Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock and Roll, the baddest in the land with the most supreme pair of legs to ever walk a stage. Her voice contains a sandpaper grit that helped smoothed the edges of black culture and her own very rough life. Born in unincorporated Nut Bush, Tennessee, as Anna Mae Bullock in 1939, Tina has provided an abundance of soul and inspiration she first started delivering hits with the Ike Turner Revue in the '60s. Her contributions to both music and African-American culture since then are both profound and immeasurable.
"River Deep, Mountain High" was one of the strongest pieces of songwriting at that time, and Tina's vocals detailing a love so deep and so wide was just remarkable. The Revue's version of "Proud Mary" is still widely recognized as one of the best cover performances to date.
Tina Turner is black woman struggle and all woman triumph. Her autobiography, I, Tina related her years of turmoil with Ike in great detail. Divorcing Ike in 1976 after a violent fight in Dallas, Tina spent a number of years rebuilding before releasing Rough, her first album sans Ike.
"What's Love Got to Do With It," became one of her biggest hits, winning her four Grammy awards, including Record of the Year in 1985. Later, the semi-autobiographical film by the same name would win Angela Basset and Laurence Fishburne Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively, at the Oscars for their portrayal of Ike and Tina.
Tina Turner is a dynamic and resolute performer. She performs hits from the 70's like it's nothing, and is a pillar of influence in the music community.
February has traditionally been the month when the contributions from, traditions of and historical facts about African-Americans are celebrated. In honor of Black History Month, Backbeat will be celebrating iconic figures in the world of black music.
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