned over 50 years and who
has won numerous awards. Her achievements in the rock music genre have led
to her being referred to as "The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll".
She has also had leading roles in major motion pictures.
Tina Turner - Proud Mary
Live in Vienna 08 02 2009
Turner is one of
the world's most popular entertainers (see: biggest-selling music artists of
all time) and she has been called the most successful female rock artist
ever with record sales
nearly 200 million copies worldwide.
She has sold more concert tickets than any other solo music performer in
Turner has accumulated hit albums and singles worldwide as a solo act and
with former husband, Ike Turner (as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner
She is known for her energetic stage presence,
powerful vocals, career longevity,
and widespread appeal. She
has had tremendous success touring and is popular around the world. In 2008,
Turner left semi-retirement to embark on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour.
Turner's tour has become one of the highest selling ticketed shows of
Anna Mae Bullock was born as the younger of two girls in Nutbush,
Tennessee, an unincorporated area in Haywood County, Tennessee, on November
26, 1939, the daughter of Zelma Bullock (née Currie), a factory worker, and
Floyd Richard Bullock, a Baptist deacon, farm overseer and factory worker.
She is of mostly African-American and European descent.
Bullock long believed her mother had significant Native American ancestry.
But the results of a DNA test featured on African American Lives 2
showed Bullock was only 1% Native American.
Bullock attended Flag Grove School in Haywood County, Tennessee. The land
for the school was sold below market value to the school trustees by
Bullock's great, great-uncle in 1889.
The younger of two sisters, Bullock and her sister, Allene, grew up with
their grandmother after their parents split when Bullock was ten. Bullock's
sister later moved to St. Louis. Bullock remained in Nutbush until her
grandmother's death and agreed to move in with her mother and sister at 16.
Ike & Tina Turner Revue
In St. Louis, Bullock attended Sumner High School.
Around this time, Bullock's sister was taking her to several nightclubs in
the city. At Club Imperial one night, Bullock met Mississippi-born rhythm
and blues musician Ike Turner and later asked him if she could sing for him.
Ike was initially sceptical, but after much persistence on Bullock's part,
he decided to let her perform for him.
Thus, Bullock became 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.
In 1960, when a singer scheduled to record the song, "A Fool in Love",
didn't appear, Bullock 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. Ike changed Bullock's name to Tina Turner
and that of his band to The Ike & Tina Turner Revue. In 1962, the two
married in Tijuana, Mexico.
Turner raised four sons — Ike, Jr. and Michael (from Ike's previous
relationship), Craig (born 1958, from her earlier relationship with Raymond
Hill, a saxophone player in Ike's band), and Ronald (son of Ike and Tina;
Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, Ike and Tina rose to stardom. As
times and musical styles changed, Tina developed a unique stage persona as a
singer-dancer-performer which thrilled audiences of the group's live
concerts. Tina and the Revue's backup singers, the Ikettes, wove intricate
and electrifying dance routines into their performances and influenced many
other artists, including Mick Jagger (for whose 1966 UK tour they opened).
Ike and Tina Turner recorded a string of hits in the 1960s, including "A
Fool in Love", "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", "I Idolize You", and the
groundbreaking "River Deep, Mountain High" with producer Phil Spector in his
Wall of Sound style. By the end of the decade, the couple incorporated
modern rock styles into their act and began including their interpretations
of "Come Together", "Honky Tonk Woman", and "I Want to Take You Higher" to
their stage show.
In fact, their high-energy cover version of Creedence Clearwater
Revival's 1968 "Proud Mary" remains Turner's signature hit and one of her
longest enduring standards. "Proud Mary" was the duo's greatest commercial
success, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1971.
The single eventually won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo
Decline in popularity
While many of its original recordings failed to chart, the Ike and Tina
Turner Revue was lauded by the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sly Stone, Janis
Joplin, Cher, James Brown, Ray Charles, Elton John and Elvis Presley.
A one night gig at a small, predominantly black supper club in the South
could be followed in the same week by a show at a major venue in Las Vegas
or a national TV appearance. Ike acted as the group's manager and musical
director, calling all the shots and ruling the act with an iron fist.
While he was a fine musician and an early rock 'n' roll influence, Ike's
control of the Revue's management, recording contracts and performances
eventually led to their decline as his drug abuse worsened. This controlling
(and often violent) atmosphere caused the musicians and backup singers to
come and go frequently. Tina later reported being isolated and physically
abused by Ike on a regular basis for most of their marriage.
By the mid-1970s, Tina's personal life and marriage began to fail. Ike's
drug use led to increasingly erratic and physically abusive behaviour. 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 Turner about her home town, that reached number twenty-two on the
Hot 100 and number-four in the United Kingdom in 1973.
Having opened his own recording studio, Bolic (pronounced Bullock, after
Tina's original surname) 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
After a violent argument before an appearance in Dallas 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.
Tina would later credit her newfound Buddhist faith, which she adopted
while visiting a friend in 1974, with giving her the courage to strike out
on her own. By walking out on Ike in the middle of a tour, she learned she
was legally responsible to tour promoters for the cancelled tour. Needing to
earn a living, she became a solo performer, supplementing her income with TV
appearances on shows such as The Hollywood Squares, Donny and
Marie, The Sonny & Cher Show and The Brady Bunch Hour.
Her divorce was finalized in 1978 after sixteen years of marriage. She
later accused Ike of years of severe spousal abuse and rampant drug
addiction in her autobiography I, Tina. It was later adapted for the
film What's Love Got to Do with It?. 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.
Life after the Revue
In 1978, Tina released her first album since her separation from Ike.
That album, Rough, was a departure from the funky rhythm and blues
sound of the Revue, and featured strong readings of rock songs,
demonstrating the direction in which she wished her musical career to
progress. The record did not sell well, and 1979's disco-infused Love
Explosion also failed.
Tina began touring extensively around the world but her career stalled
until teaming up in 1982 with B.E.F. for a remake of the Temptations' "Ball
of Confusion". The
producers were so impressed by the recording, they persuaded her to record a
cover of Al Green's Let's Stay Together.
While she was largely considered to be unmarketable by the American
recording industry, her popularity as a top stage act never faded in Europe
and other parts of the world. Capitol signed her to a limited deal with
their UK label. She divided her time between appearing at small venues in
the US in order to keep herself in the public eye but continued to sell out
major venues in Europe.
In December 1983, her cover of "Let's Stay Together" hit #6 in the U.K.
and became a huge hit across all of Europe. Capitol Records still weren't
interested in signing Turner until thousands of import copies flooded into
the U.S. convincing Capitol to release it in America. In March 1984,
Let's Stay Together hit the top thirty on the American pop charts. It
hit the top five on both the R&B and dance charts. After the song's success,
Capitol was quickly forced to review their previous assessment of Turner's
chart ability and put forth the resources to let her record an album.
Return to prominence
In 1984, Turner staged what has been widely considered the most "amazing
comeback in rock music history".
In May, Capitol released the single "What's Love Got To Do With It" in the
U.S. to promote the upcoming album. Only eleven radio stations had taken it
to their playlists. Turner's manager, Roger Davies, forced Capitol to
promote it more.
Two weeks after its release, the song was on the play lists of over 100
radio stations. Eventually the single became a worldwide smash and in
September, the song reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming the
first of Turner's songs to do so. It still remains her only number-one
At forty-four, she was the oldest female artist to have a number-one
single. The song hit the top ten in several European countries. Private
Dancer was released that June and has since gone on to sell more than 11
million copies worldwide,
though some sources stated the album has sold over twenty million
making it her most successful album to date. Other than "Let's Stay
Together" and "What's Love Got to Do With It", the album also yielded the
hits "Better Be Good To Me", which hit the top five in the U.S.
and the title track to "Private Dancer".
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 met 170 dates in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Australia.
After the success of Private Dancer, Turner accepted the role of
Aunty Entity, the ruler of Bartertown, in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Upon its release, the film grossed $36 million
and Turner received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress. In July,
Turner performed at Live Aid alongside Mick Jagger.
In August, the first single "We Don't Need Another Hero" was released to
promote the soundtrack for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The single
became yet another international smash hit for Turner, reaching number two
in America and number three in England.
The song received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal and
received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. Shortly after the
soundtrack was released and reached the top forty in the U.S. and #47 in
Canada, it sold over one million copies worldwide. In October the second
single, "One of the Living", was released. It later won a Grammy for Best
Female Rock Vocal Performance. In November, a new single was released
entitled "It's Only Love", a duet with Bryan Adams. It received a Grammy
nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Subsequent solo success
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 performing in front of the largest paying
audience (over 184,000) to see a solo artist.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 April, Turner's double live album,
In 1991, Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of
Fame. Phil Spector accepted the award on their behalf. That same year,
Turner released a compilation album, Simply the Best. Her modern
dance-pop cover of "Nutbush City Limits" hit the top thirty in the UK. In
1993, Turner's life story was turned into a box-office film, What's Love
Got to Do with It?. Based off I, Tina, the film painted a dark
picture of Turner's marriage to singer Ike Turner and her overcoming the
marriage through Buddhism. While the film was given mixed reviews, its
leading actors Angela Bassett, who played Tina, and Laurence Fishburne, who
played Ike, ended up with Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and
Best Actor, respectively, for their roles.
Turner supervised the film's soundtrack, re-recording several songs from
her Ike Turner days including "A Fool in Love", "It's Gonna Work Out Fine",
"Nutbush City Limits" and "Proud Mary". 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 off 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 tickets. 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
In 2001, Tennessee State Route 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush was
named "Tina Turner Highway".
In 2003, she teamed up with Phil Collins to record the song "Great Spirits"
for the Disney film Brother Bear.
In 2004, Turner released a new compilation, All the Best, and
released the single "Open Arms". The song became a modestly successful
European hit and a modest R&B hit in America. In 2005, Turner briefly
performed on shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and The View.
All the Best became Turner's first album to go platinum in the U.S.
in over eleven years.
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 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 (who performed "River Deep, Mountain High" , Queen Latifah
(who performed "What's Love Got To Do With It?"), Beyoncé (who performed
"Proud Mary"), and the Reverend Al Green (who performed "Let's Stay
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 RIAA.
In early 2006, the All the Invisible Children soundtrack was
released. Turner sang "Teach Me Again" from the All the Invisible
Children soundtrack with Elisa charted at #1 in Italy. In May 2007,
Turner returned to the stage to headline a benefit concert for the Cauldwell
Children's Charity at London's Natural History Museum.
This was her first full show in seven years. Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock
released an album paying tribute to his long-time associate and friend,
singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, entitled River: The Joni Letters on
September 25, 2007. Turner contributed her vocals to a version of "Edith and
The Kingpin". On October 16, 2007, Carlos Santana released an album entitled
Ultimate Santana which featured Turner singing "The Game Of Love", a
song originally intended for her to sing, but which was instead released by
Santana with Michelle Branch due to demands from the recording label.
Turner been referred to as "the truest rock diva of all,"
"soul's first real diva,"
"The most dynamic female soul singer in the history of the music,"
and "one of soul music's most incendiary performers."
On December 12, 2007, Turner issued a brief statement through a
spokesperson regarding the death of her former husband Ike Turner:
"Tina hasn’t had any contact with Ike in more than 30 years. No further
comment will be made."
Return to the stage
On February 10, 2008, at age 68, Turner performed together with Beyoncé
at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. It was Turner's first major public
performance since her record-breaking "Twenty-Four Seven Tour" just over
seven years earlier.
In addition, she picked up a Grammy as a featured artist on River: The
On April 29, 2008, Turner announced that she would embark on her "Tina!:
50th Anniversary Tour" in early October.
This was Turner's first tour since the "Twenty Four Seven Tour". On May 5,
2008, she performed in a concert at Caesar's Place in Las Vegas with long
time friend Cher. September 30, 2008, Turner released a new 18 track CD and
digital collection of her top hits, rare live recordings, and two exclusive
new tracks. The album, Tina!: Her Greatest Hits, was released in
support of the upcoming Tina: Live in Concert Tour, which began on October
1, 2008 in Kansas City, Missouri at the Sprint Center. The tour was
successful on the North American leg. On January 14 2009, she embarked on
the European leg.
Turner is the mother of two sons and adopted mother of Ike Turner's two
children from other relationships. After leaving Ike Turner in 1976 and
divorcing him in 1978, Turner didn't get into a serious relationship again
until she met a German record executive named Erwin Bach while at Heathrow
Airport in London in 1985. After a year, they started dating and have been
living together ever since.
has lived in Europe since the mid-1980s, having moved to London in 1986
before moving to Cologne, Germany, later that decade and settling in
Switzerland in 1994. In 1996, she began building a villa outside Nice,
France, which was completed by 2000. Turner now divides her time between
Switzerland, England, and France.
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 two of her recordings, "River Deep - Mountain High" (1999) and "Proud
Mary" (2003) are in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Turner has won eight Grammy Awards.
Her legs were noted specifically as she was honoured by President George W.
- 1974: Tina Turns the Country On
- 1975: Acid Queen
- 1978: Rough
- 1979: Love Explosion
- 1984: Private Dancer
- 1986: Break Every Rule
- 1989: Foreign Affair
- 1996: Wildest Dreams
- 1999: Twenty Four Seven
- 1978-1979: Wild Lady of Rock Tour
- 1982-1983: Nice 'n' Rough Tour
- 1984-1985: Private Dancer Tour
- 1987-1988: Break Every Rule Tour
- 1990: Foreign Affair Tour
- 1993: What's Love? Tour
- 1996-1997: Wildest Dreams Tour
- 2000: Twenty Four Seven Tour
- 2008-2009: Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour
||The Acid Queen
||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
||Our Guests at Heartland
||Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
||Won (1986) - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a
||Last Action Hero
||It's Your Thing
||What's Love Got to Do with it
one episode: "The Oddball Parade"