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Tina Turner is an American singing legend. She was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939 in Nutbush, Tennesee to a mixed race couple. Turner’s ethnic roots include African, Cherokee, Navajo and European ties. Turner moved to Knoxville after her parents separated but later returned to Nutbush where she completed elementary and middle school. At 16, she moved to St. Louis, Missouri where she finished high school and spent time soaking in the city’s R&B scene at Club Manhattan.
In 1956, she met rock and roll pioneer Ike Turner and began performing with Turner’s group the Kings of Rhythm. After the chosen singer failed to show up during a recording session, Turner was chosen to sing the lead on the track “A Fool In Love.” The song became a hit and led to her touring as the Ike and Tina Turner Review.
The pair were married in 1962 and went on to have a son together. The duo’s recording of the album River Deep, Mountain High brought a new level of international success. They added to this success when they toured as the opening act for the Rolling Stones in 1969.
After years of turmoil that included physical abuse, drug use and infidelity, Ike and Tina separated in 1976 and were officially divorced in 1978. Despite getting off to a slow start, Turner’s solo career took off in 1983 when she remade Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” Her solo album, Private Dancer, went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide and won four Grammy Awards.
In 1986, Turner published her autobiography I, Tina and later adapted it into the film What’s Love Got to Do with It?. The soundtrack for the film went double platinum. Turner went on to produce five more studio albums and make film appearances.
Turner has been named 17th on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” She has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Grammy Hall of Fame. She has won a total of eight Grammy Awards.
Check out the following full length documentary about Turner’s life to learn more.