Singer, diva, fashion icon, pioneer, dancer: the five sides of Tina Turner (2023)

Singer Tina: "She put gravel in her voice"

Skin of Skunk Anansie

Singer, diva, fashion icon, pioneer, dancer: the five sides of Tina Turner (1)

It's hard to be a female black rock singer and not have it affect youTina Turner. There weren't many black women singing rock when I was a teenager and in my 20s. There was Etta James – I think she's one of the original rock singers – but to have loud guitars, it was really just Tina Turner. He also came up with this whole persona: the wigs, the attitude, the clothes, the legs. But for me the most important thing was the harshness of her voice, the dirtiness – it was something unusual for the music she sang. She was not a writer – she was a performer who could take a verse to another level. Her version of Whole Lotta Love brought sex. Not because it wasn't a sexy song, but it puts a lot of women in there. Then there's Al Green's Let's Stay Together. My parents played this song - I know it first hand. It's a beautiful, soft R&B song with perfectly placed notes and phrases. And then Tina came with a rock voice and gave it a completely different and wonderful energy. He put in a lotvoteupon him and gave him much more despair. Her version is basically: let's fuck. It is more demanding:Please,Let's stay together And her voice breaks and they kept it in there - it gave it a different feel.

It was from a time when you had to be big. They only had a microphone, a voice and a breathing technique. A lot of that came from Ike – there's a terrible story there, but in terms of how she developed her voice, she did a great job. He had a good phrasing: the way he would leave the note and then find the meaning of putting the gravel in there.

It is very good to have this gravel in your voice for a long time and not damage your vocal cords. If you push it in the wrong direction, it becomes difficult to sustain a 60-year career. When I listen to Janis Joplin, it hurts because I hear those vocal cords rubbing together! But with Tina, you take comfort in that, it's natural. She had a lot of control over her emotions and the lyrics were perfectly written for her and her situation. Sometimes she didn't even really like the songs, but she could put so much into them. It was the rhythm, the phrasing and the soulful connection – what do I sing and how do I convey it?

Fashion icon Tina: "Dazzled with sequins"

Chloe McDonnell

The first thing the audience saw when they saw Tina Turner live was not her face when she took the microphone to strike her first note. It was a blinding light. Even if you were sitting in the back row, you knew Turner had arrived when the spotlight fell on her sequined mini dress.

For more than five decades, Turner commanded the stage in what fans affectionately called "The Tina Dress," and the longer she performed, the shorter the hemlines became. "There are no rules that say you have to dress a certain way or be a certain way. We live in exciting times for women,” she said in 2009 as she embarked on her 50th anniversary tour.

Singer, diva, fashion icon, pioneer, dancer: the five sides of Tina Turner (2)

While her earlier looks were bolder, it was her filing for divorce from Ike in 1976 that was the catalyst for a sexier approach to dressing. "When I look back, I can see the story of my life through the clothes I wore," she wrote in her photo gallery That's My Life. “I felt so elegant in my dress, like a princess. But this dress was a prison, and so was my marriage. I wanted to move so that my skirts became shorter and less tight, because freedom was important to me, on stage and in life."

She began working closely with American designer Bob Mackie, who also worked with Diana Ross and Cher, and it was Mackie who put Turner and Cher in these instantly recognizable matching flared dresses for a special joint appearance at The Sonny & Cher show in 1977. Later, when Turner embarked on her first solo tour, she updated the dress with a giant orange feather cape.

This flamboyant and theatrical style was the precursor to artists like Prince, Madonna and most recently Beyoncé, whose current Renaissance tour includes a ton of Turner-esque looks, and as Turner continued to gain confidence, her style freed up even more. He commissioned Mackie to create a costume with giant silver wings that fluttered as he glided around the stage. "I felt like I was flying and I was alone and free for the first time," she said.

Later came leather corsets, double denim and Private Dancer fishnet tights, but for her last tour in 2009, she returned to her first love, sequins. Walking down a towering staircase in a floor-length dress as the opening notes of Addicted to Love began to play, Turner removed the dress to reveal a shiny brown mini dress underneath. The dazzle – literally and figuratively – was as dazzling as ever.

The diva Tina: "Incarnated the hope of triumph"

Laura Snapes

When Ike Turner realized he'd be foolish not to let vocal powerhouse Anna Mae Bullock join his band, he forced her to take the Tina Turner name and trademark in case she left it and wanted to hand it over to a replacement singer . They married in 1962, but divorced in 1978 as a result of Ike's long-term violent abuse, and Tina left with just two cars – and the rights to her name. While Ike saw "Tina Turner" as a generic mold to be filled, Tina was able to imagine herself beyond the boundaries of what she had seen to create the beginning of a provocative second act—one that would quickly turn the decline in music industry interest. It is probably no coincidence that Bob Mackie styled this era's Tina as a phoenix.

Singer, diva, fashion icon, pioneer, dancer: the five sides of Tina Turner (3)

It is this self-creation in the face of limited imagination that should be our working definition of what it means to be a diva. It's the inverse of the prevailing misogynistic notion that every successful female musician must have ideas above her station: how dare she assert her talent, exercise control over her career, or visibly enjoy the spoils of her success? This idea is often rooted in racism and classism, a patriarchal attempt to minimize the perceived threat of working-class and black women gaining equal power with men—it's no surprise that diva as a pejorative has more often than not stuck to people who Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Rihanna.

While many of our most famous divas have an iron exterior, divadom also doesn't mean being invincible, a notion that Turner herself disproved. "I don't necessarily want to be a 'strong' person," he once said. "I had a terrible life. I just kept going." Endurance is the key to divadom, and it is this humanity, not perceived self-awareness, that has elevated the diva to cultural royalty: divas embody our hope for triumph through joy, especially for audiences from marginalized backgrounds. This was what it really meant to be Tina Turner, she said towards the end of her life, and in turn to be a diva: having achieved "true and lasting happiness", it was her "greatest desire to help others to become truly happy". ".

Singer, diva, fashion icon, pioneer, dancer: the five sides of Tina Turner (4)

groundbreaking Tina: "Sweat, scream, pout"

Nova twins

Tina's legacy will be passed on to younger generations who will watch these videos and be inspired again. It's not often you find an artist, especially a woman, who performs to such an advantage. She didn't try to be nice on stage – you could see the hard sweat, the pain, the faces she would pull. Especially when it started, women had to be small and friendly with their makeup perfectly on. Tina overcame it and is an inspiration to us. Like her, we want to be in the moment, sweating, feeling like we're putting on a show, not worrying about anything else. We want to capture this feeling and feminine approach to energy, intense and exciting. In rock today, it's so great to see more women and non-binary people taking that approach. When we started, it was like, "Scream less, be more hip-hop."

Pop is sexist, but it's also ageist – it takes teenage girls and says this is where your career should start and end. But Tina's career really took off in the 40s. She is proof that women can be successful later in life.

Women are not set up to be headliners, especially black women. With so few names we could name, Tina certainly helped us and the next generation feel less isolated and alone. No one can match her, but if we can get something out of Tina, that's great. It teaches you to be your true authentic self and that when you are in the music, let it go and enjoy yourself.

Tina in the studio: "She couldn't stop dancing"

Johnny Douglas

Labels go after whoever has the hits of the moment. In 1999, when I was working with Tina Turner on her last solo album, Twenty Four Seven, Cher had just come out with Believe, song of the year. The record companies thought: “This is fantastic! We can take some of our past stars and reinvent them for the kids.” I really wanted to do an old Memphis soul raw record with her, but the label wanted modern tunes.

Her recording was very difficult, because in the studio a singer has to stay at the microphone, and Tina couldn't stop dancing. The voice moved left and right, away from the microphone. We had to keep stopping her from moving! But that was the level of energy and joy he had. She was really excited to be in the studio at an age when most artists want to sit by their pool and count their millions.

Singer, diva, fashion icon, pioneer, dancer: the five sides of Tina Turner (5)

I could tell her if she got off the mic if she got some of the lines wrong, but someone of this caliber who's been doing it this long - she doesn't need much coaching. I would get out of working with all these boys and girls and they needed a lot of word-for-word coaxing, competition and this technical stuff to make them sound good. But Tina had been recording for decades, she absolutely knew what she was doing. Although the music was more modern than she was used to, she had no problem just being herself and sitting on the dance floor. It's weird when you work with people you grew up with and they open their mouths and it's like: damn, that's Tina Turner. It's not like you need a magic box to put her vocals in to make her sound like that - it's just how it comes out. You're always aware of the legacy that's come before you, and you feel this enormous pressure not to laugh or do anything that's not like you. I had Simply the Best spinning around me and thought, I've got to get somewhere close to this level of genius.

We all know about Tina's talent and records, but what many people don't realize is what an incredible person she was. I've worked with hundreds of artists – so many I can't remember, some wonderful people and some horrors – and she's far beyond the nicest thing I've ever worked with. Working with her was almost a religious experience. There was a white light of positivity around her. He was about 60 at this point, but had more energy than the 18 to 21 year olds I worked with. There was no bitterness about her, considering what she had been through. artists who endure hardships and struggle to get where they are have real substance. She had that infectious smile and laugh - you got the impression that Tina never had a bad day. And if he did, he could just brush it off like it was nothing.

There was also humility. He told me, "I don't even consider myself a singer. I'm a dancer!" She was so down to earth. And he had this spirituality without dealing with spirituality. The level of energy, light, joy - there didn't seem to be any darkness in her.

Interviews byBen Beaumont-Thomas


Who will inherit Tina Turner's money? ›

Because Tina Turner married Erwin Bach in Switzerland and also died in their $75 million Swiss retreat, 47 percent of her estate will likely be inherited by her husband and the rest will be divided among her children.

How old was Tina Turner when she gave birth? ›

Turner had two biological children – Raymond Craig, who was fathered by saxophonist Raymond Hill and who she gave birth to when she was just 18 years old, and Ronnie, from her marriage to Ike Turner.

Was Tina married when she died? ›

The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll and the German music exec were married until her death on May 24. Following the death of rock 'n' roll legend Tina Turner, ET is taking a look back at her longstanding love with her second husband, Erwin Bach.

Who were Tina Turner's backup dancers? ›

Ike and Tina Turner backup singers and recording artists The Ikettes (L-R Venetta Fields, Jessie Smith and Robbie Montgomery pose for a portrait... Full-length image of American rock singer Tina Turner and her female backup dancers waving their arms in the air as they dance on stage during a...

How rich is Tina Turner now? ›

On May 24, 2023, at the age of 83, Tina Turner sadly passed away, leaving behind a lasting legacy. Let's delve into her net worth and the incredible accomplishments that shaped her iconic career. Tina Turner had an estimated net worth of $250 million at the time of her death.

How much money did Ike Turner have when he died? ›

At the time of his death his fortune was estimated at 500 thousand dollars, according to the website Ike Turner died of an accidental cocaine overdose, the San Diego medical examiner said.

How many sons does Tina Turner have left? ›

Turner, whose death at 83 was announced May 24, mourned two of her sons before she died.

What was cause of death of Tina Turner? ›

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame star died Wednesday at her home near Zurich, Switzerland after a long illness, NBC reports. Her death was attributed to natural causes; she was 83 years old.

How many sons did Tina Turner lose? ›

Tina Turner lost 2 of her sons before she died. Here's everything you need to know about her 4 children. Tina Turner had one son with her first husband, Ike Turner. She also adopted his other two sons.

How many husbands did Tina Turner have? ›

' Inside Tina Turner's love story with husband Erwin Bach. The late "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" was married twice in her lifetime.

How much older was Tina Turner than her husband? ›

Despite their 16-year age difference, Tina Turner died without the fear she looked older than her husband Erwin Bach.

Does Tina Turner have a relationship with her sons? ›

Turner admitted that she had a strained relationship with her sons including refusing to support them financially. Ike Turner Jr. was the son who most followed in his famous parents footsteps.

Did Mick Jagger learn to dance from Tina Turner? ›

Abandoned by her parents, Turner emerged from Tennessee's cotton fields to become the "Queen of Rock and Roll" who, according to music lore, taught Mick Jagger how to dance -- and the Rolling Stones frontman led the flood of tributes Wednesday, following the superstar's death at the age of 83.

Did Tina Turner have children? ›

Does Tina Turner get royalties? ›

Her catalog also brings in around $700,000 annually from synchs, Billboard estimates. (All royalties from these grosses go to BMG, who purchased the rights to Turner's music interests in 2021.)

Who owns the rights to Tina Turner? ›

Legendary singer Tina Turner has sold the rights to her music catalog to music publishing company BMG, the New York Daily News reports.

What was Tina Turner's bank balance when she died? ›

According to Celebrity Net Worth, her estate got a boost in recent years after she sold BMG Rights Management the rights to her music, likeness and image for $50 million. In all when she passed away after an extended illness on 24 May she was worth an estimated $250 million.

What does Tina Turner's son do? ›


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