Tina Turner

Nov. 26, 1938

Tina Turner Artistfacts

  • Turner is known as a consummate professional when it comes to recording. Rupert Hine, who did songwriting and production work on three of her '80s albums, told Songfacts: "She's extremely special and I've never ever witnessed such a one-take wonder as Tina Turner. And that's because she approaches things in such a diligent way and she 'owns the song' - that's the phrase she used to use, which basically means she sings along with it at home. I give her a songwriter's demo and then she'll sing it in her key. And then the point where she sings along with the tape and she feels she's got it, it's now her song. Then she'll call me up and say, 'Okay, it's my song now. I'm ready.' Then I literally go and pick her up, take her to the studio, and with not even a cup of tea or any sort of small talk, she'll go straight up to the microphone and give it one take. She'd be professionally happy to give you as many takes as you'd like, but you don't need it. The one take is just extraordinary. And if you ask her how she does that, she says, 'I do it the same way I do all my live vocals. When I go up and stand in front of a quarter of a million people in Brazil and sing at one concert, each song I only sing once.'"
  • Her real name is Anna Mae Bullock. Ike Turner convinced her to change it; he liked the name Tina because it sounded like "Sheena," who was queen of the jungle.

    She took the name when they started performing together in 1960, but she and Ike didn't get married until 1962.
  • She was born and raised in rural Nutbush, Tennessee, subject of her song "Nutbush City Limits." She was raised mostly by relatives; her mother left for St. Louis when Tina was 11, and her dad took off when she was 13. When she was 16, Tina moved in with her mom in St. Louis, where she met the musicians Raymond Hill and Ike Turner at the Club Manhattan. She started performing with them at the club and had an affair with Hill that produced her first son, Craig, in 1958. She ten took up with Turner; they had a son, Ronnie, in 1960 and married in 1962, with Turner also raising Ike's two children from a previous marriage. She left Ike in 1976 after years of abuse.
  • She told her life story in her 1986 autobiography I, Tina, which in 1993 was adapted for the movie What's Love Got To Do With It, with Angela Bassett playing Turner. In 2018 her life was depicted on stage in Tina: The Musical, which opened in the West End and made its way to Broadway in 2019.
  • A 24-year-old Bryan Adams was her support act on Turner's Private Dancer tour, and would perform "It's Only Love" with Tina on stage. Adams told Songfacts: "I used to go to see her in the clubs when I was in my late teens/early 20s before she hit the big time. It was incredible to watch her. Amazingly when we toured together years later, I never saw Tina walk through a performance, she always put on a great show, and was gracious and grateful to her audience."
  • She sang with Mick Jagger at Live Aid in 1985. In the '60s, she and Ike toured with The Rolling Stones in the US. Turner complained later that Mick Jagger had stolen many of her dance moves.
  • In 1985, she acted with Mel Gibson in the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and also sang the theme song. Other movies she's appeared in: The Big T.N.T. Show (1966), Gimme Shelter (1970), It's Your Thing (1970), Tommy (1975), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and Last Action Hero (1993).
  • Tina's hair fell out in 1960 after she tried to bleach it - she's been wearing wigs ever since (this according to VH1's Pop-Up Video).
  • Tina abruptly left Ike on July 1, 1976, after a physical in-car row on the way to the Dallas Statler Hilton. She fled with just 36 cents and a Mobil credit card in her pocket.


    Their divorce wasn't finalized until 1978. According to Tina, that's because she was under contract to record and perform with him, and had no intention of doing so. After a dispiriting legal fight, Tina agreed to all of Ike's demands except one: she got to keep using the name "Tina Turner." This left Tina in debt and without a place of her own (she lived with friends for a while), but her name ended up being quite valuable when she made her comeback.
  • She was a cheerleader and played on the girl's basketball team while in high school. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chantrelle - Hattiesburg, MS
  • Turner was raised Baptist, but it didn't take ("The idea of a bearded old white man in space, monitoring activities here on Earth, felt unrelatable and just plain unreal," she wrote in her 2020 book Happiness Becomes You). She started chanting and learning about Buddhism in 1973, and that's where she found her spiritual calling. For the rest of her life, Turner would chant the same mantra every day, sometimes for hours:

    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    This Sanskrit phrase is used to express devotion to the Lotus Sutra.
  • She is part Navajo and part Cherokee. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • At the Grammy awards in 2008, Tina was the subject of a tribute where she performed "Proud Mary" with Beyonce, who introduced Tina Turner as "The Queen." The introduction didn't go over well with Aretha Franklin, who is known as the "Queen Of Soul." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Tina Turner was the top-grossing act of the year 2000, taking in $80 million over 108 performances on her Twenty Four Seven Tour, which she claimed was her last. It wasn't; she returned in 2008 with her 50th Anniversary Tour, earning $132 million.
  • Tina Turner first met the German record-label executive Erwin Bach in 1986, when her European record label (EMI) sent him to greet her at Düsseldorf Airport. According to the 2021 documentary film Tina, they started falling in love on the drive back to the office.

    At 73, Turner married Bach in a discreet civil ceremony on the banks of Lake Zurich in the summer of 2013. David Bowie, Sade and talk show impresario Oprah Winfrey were among the more than 120 guests who were invited for a private celebration at her lakeside chateau.
  • Tina Turner's legs were described by George W. Bush as "the most famous in show business."
  • Tina Turner has been living in Switzerland since 1995. She relinquished her US citizenship in 2013 and is now a Swiss citizen.
  • When Tina Turner was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016, she opted for homeopathic remedies to treat her high blood pressure instead of medication. This caused kidney failure; Turner considered assisted suicide until her husband, Erwin Bach, donated a kidney to her.
  • Turner promoted her 1993 biopic What's Love Got To Do With It, but couldn't bear to watch it because she didn't want to live through the low moments again. This proved a bit awkward when reporters asked the inevitable question, "What did you think of the film?"

Comments: 8

  • Elmer H from Westville, OkIn 1967, I was in college & went into a psychedelic "head" shop/record store in Lawrence, Kansas & they were playing "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" by Ike & Tina Turner (from 1960 or 1961?). It blew my mind. I hadn't heard the song in many years. I remember it from the radio in the early 60s when I was a "tot." As a young American Indian, life was tough and music was a release for life stresses. Anyway, that record shop had many R&B albums & dance-craze albums, in addition to the then-current psychedelic rock & underground rock albums. The clerks there were Tina Turner fans already & I learned a lot from them about Tina beginning with the visit to that shop. Then, in the 1970s, I bought everything I could get on Ike & Tina Turner from the old Sue Records, Philles, then Liberty Records. Then continued with Tina when she became a solo mega-star. She's been quite an inspiration to many of her fans who have shared many difficult challenges & have achieved some dreams in this life and have looked to her for that inspiration. My hat is off to you, Tina, wherever you are.
  • Theodora from Detroit, MiTo Annabelle in OR
    The name Tina Turner was the only thing that her lawyer advised her to legally keep. I think that Ike did contest the request for her to keep his last name but he lost.
  • Rachel from Waterford, MiI LOVE TINA TURNER!!!!!!!!!!SHE GIVES THE MOST AMOUNT OF ENERGY THAN ANY OTHER ARTIST I KNOW
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrPaul in Detroit, why would Ike take the name Tina Turner away from her? I thought she liked that name! And also, I think Tina Turner sounds a lot prettier than Anna May Bullock. It rolls off the tongue more smoothly. And on top of that, Tina Turner is a name that sounds like it would make you more popular! I mean, who would be popular with a name like Anna May Bullock? Not Me!
  • Paul from Detroit, MiAt the time she hit #1 with "What's Love Got To Do With It," Tina was the oldest female singer to have a #1 hit song (I think she was 44). This record has since been broken by Grace Slick (as part of Starship) on "We Built This City" and later Cher with "Believe."
  • Paul from Detroit, MiJust prior to her U.S. comeback in the mid-80s, Tina had a hit in Great Britain with the remake of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." This song also appeared on Tina's Private Dancer LP.
  • Paul from Detroit, MiWhen she and Ike divorced in 1978, he tried to take her stage name "Tina Turner," away from her.
  • Martijn from Arnhem, NetherlandsMark Knopfler, from Dire Straits, wrote and produced her come back song Private Dancer. It was supposed to be a Dire Straits song, but it was never used.
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