Legendary Singer Tina Turner Dies at 83

Legendary Singer Tina Turner Dies at 83

American singer Tina Turner Europa Press Archive/Europa Press via Getty Images, FILEAmerican singer Tina Turner Europa Press Archive/Europa Press via Getty Images, FILE

Tina Turner died at the age of 83, her spokesperson confirmed.

Tina Turner’s real name is Anna Mae Bullock. She was and remains known for her incredible voice and charisma on stage. Known as the “Queen of Rock and Roll”, before starting a very successful career as a solo artist, she gained fame as the singer of the duo “Ike and Tina Turner”.

Tina began her career with Ike Turner’s “Kings of Rhythm” in 1957, and first appeared under the name Little Ann. After splitting with Ike in the 1970s, she launched what became known as “one of the greatest comebacks in music history”. Her 1984 multi-platinum album “Private Dancer” was a huge hit around the world, and she soon became one of the best-selling artists of all time.

The song “Private Dancer” from that album was first recorded by Dire Straits. Mark Knopfler wrote the song, but he assigned it to Tina because he was concerned that the song was not suitable for male vocals.

So, after two years, Jeff Beck replaced Mark as the lead guitarist for the recording of the song, and Terry Williams replaced the original drummer Pick Withers. John Illsley was the bass guitarist, while Hal Lindes and Alan Clark were on guitar and keyboards.

Tina also started in the films “Tommy,” “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and “Last Action Hero.” Her 1993 biopic film “What’s Love Got to Do with It” brought her story to even more fans. She has sold more than 100 million records. Tina earned 12 Grammy Award nominations, 3 Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

She was also the first black artist and the first woman to be on the cover of the famous magazine Rolling Stone.

Tina was born on November 26th, 1939 in Brownsville, Tennessee, USA. Her parents Floyd and Zelma Bullock separated in the early 50s. After that, she went to live with her grandmother in Nutbush, Tennessee. When she was 16, she moved to Missouri, where she met Ike Turner in 1956.

At the time, she began performing with his band, the Kings of Rhythm, under the name Little Ann. But, then Ike persuaded her to change the name to Tina Turner when they performed together as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.  

After breaking up with Ike and becoming a solo singer, her 1984 album “Private Dancer” became a worldwide hit. Selling more than 20 million copies and earning Tina three Grammy Awards, “What’s Love Got to Do with It” put her on the world music map.

Tina sold 200 million records during her career and reportedly earned a net worth of $270 million. She retired in 2007 after her last tour, telling Gayle King in June 2019:

“I got on that plane…I took a deep breath and said, ‘It’s over.’ I really felt like it was over. And I’m glad it was over. And I went home.”

Tina revealed in her 2018 book “My Love Story” that she had suffered from life-threatening health problems in recent years. In 2013, three weeks after her wedding to Erwin Bach, she suffered a stroke and had to learn to walk again.

In 2016, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She used homeopathic remedies to treat high blood pressure, which led to kidney damage and failure. Her chances of getting a kidney were slim and she was told to start dialysis. Bach later offered to donate a kidney for her transplant, and Tina underwent kidney surgery on April 7, 2017.

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