The first track on Tina Turner's very successful comeback album Private Dancer, it was the only song on the album written specifically for Turner. Rupert Hine, who was producing the Fixx album Phantoms, took a week off to produce the song "Better Be Good To Me," and in that time also wrote and produced "I Might Have Been Queen." Rupert brought in Jamie West-Oram of the Fixx to play guitar on both tracks, and he earned a songwriter credit on "Queen" for his contributions. Cy Curnin, who was lead singer of The Fixx, contributed backing vocals. Hine played all the other instruments.
Jeannette Obstoj, who co-wrote The Fixx song "Secret Separation" and Turner's "Break Every Rule," worked on the lyrics to this song and is also credited as a co-writer.
Tina Turner became a practicing Buddhist in the '70s when she was enduring an abusive relationship with her husband, Ike. This song deals with her spirituality, and the Buddhist belief in reincarnation. Hine and Obstoj came up with the lyric when the enjoyed an pleasant evening with Tina at Rupert's house. Tthey ended up writing about the spiritual side of my life," she said in the book Classic Albums. "You know, I might have been queen, all that I'd lived through. We talked about everything."