How a 1993 Tina Turner biopic created a new generation of fans

The hit song ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ helped revive Tina Turner’s career in the mid-eighties. A decade later, a biopic of the same name introduced a new generation of fans to the showstopping singer, who died on Wednesday at the age of 83.

Released when Turner was in his mid-forties — an age in the music industry considered past an artist’s prime — the chart-topping single sold millions of copies and became one of the greatest comebacks in rock history. Helped engineer one. Never mind that Turner himself didn’t like singing. At least not at first.

“Did you know that when I first read the lyrics to “What’s Love Got to Do” I dismissed the song? It’s crazy to think about it now,” he wrote. On Instagram In 2021 Turner considered it a pop song rather than his signature rock ‘n’ roll.

The British sound engineer and producer who recorded it were apparently blown away by her vocal power – although in this case, the song called for a bit of moderation. At a Sunday recording session at London’s Mayfair Studios, “Tina sang in front of 25,000 people like she was on stage, giving it everything she was worth,” producer Terry Burton and engineer John Hudson recalls a 2004 article in Music Technology magazine. Voice over voice. Hudson called back his partner who demonstrated a softer tone, asking him to sing as if he had the song in his ear, rather than the audience. (Hudson won. Three Grammys (for sound engineering of songs and tour video soundtracks.)

The 1993 biopic, starring Angela Bassett, was described by film critics as Roger Ebert As “the most painful, uncompromising showbiz biography I’ve ever seen.” (It grossed nearly $40 million in the United States and Canada Box office mojo.)

Tina Turner, the queen of rock ‘n’ roll, known for songs including “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “Proud Mary,” died May 24. She was 83 years old. (Video: Reuters)

The film tells the story of a little girl named Anna Mae Bullock in rural Nutbush, Tenn., who apparently sang louder than anyone else in her church choir, through her introduction. Ike Turner, an established musician whose initial charms belie his controlling nature. It then traces the descent of their relationship, with Ike, apparently jealous of his wife’s talents, turning into a violent wife beater. (The couple divorced in 1978 and Ike died in 2007.)

Perspective: Tina Turner Sings Beyond Her Pain

In one of The most dramatic scenesTurner walks out of his hotel and across a major street, battered and bleeding, with only 36 cents in his pocket.

Bassett won. The Golden Globe and was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her performance, which she later revealed in an interview with People magazine. The most challenging And the game-changing roles of his career. Bassett conducted hours of dance rehearsals and carefully studied Turner’s mannerisms to make her performance believable.

In his 1993 review, Ebert called Turner’s portrayal of Bassett “fiery and persuasive”. The songs on the movie soundtrack were recorded by Turner, but Ebert said that Bassett’s performance was “so in sync—not just lip-syncing, but physically, and with personality and spirit—that it always felt like Looks like we’re watching Tina at work.”

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey In 2018, Turner said that the film “wasn’t how things went” and that many details were changed. However, he later praised Bassett’s performance.

“You never copied me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed it to the world,” Turner wrote in Time magazine in April, when Bassett’s name was mentioned. was added to the magazine list. 100 Most Influential People of 2023.

“How can we say goodbye to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it to help change the world?” Bassett wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. “Through her courage in telling her story… through her determination to make a place in rock and roll for herself and others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear that love, compassion and What a beautiful future full of freedom should look like.”

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