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Tina Turner dead at 83 : NPR

Tina Turner reacts on stage after the German premiere of the musical Tina: The Tina Turner Musical in 2019.

Georg Wendt/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

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Tina Turner dead at 83 : NPR

Tina Turner reacts on stage after the German premiere of the musical Tina: The Tina Turner Musical in 2019.

Georg Wendt/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

Tina Turner, a soul and rock powerhouse known for her octave-defying voice and mesmerizing stage moves, has died aged 83.

His death was announced in a statement on his official Facebook page, but did not provide any details of the cause. In his 2018 memoir, Tina Turner: My Love Story, Turner detailed a litany of health issues she had faced since 2013, including a stroke, bowel cancer and kidney failure. Her second husband, Erwin Bach, donated a kidney to her in 2017, saving her life.

During a recording career that spanned six decades, Turner rose to prominence both as a solo artist and as a duo with her first husband, Ike Turner. With the latter, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and became a staple of the American pop and R&B charts in the 1960s and 1970s. The duo’s energetic soul and rock were influenced by the disparate vocal influences of Tina. She grew up listening to country music, but had many idols: 50s R&B singers LaVern Baker and Faye Adams; gospel great Mahalia Jackson and rock pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe; blues legend BB King; and soul greats Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. As a result, she had a malleable and versatile voice, and could unleash a searing rock rumble, or dive into her lower register and sing the smoky blues or velvety R&B numbers. One of Ike & Tina’s best-known songs, “River Deep, Mountain High,” was even an orchestral-gospel triumph produced by Phil Spector.

A nimble vocal performer, Turner also made other people’s iconic songs his own – adding a tone of nostalgia and desperation to The Beatles’ already pleading “Come Together,” and adding more of a country twang to The Beatles’ “Honky Tonk.” Rolling Stones. Women.” Her signature tune, a fiery transformation of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s laid-back “Proud Mary,” became a showcase for her sultry drawl and raucous rock ‘n’ roll scream. The latter song earned Turner her first Grammy. Award, for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, she would go on to win eight Grammys in total, including Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for three consecutive years in the 80s.

In addition to her vocal prowess, Turner had a commanding stage presence often referred to as “electrifying”. That description always seemed like an understatement: On the mic, Turner vibrated with energy, like a boiling pot about to boil over, and she possessed a natural athleticism that translated into a lithe yet powerful dance on stage. “Someone called Tina ‘the Mick Jagger wife'” rolling stone‘s Ben Fong-Torres wrote in 1971. “Actually, to be more precise, Mick should be called ‘the male Tina Turner.'” (This is not mere critical hyperbole: In the same rolling stone feature, Turner herself hinted that Jagger had studied her moves pretty closely when she and Ike toured with the Rolling Stones in 1969.) Naturally, when the pair teamed up for a searing cover of “State of Shock” by the Jacksons at Live Aid in 1985, the combination was incendiary.

Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, Turner grew up in rural Nutbush, Tennessee, but also spent time in Knoxville, as her parents moved there for work. Growing up, she had a distant relationship with her father, who abandoned the family when she was 13, and her mother. But acting came naturally and became her solace. In Tina Turner: My Love Story, she describes music-filled shopping excursions – being 4 or 5 years old and being paid by saleswomen to sing radio hits she had memorized – and the exhilaration of leading her cousins, half-sister Evelyn and sister Alline in fake shows. She later honed her stage presence singing at picnics with a regionally renowned trombonist named Mr. Bootsy Whitelaw.

Turner moved to St. Louis at age 16 to live with Alline and her mother, and began going to the famous Manhattan Club in East St. Louis, where she first saw Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm. In 1957, she ended up joining the band after her impromptu performance of BB King’s “You Know I Love You” won over the bandleader. The troupe was eventually renamed the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, emphasizing their elevated role.

By all accounts, Ike was excessively cruel to Tina, both personally and professionally. “Looking back, I realize my relationship with Ike was doomed the day he realized I was going to be his meal ticket, his livelihood,” Turner wrote in my love story. She went on to describe how she was a last-minute backup to sing on “A Fool In Love” – ​​which became the duo’s first hit, reaching No. 2 on the R&B charts in 1960 – and was impressive enough that a label head told Ike to make Tina the centerpiece of the band. “What went through Ike’s head when he heard that advice?” she continued. “He had to find a way to protect his interests, and that’s where the trouble started.”

Over the years, Turner has been open about some aspects of their time together, though she told the New York Times in 2019 that she never disclosed everything: “I think I’m ashamed. I feel like I’ve said enough.” But Ike was mentally controlling — for example, he renamed her “Tina Turner” and then trademarked the name, both without her consent — and physically abusive. She was almost penniless when she left him in 1976, while the couple were on tour in Dallas. “I walked out with nothing and had to fend for my family and everyone on my own, so I just went back to working for myself,” she said during a 2017 appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show. .

Turner had released two solo albums while playing with Ike, 1974 Tina lights up the country! — a stripped-down LP with his rendition of songs by Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson – and the 1975 rock covers album Acid Queen. Its first post-split entertainment forays focused on mainstream fare – the game show Hollywood Squares and Cher’s variety television series – and cabaret-style live concerts, as well as two albums that did not chart. She also recorded a sleek electro-pop version of The Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion” on Music of Quality and Distinction, Volume Onean album released by Heaven 17 members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh as BEF

The year 1984 will be pivotal for Turner. She dueted with David Bowie on the reggae-influenced title track of her This evening LP, and eventually achieved widespread mainstream success on its own thanks to the blockbuster private dancer. As with “Ball of Confusion”, the album embraced the peak production values ​​of the decade – in fact, two songs were co-produced by Ware – while emphasizing Turner’s muscular vocals and eclectic influences.

The album’s track listing included the title track by Mark Knopfler, as well as covers of tracks by David Bowie (“1984”), The Beatles (“Help!”) and Ann Peebles (“I Can’t Stand the Rain”). . private dancer also featured his first and only solo No. 1 hit, the vulnerable and luxurious “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” The single, which also won Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, boasted a cathartic, lived-in vocal performance that ushered in its sophisticated second act and cemented its reputation as a survivor, a label and an aesthetic she has embraced. .

Turner’s commercial renaissance continued through the decade. She starred in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which spawned the dramatic ballad “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” and Grammy-winning “One of the Living,” and racked up more hits with Bryan’s duet Adams’ “It’s Only Love,” airy seductive “Typical Man” and empowerment anthem “The Best.” With her spiky wig and powerful miniskirts that showed off her legendary legs, Turner also became one of MTV’s earliest icons: she performed at the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 and won Best female video the following year for “What’s Love Got to Do With.”

Turner continued to be a commercial force in the 90s, notably thanks to the 1993 biopic, What’s love got to do with it. According to his 1986 autobiography, Me, Tina, the film starred Laurence Fishburne as Ike and Angela Bassett as Tina. Both actors were nominated for Oscars, while Bassett won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical. Turner herself also received a career boost, as the soundtrack song “I Don’t Wanna Fight” became a worldwide hit, including a top 10 hit in the United States. In 1995, she landed another prestigious honor singing the sleek and stylish James Bond theme song. “GoldenEye” for the titular film.

Turner, who moved to Switzerland in 1995, began to lighten her workload in the late 90s and 2000s, and eventually retired after a 50th anniversary tour in 2009. However, she was still a steward active from his own heritage; in fact, she also worked closely on the development of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, which opened on Broadway in the fall of 2019. And at the 2008 Grammy Awards, she performed a jaw-dropping version of “Proud Mary” with Beyoncé. Looking back, it’s easy to interpret the moment when Turner passes the torch to a younger musician. However, the performance also reaffirmed once again that she was in full control of her rich musical heritage.

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