Thursday, May 25, 2023

Tina Turner (1939-2023) - "What's Love Got To Do With It?"; a remembrance.

As I noted twelve years ago, and gave the reason there, actors, artists, and musicians I have loved over the years are dying with frequency. The latest is Tina Turner, a two time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.The first was in 1991, as Ike and Tina Turner, with her ex-husband, Ike, who got her career started in 1958, and gave her the name Tina (she was born Anna Mae Bullock, and took the name Turner when she married Ike). The second induction was in 2021 as a solo artist. 

I'm not sure when I first heard Ike and Tina Turner. It may have been 1960, when "A Fool in Love" made it to number two on the pop chart, and I could have heard it on WDAE in Tampa. I know I heard "River Deep, Mountain High", probably on Boston's WRKO during my first year of law school. She was not a bel canto singer; her voice had a rasp that conveyed struggle and the grit to overcome. "River Deep" gave her more melodic structure and a chance to broaden her vocal ability.

After she separated from and divorced Ike, she went through several years of struggle. Her big break came in 1984, with the release of her album Private Dancer, which includes "What's Love Got to Do with It?" (clip above), her first song to go to number one on the pop chart. Although the song was co-written by Graham Lyle and Terry Britten, it seems almost autobiographical. Much recording and touring success followed Private Dancer, She also appeared in two movies, including a leading role as Aunty Entity in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.  

She died on Wednesday, May 24 at her and her second husband, Erwin Bach's, home in Küsnacht, Switzerland. She has received many tributes from fellow musicians. My favorite is from Beyoncé, as quoted in the Daily News
“My beloved queen,” Beyoncé's post reads. “I love you endlessly. I’m so grateful for your inspiration, and all the ways you have paved the way. You are strength and resilience. You are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will remain forever.”

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