Tina Turner, who had struggled with her solo career since splitting with Ike in 1976, started fighting back in the early 1980s: support slots with The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart, and working with Heaven 17 on their BEF project.
She reached the top with her huge selling 1984 ‘come back’ album, Private Dancer, in which Tina left behind pure R&B for harder-edged rock.
Tina Turner was everywhere in 1985. Private Dancer was on its way to selling 15 million copies worldwide and Tina tirelessly wowed audiences throughout Europe and across America on a year-long tour that would have been the death of any hard-living heavy metal band.
She was singing duets with Lionel Richie, Elton John, Bryan Adams, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and, in her spare time, Turner did the awards-show circuit, picking up an armful of Grammys for What’s Love Got To Do With It? and winning the MTV prize for best female video.
But her most surprising coup of 1985 came in the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome where she effortlessly stole scenes from Mel Gibson in her role of Auntie Entity, the hardened queen of a post-nuclear holocaust community called Bartertown. She didn’t sing a note on camera but Turner’s dramatic performance resonated with the kind of determination to survive that marked her post-Ike stardom.