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WYEP Remembers: Tina Turner

WYEP will pay tribute to Tina Turner on May 24, 2023, at 7 p.m. with an hourlong tribute to her music and career.

Tina Turner, the legendary ‘Queen of Rock & Roll,’ has died at the age of 83. She was an iconic figure in the music industry and a trailblazer for women. She was known for her electrifying performances and trademark raspy voice. Tina’s music broke barriers and challenged societal norms. She was a feminist icon who sang about love, heartbreak, and resilience.

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock and grew up in Brownsville, Tennessee. As a teenager, she began singing and eventually moved to St. Louis where she would go on to meet her future singing partner and husband, Ike Turner. She rose to fame in the early ’60s as the lead vocalist of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, and hit it big with the song “A Fool In Love” and many singles thereafter. She would go on to marry Ike Turner in 1962.

In 1967, renowned music producer Phil Spector was captivated after watching a dazzling performance by Ike & Tina Turner at a popular Sunset Strip nightclub. The resulting record River Deep – Mountain Top would be a pivotal milestone in Turner’s journey to solo superstardom. Unfortunately, she would also suffer from domestic abuse at the hands of Ike Turner.

After a very violent attack in 1976, she found the strength to leave him and start a successful solo career. Her resilience and perseverance inspired many women to leave abusive relationships and pursue their dreams. In 1984, Tina Turner’s solo career reached new heights with the release of her album Private Dancer. The album’s lead single ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’ topped the charts and earned her three Grammy Awards, including ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’, ‘Record of the Year’, and ‘Song of the Year’. Other popular tracks from the album, such as ‘Better Be Good To Me’ and the title track, also became huge hits. It’s no surprise that Private Dancer went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide and be certified platinum in both the US and the UK.

Throughout her career, Turner would win 8 Grammy awards and earned 25 nominations in total. Additionally, she has been recognized with three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards and a coveted Lifetime Achievement Award, bringing her grand total of Grammy accolades to 12. She was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and 2021 and was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2005.

Tina Turner was also an actress, philanthropist, and fashion icon. Her iconic legs and daring outfits became a trademark of her performances. She was a pioneer who opened doors for future female artists, and her music transcended borders and touched people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. Her music will live on, and so will her spirit.