S. E. Williams
Tina Turner, singer, dynamic and memorable performer, and survivor of domestic abuse is dead at the age of 83. Her life story of resiliency is an inspiration to people everywhere, especially other survivors.
Reports indicate the recording icon passed away in her home in Küsnacht, near Zurich, Switzerland on Tuesday following a long illness.
Named Anna Mae Bullock at birth on November 26, 1939, Turner was the daughter of sharecropper parents in the small segregated town of Brownsville, Tennessee. And the rest, as they say, is herstory.
After moving to St Louis, Missouri, she met Ike Turner in 1956 when she was 17 years old, there was an eight year difference in their ages. The two formed a business and personal relationship and when Tina was 22 years old, they married.
Although the couple experienced commercial success in the 1960’s and 70’s with their music and stage performances as the “Ike and Tina Turner Review,” their personal relationship, by any measure, was a disaster. Tina was severely battered and abused by Ike both physically and emotionally.
Finally, after 20 years, Tina left the relationship, metaphorically saving her own life.Years later she credited her faith in Buddhism for imbuing her with the strength and courage to leave.
When Tina and Ike officially divorced in 1978, Tina was able to successfully salvage her stage name, but little more, reports at the time indicated she was financially stressed.
Finally free from Ike, however, Tina successfully reinvented herself and in the process, elevated her career to new heights.
It was then, in her 40’s that Tina Turner became a superstar. When her life story, “What’s Love Got to Do With” was released in 1993, it gave the world a glimpse of what she had endured, giving birth to a new respect for the artist, her music and her resiliency.
In 2005, Tina was honored at the Kennedy Center for her life’s work. During her long career she sold more than 150 million records, won 12 Grammys, and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice–first with Ike in 1998, and thel second time in 2021, in her own right.
From hits like “Proud Mary” to “River Deep, Mountain High,” to “We Don’t Need Another Hero” to “What’s Love Got to Do With It” to “Simply the Best,” Tina Turner leaves a collection of songs for future generations to enjoy.
In speaking about her legacy, Tina once explained,
“My legacy is that I stayed on course… from the beginning to the end because I believed in something inside of me.”