A Look Back at Tina Turner’s Legendary Life & Career in Photos

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Whenever a beloved legend dies, the world feels a bit dimmer. With the sudden passing of musical superstar Tina Turner, the world feels dimmer than ever. For those that don’t know, Turner passed away on May 24, 2023, at the age of 83. She reportedly passed after a long illness and died in her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

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Ever since she came onto the music scene in the late 1950s, everyone knew she was destined for greatness.

Turner’s music truly changed the name of the game. Her soulful songs and fiery performances defined the passionate performances from the 1960s to the 2000s, and it seemed like every new project she released continued to be groundbreaking.

But her life also consisted of love, passion, writing inspiring books, and starring in some seriously fun movies.

Turner once said, “I’ve been through a lot of things in my life, but I know the good side of it and the bad side of it, and I’ve lived in both.”

To honor Turner’s legendary, inspiring life and career, let’s take a look at all of the groundbreaking things she did (and the hardships she overcame!) See the Grammy-winning legend’s life in photos below:

  • Humble Beginnings

    Image Credit: Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***.

    Tina Turner was born with the name Anna Mae Bullock on Nov 26, 1939 in Brownsville, Tennessee as the youngest daughter of Floyd Richard Bullock and his wife Zelma Priscilla. She had two older sisters named Evelyn Juanita Currie and Ruby Alline Bullock.

    According to Biography, her parents split up soon after she was born and was subsequently raised by her grandmother. However, when her grandmother passed away in the 1950s, she moved back with her mother.

  • Bold Moves to Bolder Life

    Image Credit: Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

    She and her sister were all about the nightclub scene when they were younger, and that’s how she met her future first husband Ike Turner. She originally met him when he was performing with his band, the Kings of Rhythm. 

    She asked to sing for his band, and even though he reportedly agreed to let her sing, he never did, according to his autobiography. However, she took control of her destiny during one intermission, and sang a song that instantly hypnotized everyone. After that bold move, she became a featured vocalist for his band, according to Tina’s memoir.

  • The Birth of Tina Turner

    Image Credit: Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images.

    Ike Turner eventually convinced her to change her name to “Tina” because it rhymed with the beloved comic character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, according to the List.

  • Musical Romance

    Image Credit: Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns.

    Even though Ike Turner and Tina Turner started as friends and co-performers, their romance bloomed. Soon, he asked her to marry him, and on the same day, they married in a Tijanua ceremony. But Tina told Gayle King in an interview for CBS Good Morning that this wasn’t a fairytale. “When Ike asked me to marry him, I knew it was for a reason. But I had to say yes, I knew, or it was going to be a fight.”

  • An Icon’s First Hit

    Image Credit: Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

    In July 1960, Ike and Tina dropped their iconic single “A Fool in Love,” and it was a mega-hit. Because of this, according to People, they were able to tour as the opening act for the Rolling Stones in 1969.

  • ‘Proud Mary’

    Image Credit: Photo by American Broadcasting Companies via Getty Images.

    Two years later, in 1971, they dropped the album Workin’ Together, and that’s when everything changed, per Biography. In this famous album, Ike and Tina Turner Revue had a cover of the song “Proud Mary,” originally written by John Fogerty, lead singer of the band Creedence Clearwater Revival. And it became a legendary rendition.

    Because of this, they hit superstardom and the duo won a Grammy Award for best R&B vocal performance by a group.

  • Divorcing Ike

    Image Credit: Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

    Tina Turner later revealed that Ike Turner was abusive, and in the mid-1970s, they separated after an altercation in Dallas, per Biography. By 1978, they were officially divorced.

  • Her Comeback

    Image Credit: Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images.

    After a few years of trials and hardships as a single mom of four, Tina Turner had the comeback of the century. Back in 1983, she signed to Capitol Records, and released the beloved album Private Dancer, which had hits like “Private Dancer,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and “Better Be Good to Me.”

    After this, she became a household name and ended up winning a slew of awards.

  • Touring Queen

    Image Credit: Photo by Roberta Parkin./Redferns.

    To honor her Private Dancer album, Tina went on a historical world tour from Feb 1985 to Dec 1985, which had a total of 182 dates. Legend behavior.

  • Second Chance at Love

    Image Credit: Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

    In 1986, Tina Turner met her future second husband  Erwin Bach at Cologne Bonn Airport. Bach is a music producer, and at the time, he was assigned to pick her up from the airport. Tina said the connection was instant in her HBO documentary, “He was [16 years] younger [than me]. He was 30 years old at the time and had the prettiest face. I mean, you cannot [describe] it,. It was like insane. [I thought], ‘Where did he come from?’ He was really so good-looking. My heart [was beating fast] and it means that a soul has met, and my hands were shaking.”

    They didn’t start dating until a year later, and after nearly thirty years together, the two wed in 2013 in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

  • Hit After Hit

    Image Credit: (Photo by Roberta Parkin./Redferns.

    The following year, Tina Turner released her second solo album called Break Every Rule, and then three years later released Foreign Affair. 

    Later, she released her fourth studio album called Wildest Dreams, and then her final solo album in 1999 called Twenty-Four Seven.

  • Fun Acting Roles

    Image Credit: ©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection.

    Along with her musical career, Tina Turner had a seriously fun acting career. She played roles in films like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Last Action Hero, and Tommy.

  • Super Bowl Halftime Show

    Image Credit: Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives.

    Who could forget when Tina Turner took the stage for the Super Bowl halftime show in 2000? She headlined that year, and it was one of the most talked-about moments of the turn of the century.

  • Three-Time Author

    Image Credit: Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Sygma via Getty Images.

    Not only did she have an amazing career in music and on screen, but she was a wonderful author. Back in 1989, she released her novel I, Tina: My Life Story (which was adapted to the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do with It!) She later published two more memoirs towards the end of her life called My Love Story: A Memoir, Atria Books in 2018 and Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good in 2020.

  • 50th Anniversary Tour

    Image Credit: Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.

    Tina Turner had one more legendary tour before she passed. She came back from retirement in 2008 to start her 50th Anniversary Tour. It went on from Oct 2008 to May 2009, and it had 84 sold-out shows, according to People.

  • Life as a Mother of 4

    Image Credit: Photo by Dana Nalbandian/WireImage.

    Tina Turner had four children in total. She welcomed a son named Raymond Craig with her ex Raymond Hill in Aug 1958. Later, she welcomed another son named Ronald “Ronnie” Renelle on Oct 1960 with Ike Turner. She also adopted two of Ike Turner’s children. Turner also was a ground grandma of two little ones. 

    Tragically, Raymond died by suicide in July 2018, and Ronnie died from colon cancer in Dec 2022.

  • Lifetime Achievement

    Image Credit: Photo by CBS via Getty Images.

    According to LA Times, in her lifetime, Tina Turner had 12 Grammy Awards, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Ike in 1991, and later received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, to name a few. 

  • Finding Religion

    Image Credit: Photo by DENIZE alain/Sygma via Getty Images.

    Ever since the 1970s, Tina Turner became a deeply religious person who believed in Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. She later joined the largest Buddhist organization called The Soka Gakkai International.

    She often referred to herself as a “Buddhist–Baptist,” per the biography Proud Tina: Tina Turner, The Importance of Being Famous.

  • Broadway Beauty

    Image Credit: Photo by Andrew H Walker/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images.

    Not only did Tina Turner have a film made about her life and an HBO documentary, but in 2018, she had a Broadway musical based on her life and career called Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

  • Death at 83

    Image Credit: Photo by DENIZE alain/Sygma via Getty Images.

    On May 24, 2023, Tina died at age 83 after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, where she lived a quiet life with her loving husband Erwin Bach.

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