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Remembering Tina |Turner

Remembering Tina |Turner
35th Edition

London, UK

Tina Turner was living a nightmare from the man who swore to love and adore her but sadly. The singer could not find happiness not even her children could find peace, yet she found fame in the turbulent marriage and music partnership with her ex-husband. 

Her pain became her motivation which led her to become one of the biggest acts in the world as a solo artist and a force to reckon with in rock and roll with her electrifying performance. 

Actress Angela Bassett, who played Turner in the 1993 biographical film “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” wrote on Instagram: “Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like. Her final words to me were, you never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world.”

President Biden said in a statement that Turner was “A once-in-a-generation talent that changed American music forever.”

“She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself,” former President Barack Obama tweeted.

“You are the epitome of power and passion,” Beyoncé wrote in a tribute on her website, calling Turner “my beloved queen.” Beyoncé included a picture of her and Turner sharing the stage at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008. Beyoncé honored Turner at the 2005 Kennedy Awards with a rendition of “Proud Mary.” Motown founder Berry Gordy said in a statement that ‘’Her impact on music and entertainment will live on forever. She was a true original, a true superstar.”

Dionne Warwick said in a statement, ‘’Not only will I miss that eternal ball of energy named Tina Turner but the entire world will also find this void in their lives. Rest in Peace my friend!”

The singer began performing alongside ex-husband Ike Turner, who infamously subjected her to years of abuse; she resurrected her career from the doldrums in the early 1980s – taking it to new heights and becoming one of the world’s biggest music stars. 

She was a strong and resilient woman who escaped the control of abusive men and went on to forge a stronger solo career afterward. But her music also pushed boundaries of genre in ways that start to defy categories of gender, race, and age, thereby changing the way female performers could be thought of.

In 1967, Turner was both the first black artist and woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. She remains the only black woman to have been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2013, she became the oldest person (at 73) to appear on the cover of Vogue.

Vocally, Turner was raised in the church, Spring Hill Baptist Church in Nutbush however, her voice was different from the others she came up alongside.

Unlike Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin or Diana Ross, Turner’s voice had grit and rasp, qualities that always added an unexpected edge to her early work. It was also a sound that enabled her to move beyond soul and blues in her solo career.

From the early 1980s, Turner made what has repeatedly been described as one of the most remarkable career comebacks of the century. The chart success of her cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together (1983) came from the left of field and the ensuing album, Private Dancer (1984) went platinum five times.

Private Dancer represented another musical turn. This time, towards the electro-synth pop world inhabited by Heaven 17, whose Rupert Hine and Martyn Ware produced several of the songs.

The title song of the album exemplifies the narrative of Tina as a feminist powerhouse. Even 40 years on, the idea of a woman in her mid-40s singing a pop song about sex work is somewhat surprising

Tina Turner’s capacity to transcend these borders of genre, and with them, borders of race, age, and gender, is what made her the absolute legend that she was. To me, just like there will never be another Michael Jackson, there will never be another Whitney Houston, so also there will never be another Tina Turner. Tina Turner…iconic singer sold over 200 million albums; won eight Grammy Awards.

She left an incredible legacy, Rest in Peace Queen.

Author: Gbenga Teejay Okunlola

London, UK

teejayok@gmail.com