A Tribute: The Queen Of Rock & Roll Tina Turner

Tina Turner

The world joins together to bid a heartfelt farewell to the indomitable Queen of Rock n’ Roll, Tina Turner, who passed away peacefully in her home in Switzerland on May 24, 2023 at the age of 83.

The iconic vocalist, whose career thrived for over six decades, was known for her electrifying performances, sensual magnetism, irresistible charm, and that distinctive raspy voice that enchanted audiences worldwide.

The humble beginnings of the legend took root on November 26, 1939, when she was born as Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee. Raised as a child of “well-to-do farmers” in a troubled relationship, she was separated from her mother at the age of eight. Growing up under the care of relatives and later, her grandmother in nearby Nutbush, Tennessee, young Anna found solace singing in the church choir.

Tina’s life took a pivotal turn during high school when she reunited with her mother in St. Louis and met musician and singer Ike Turner. The charismatic Ike became the catalyst for Tina’s rise to prominence as the lead singer for the Ike and Tina Turner Revue Band in the 60s and the two married in 1962.

As Tina’s star ascended and she embraced motherhood, navigating the intricacies of raising two boys alongside Ike’s three children, challenged her in unimaginable ways. The celebrated duo, tainted by Tina’s accounts of Ike’s physical abuse, would ultimately disband and the two would divorce in 1978.

Tina’s courage was laid bare in the biopic portrayal of her life in “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” painting an unvarnished picture of the domestic violence she endured with Ike. But she found strength through her newfound adherence to Buddhism, allowing her to escape the trauma with little more than a few cents, a gas card, her children, and the most valuable asset – her name.

Undeterred, Tina plunged into the unknown. Her faith would be rewarded when she breathed new life into her career with a stunning rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in 1983. This marked the beginning of a prolific chapter filled with sensational hits such as “A Private Dancer,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and “The Best.”

Her silver screen debut in “Mad Max Beyond ThunderDom” in 1985 added another successful musical score, spawning the hit song “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” Her impressive portfolio, selling over 180 million albums, and scooping 12 Grammys spoke volumes about her immeasurable talent.

Her phoenix-like rise was accentuated by the love she found in EMI record executive Erwin Bach, a man sixteen years her junior. United in marriage, the couple found tranquility in their Swiss haven where Tina would become a citizen.

Tina’s influence extended far beyond music, inspiring artists across age, race, and gender to pursue their dreams and live unapologietically as she demonstrated in her compellling performances. Breaking barriers, she became the first African American woman to grace the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and then again in 2021 was a testament to her undeniable impact on the music industry. Displaying age-defying grace, she became the oldest person (age 73) to dazzle on the cover of Vogue Magazine.

Yet, life cast its somber shadows, with the tragic suicide of her eldest son, Craig Raymond Turner, in 2018 and the loss of Ronnie Turner to cancer in 2022.

These personal tragedies, combined with her own health challenges–high blood pressure, cancer, a kidney transplant, and a stroke– did little to quell her irrepressible spirit.

Tina Turner’s legacy echoes her remarkable resilience, embodying the quintessence of persistence and survival in the face of life’s harshest trials. Exuding a demeanor as powerful as her unforgettable voice, Tina Turner was a stalwart performer, a dedicated wife, a devoted mother, and a staunch business woman.

Greater than her goal to succeed as an entertainer was the hope within that her gift would become a gift for others. She savored life to its fullest and in her own words she sums up her journey as “finishing the course.” The legendary Queen of Rock & Roll leaves an indelible mark on the world with a memorable voice that will forever resonate in our hearts.

About the author

Jennifer Burton

As an author, producer, screenwriter, founder of ALEXZUS Media and BurSel Black Wine, Jennifer inspires women to live boundlessly. Engage with her on a variety of issues from lifestyle and wellness to topics impacting women's social and economic empowerment.