What I remember about Tina Turner is her huge success in the ’80s with the album Tiny Dancer and her huge hit single “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, which also serves as the title of the biopic about her abusive relationship with her partner and collaborator Ike Turner. I also remember her starring in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Tina Turner is more than all that though a lot more.
Turner was born in Nutbush, Tennessee and she came up singing in the baptist church as a young girl. That’s where Ike Turner found her and brought her into his band as a backup singer. He soon realized her talents and they started producing soul music and eventually rock and roll music together. Their inevitable explosive relationship, depicted in the film, ended very badly and in divorce. This was widely known. Like a caterpillar, Turner would blossom into a beautiful butterfly.
The ’80s were like a new lease on life for Turner and people loved her for that. Interviews and huge concert tours fueled the success of Tiny Dancer. It allowed her to be the rock star she always wanted to be. Her shucking and jiving on stage was legendary. Nobody could dance like her on stage. Add in her iconic voice and you had an artist like no other. In an era of pop singers like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, and Whitney Houston, Turner stood toe to toe with them.
As a rock fan, Turner’s voice was second to none for me. I can recall listening to her songs over and over again when I was a kid. She just resonated with the kind of music I liked. Sure the others were huge stars, but they couldn’t hold a candle to Turner in my mind. She had a grasp of her voice that I just loved. It influenced my music interests for decades to come.
The abusive nature of Turner’s relationship with Ike Turner resonated with me as well. As a kid, my father and mother got into huge fights over finances and whatnot. My father drank a lot and hit my mother and us kids. This made me resent him for years to come. Violence in a relationship is sad because you start with love and things just decline from there. A lot of families can relate to this. Turner used this to drive her career and prove she could be successful without Ike. It worked!
Turner’s songs were iconic and her presence was second to none. She had an aura about her that made her forget her past and focus on the future eventually following in love again. Her collaborators such as Roger Davies on her music and Curt Loder, MTV, in her book, helped show she wasn’t defined by her past or her relationship with Ike Turner. Her success has shown what a powerful presence in music and pop culture she has become.
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment mediaShow more