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Remembering Tina Turner: Lesser-Known Facts About the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll

Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

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Tina Turner, popularly known as the 'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, passed away on 24 May at the age of 83, following a long-term illness. Tina left behind her rich legacy of songs and a magical voice that will forever remain in our hearts.

Born on November 26, 1939, in Brownsville, Tennessee, Tina's music career began in the late 1950s. One of the best-selling record artistes of all time, she has sold over a 100 million records worldwide. Her most popular songs include 'What's Love Got To Do With It', 'River Deep – Mountain High'
and 'Proud Mary', 'The Best'.

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Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and has released 10 studio albums.

Here are some lesser-known facts about Tina Turner:

From a House Cleaner to a Legendary Singer

Tina was born to Floyd and Zelma Bullock, sharecroppers in Tennessee. She had a tumultuous childhood and lived with her grandmother after being abandoned by her parents. Tina started working as a cleaner while she was living with her grandmother, but when she turned 16, she had to move in with her estranged mother after her grandmother passed away.

After moving to St Louis, her life changed as she chanced upon Ike Turner and his band, the Kings of Rhythm. Mesmerised by her powerful voice, Ike invited her to become a singer in the band. The duo became very popular and started performing under the name Ike & Tina Turner Revue, till they disbanded in 1976. Tina then entered the music industry as a solo artist and went on to become one of the most popular singers of her time.

Tina Turner Didn’t Own Her Name

The legendary singer was not born with the name Tina Turner. In fact she didn't even own the name until 1978!

Born as Anna Mae Bullock, Tina started performing with Ike and his band under the name of 'Little Ann' that appeared on her first record, 'Boxtop'.

Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Ike & Tina Turner performed together 1960 to 1976 till they disbanded. 

(Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia) 

With 'A Fool in Love' in 1960, she debuted as Tina Turner, a name given to her by Ike. Not just that, Ike had even trademarked the name so that if she ever left the band, he could replace her with another vocalist.

After going through years of abuse, first in their relationship and then during their marriage, Tina finally left the band in 1976 and filed for divorce. As a result, Tina lost the rights to use her own name and struggled to keep herself and her career afloat. Finally, in 1978, she won her name back.

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The First Woman to Appear on the Cover of Rolling Stone

In her illustrious career of over five decades, Tina reached immense success and broke the glass ceiling many times. In 1967, she became the first black artiste and the first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. 

Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Tina Turner on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1967 

(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/ @rollingstone)

She Was Supposed to Play Goddess Kali

Apart from being a successful singer, she has also starred in several films. But did you know that in 2004, she was set to play the Hindu Goddess Kali in a Merchant Ivory film? According to a report in Juggernaut, to prepare for her role, she visited several Kali temples in India. In the film, she was supposed to sing songs in English, Sanskrit, and even Latin.

Unfortunately, the film was shelved because of the sudden demise of Merchant. However, during her visit, she said that she developed an instant connection to India.

Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Tina Turner during her visit to India.

(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

She Renounced Her US Citizenship

While Tina was born in the US, in the later years of her career, Tina's popularity grew much more in Europe. During one of her visits to the UK in 1986, she met her now-husband, Erwin Bach, a German music executive. The two had been together for more than three decades. 

Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Tina Turner with her husband Erwin Bach, the duo got married in 2013. 

(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

She had been living in Zurich since 1994, and in 2013, when Tina and Erwin got married, she renounced her US citizenship and became a citizen of Switzerland.

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Inducted Twice in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame

Tina Turner is known as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll for a reason! Having inspired a generation of singers, including Mick Jagger and Beyoncé, her contribution to the music industry, especially rock music, has been unforgettable. This is one of the reasons why she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame not once but twice.

Unfortunately, despite her separation from Ike Turner and a successful solo career, she was first inducted into the Rock Hall in 1991 as part of Ike and Tina Turner. Later, in 2021, she was inducted into the hall of fame for the second time, credited as a solo artist.
Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Tina Turner with her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame award. 

(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

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Topics:  Rock n Roll 

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