Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock in the backwoods of Tennessee in November 1939) struggled with her solo career after splitting with Ike in 1976.
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.
Turner revealed in her 2018 memoir My Love Story that she had multiple life-threatening illnesses. She had high blood pressure since 1978, which remained mostly untreated, and resulted in damage to her kidneys and eventual kidney failure.
In 2013, three weeks after her wedding to Erwin Bach, she had a stroke and needed to learn to walk again. In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer.
Tina Turner died at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, on 24 May 2023, aged 83.