Tina Turner, Magnetic Singer of Explosive Power, Is Dead at 83

Tina Turner, the earth-shattering singer whose vocals, sensual magnetism and explosive energy have made her an unforgettable live performer and one of the most successful recording artists of all time, performed at Küsnacht in Switzerland near Zurich on Wednesday. I died in my home. She was 83 years old.

His publicist Bernard Doherty announced the death in a statement but did not give a cause. She had suffered a stroke in recent years and was battling kidney disease and other ailments.

Ms. Turner began her half-century career in the late 1950s, while still in high school, when she began singing with Ike Turner and his band, the Kings of Rhythm. At first she was just an occasional performer, but she soon became the group’s star attraction — and Mr. Turner’s wife. With her powerful, eloquent voice and her frenetic dance style, she made an instant impression.

Their duo, soon renamed the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, became the biggest touring soul act in black venues on the so-called chitlin’ circuit. After the Rolling Stones invited the group to open for them, first on a British tour in 1966 and then on an American tour in 1969, white audiences in both countries began to take notice.

Ms. Turner, who insisted on adding rock songs by The Beatles and The Stones to her repertoire, reached a much larger new audience, giving the Ike and Tina Turner Revue her first top hit with her version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song. 10 hits. “Proud Mary” in 1971 and the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group.

“In today’s show business context, Tina Turner must be the most sensational professional on stage,” Ralph J. Gleason, the San Francisco Chronicle’s influential jazz and pop critic, wrote of a Rolling Stones concert in Oakland in November. I wrote 1969. “She comes in like a hurricane. She dances and twists and shakes and sings, and the effect is immediate and complete.

But if the Ike and Tina Turner Revue was successful, Ike and Tina Turner were not married. Mr. Turner was swearing. After running away from her marriage in her 30s, her career collapsed. But his solo album, “Private Dancer,” released in 1984, brought him back into the spotlight — and catapulted him into the pop stratosphere.

Referring to her “innovative fusion of old-time soul songs and new-wave synth-pop”, Stephen Holden, In an overview For The New York Times, the album was described as “a milestone not only in the career of the 45-year-old singer, who has been recording since the late 1950s, but also in the evolution of pop-soul music itself.”

At the 1985 Grammy Awards, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” won three awards, for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and “Better Be Good To Me” won Best Female Rock. Won for vocal. performance

The album sold five million copies and sparked a touring career that established Ms. Turner as a worldwide phenomenon. In 1988 she appeared in front of around 180,000 people at the Maracán Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, breaking the record for the largest paying audience for a solo artist. After his “Twenty-Four Seven” tour sold more than $100 million in tickets in 2000, Guinness World Records declared that he had sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history.

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Brownsville, Tenn., northeast of Memphis, and spent her early years on the Poindexter Farm in Nutbush, a nearby unincorporated area, where she Sung spring songs. Hill Baptist Church.

Her father, Floyd, who goes by his middle name, Richard, worked as a farm overseer — “We were well-to-do farmers,” Ms. Turner told Rolling Stone in 1986 — and He had a difficult relationship with his wife, Zelma (Cree) Bell.

Her parents left Anna and her older sister Aline with relatives when they went to work at a military installation in Knoxville during World War II. The family was reunited after the war, but Zelma left her husband after a few years and Anna lived with her grandmother in Brownsville.

After rejoining his mother in St. Louis, he attended Sumner High School there. He and Elaine began frequenting the Manhattan Club in East St. Louis, IL to hear Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm.

“I wanted to get up there and sing. sooooo Bad, Ms. Turner recalled in “I, Tina: My Life Story” (1986), written with Kurt Loder. “But it took a whole year.”

One night, during one of the band’s breaks, the drummer, Eugene Washington, handed him the microphone and he began to sing B.B. King’s “You Know I Love You,” produced by Mr. Turner. “When Ike heard me, he said, ‘My God!'” she told People magazine in 1981. “He couldn’t believe the sound coming out of that frail body.”

In his book “Takin’ Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner” (1999), written with Nigel Cawthorne, Mr. Turner wrote: “I would write songs with Little Richard in mind, but I have There was no Little Richard to sing them, so Tina was my Little Richard. Listen closely to Tina and who do you hear? Little Richard singing in a female voice.

Mr. Turner used her as a backup singer, billed on his 1958 record Little Ann. “Box Top.” When the group’s lead singer, Art Lassiter, failed to show up for the recording. “A Fool in Love” He stepped. The record was a hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 27 on the Pop chart.

Mr Turner gave his protégé – by now also his romantic partner – a new name, Tina, inspired by the television character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. And he renamed the group the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

It was a dynamic, disciplined ensemble, second only to the James Brown revue, but never achieved critical success until “Proud Mary.” Up to that point she had only one single in the pop top 20 in the United States, 1961’s “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”. The group scored several hits on the R&B charts, esp “I like you,” “It’s gonna work fine” And “Tra la la la la,” But most of his income came from a relentless touring schedule.

Ms Turner’s relationship with Mr Turner, whom she married on a quick trip to Tijuana, Mexico in 1962, was tumultuous. He was authoritarian, sometimes violent, and hopelessly addicted to cocaine in the 1970s. He left her in 1976, with 36 cents in his pocket and a mobile petrol card, and divorced her two years later. He died. A 2007 cocaine overdose.

“When I left, I was living the life of death,” she told People in 1981. “I didn’t exist. I wasn’t afraid he’d kill me when I left, because I was already dead. When I got out, I didn’t look back.

Her marriage provided much material for the 1993 film “What Love Got to Do With It,” starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. Ms. Turner re-recorded some of her hits, and a new song, “I don’t want to fight” for the film, but otherwise declined to participate. “Why would I want to see Ike Turner beat me up again?” He said at the time.

In 1966, the record producer Phil SpectorAfter hearing the Ike and Tina Turner Revue at the Galaxy Club in Los Angeles, Mr. Turner offered $20,000 to produce his next song, on the condition that he stay away from the studio. Result, “The river is deep, the mountain is high” Often considered the high-water mark of Mr. Spector’s patented “wall of sound.” It failed in the United States, barely reaching the top 100, but was a huge hit in the UK, where it launched Ms. Turner’s second career.

“I loved that song,” she wrote in her 1986 memoir. “Because for the first time in my life, it wasn’t just R&B — it had structure, it had a melody.” She added: “I was a singer, and I knew I could do other things. I just didn’t get the chance. ‘River Deep’ showed people what I had inside of me.

After walking out of her marriage under the weight of debt, Ms. Turner struggled to carve out a solo career, and appeared in inappropriate cabaret acts before signing with her manager, Roger Davis. Olivia Newton-John, in 1979. Under Mr. Davis’ guidance, she returned to the gritty, hard-rocking style that had made her a crossover star and would propel her as one of the most enduring performers on the concert stage for decades to come.

His fellow artists took notice. In 1982, Martin Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of the band and production company known as the British Electric Foundation recruited him to record the Temptations’ 1970 hit. “Ball of Confusion” For an album of soul and rock covers backed by synthesizers. Its success led to a second collaboration, a remake with Al Green. “Let’s live together.” A smash hit in the United States and the United Kingdom, it was the turning point that led to “Private Dancer.”

Ms. Turner followed the runaway success of “Private Dancer” with two more hit albums: “Break Every Rule” (1986) and “Foreign Affair” (1989), which included hit singles. “Best.”

It also made an impact on screen. Ten years later he cemented his identity as a rock ‘n’ roller Acid Queen In Ken Russell’s film version of “Tommy,” the Who’s rock opera, she won acclaim for her performance in 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” as the iron-ruling aunt entity of postapocalyptic Bartertown.

The film also gave him two more hit singles, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)“And “One of the Living” Which was named Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the 1986 Grammys.

In 1991 he and Mr. Turner, in prison for cocaine possession, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (He rejoined as a solo artist in 2021.) He received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2005 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

In 1985 she began a relationship with German music executive Erwin Bach, whom she married in 2013 after moving to Küsnacht with him and becoming a Swiss citizen. He gets away with it. Ron, her only child with Mr Turner, died in 2022 of complications from colon cancer. Another son, Craig, from her relationship with Raymond Hill, saxophone player for the Kings of Rhythm, died by suicide in 2018. His sister, Elaine Bullock, died in 2010. Ms. Turner raised Mr. Turner’s two children, Ike Jr. and Michael.

Complete information on his survivors was not immediately available.

In 1999, at the age of 60, after releasing the album “Twenty-Four Seven” and touring to promote it, Ms. Turner announced her retirement. It did not last. In 2008, after performing with Beyonce at the Grammy Awards, she embarked on an international tour to mark her 50th year in the music business.

She announced her retirement again a few years later, but remained active in other ways. In 2018, she published her second memoir “My Love Story”.

She and Mr. Bach were executive producers of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” a stage show based on her life and featuring many of her hits, which opened in London and Hamburg in 2018 and on Broadway in 2019. were open. Ms. Turner worked with the show’s choreographer and shared memories with its writers.

While reviews were mixed, the musical received 12 Tony Award nominations. Adrienne Warren, who played Ms. Turner, won Best Actress in a Leading Role. “In a performance that’s part occupation, part exercise and part wig,” Jesse Green wrote in a review For The Times, “Adrienne Warren shakes the rafters and dispels your doubts about who dares step into a diva’s high heels.”

The show closed after four months due to the pandemic lockdown, reopened in October 2021 and closed again a year later and went on the road. There are currently two productions: one touring the US and one in London.

Through it all, Ms. Turner’s music endured.

“My music is not the sound of history; it’s still going strong,” he told the Daily Mail in 2008. “Like me.”

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