Tina Turner Biography

Name at birth: Anna Mae Bullock

Tina Turner was only 18 when she began singing with frenetic rhythm & blues star Ike Turner in the late 1950s. Eventually the two married and Tina got nearly equal billing in the band, which became known as Ike and Tina Turner Revue. Their hot stage act was a hit on repeated tours of the U.K. and the U.S. and they released several records; their biggest hit, "Proud Mary," came out in 1970. Tina Turner left Ike in 1976, amid acrimonious tales of drugs and abuse, and went solo. (She recounted many of those stories in a 1986 autobiography, I, Tina.) In 1984 she released the album Private Dancer. It included a number one single ("What's Love Got to Do With It?") and won Grammy Awards for record of the year, female pop performance and female rock vocal of the year. Turner settled into her new persona as a proud survivor and grande dame of R&B, and continued to record and tour her high-energy act into the 21st century, including a worldwide "50th Anniversary Tour" in 2008. She also tried her hand at acting, most notably as the Acid Queen in The Who's rock opera Tommy (1975) and as the domineering Aunty Entity in the apocalyptic Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985, with Mel Gibson).

Extra credit:

In her autobiography, Turner says that Ike gave her the stage name of Tina Turner before the release of their first hit single together, "A Fool In Love," in 1960... Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. The Hall calls them "one of the highest energy ensembles on the soul circuit in the late '60s and early '70s"... Ike Turner died in 2007... "We Don't Need Another Hero," Tina Turner's 1985 theme for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, was also a popular hit... She was played by Angela Bassett in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got To Do With It; Laurence Fishburne played Ike.

Who is this?

Photo of Spike Lee smiling in funky round glasses and a NY Knicks tie