June 17, 2023 – Tina Turner, An Example of Black Excellence

Tina Turner Image

The Queen of Rock and Roll was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee,  a town she described in a song as having “a church house, gin house, a schoolhouse and an outhouse.” She said the people kept the town clean. It was full of deep-seated racism. As a child, Tina picked cotton.

Tina, still known as “Little Anna”, joined Ike Turner’s band in 1958.  In 1960, they began performing as “Ike & Tina Turner.” Ike & Tina became one of the best live acts in history.  They released “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, “River Deep Mountain High,” “Proud Mary” and “Nutbush City Limits,” among many other songs.

Tina endured horrific domestic abuse at the hands of Ike, her husband. She escaped in 1976. Through their divorce she gave him everything – all the money, royalties, assets, and everything else they had.  She only wanted one thing, and she got it: she kept her name, Tina Turner, and the right to use it.

Tina began a comeback in the 1980s.  Her album, “Private Dancer”, contained the hit song, “What’s Love Got to do With It.” In her 40s, she became the oldest woman solo artist in the top hot 100s hits.

She continued to succeed with “Better Be Good To Me”, “Private Dancer”, “We Don’t Need Another Hero”, “The Best” and “I Don’t Wanna Fight.”  She went on numerous worldwide tours and appeared in numerous movies. She sold more than 150 million records worldwide.  She received 12 Grammy Awards. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once with Ike in 1991 and as a solo artist in 2021.  She was also among the Kennedy Center Honorees.

Tina wrote four books, I, Tina: My Life Story, My Love Story, a Memoir, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good and Tina Turner: That’s My Life.

She married her second husband, German music executive Erwin Bach, in 2013 in a civil ceremony at their home in Lake Zurich, Switzerland. She had become a Buddhist in 1973 and credits chanting with many of the positive changes in her life. 

Tina began living on the shores of Lake Zurich in 1994. She owned properties in Cologne, London, Los Angeles and a villa on the French Riviera. She applied for Swiss citizenship in 2013 and had to take a mandatory citizenship test which included advanced knowledge of German.  On April 22, 2013, she became a citizen of Switzerland and was issued a Swiss passport.

Tina Turner had high blood pressure since 1976 that she admittedly did not pay attention to.  It eventually caused kidney damage and kidney failure.  Her husband donated his kidney to her in 2017. Tina died May 24, 2023.  At the time of her death, Tina’s wealth was estimated at about $225 million. 

150 150 Ethel Mitchell

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