Born Annie Mae Bullock near Brownsville, Tennessee, she began singing as a teen, and joined Ike Turner
's touring show as an 18-year-old backup vocalist. Just two years later, Tina was the star of the show, the attention-grabbing focal point for an incredibly smooth-running soul revue headed by Ike
and his Kings of Rhythm
. The couple began hitting the charts in 1960 with "A Fool in Love," and notched charting singles throughout the '60s, though the disappointing position of "River Deep, Mountain High" -- cited by Phil Spector
as one of his best productions -- was very hard to take. All expectations were fulfilled in 1971 with "Proud Mary," a number four hit that became the capstone of Ike & Tina's Revue
. Frustrated by Ike
's increasingly irrational behavior, though, Tina walked out just three years later.
She celebrated her newfound freedom in 1975 with a role in the film version of the Who
's Tommy. Playing the Acid Queen, she delivered an outrageous, all-too-brief performance in an otherwise forgettable mistake of a movie. Several albums were recorded for United Artists
during the late '70s, but she appeared to be washed up by the turn of the decade. Surprisingly, Tina returned in 1983, first teaming with a Heaven 17
project named B.E.F.
on a remake of the Temptations
' "Ball of Confusion." Tina's vocal offering was understandably apocalyptic, and she gained a solo deal with Capitol
that same year. Her first single, a cover of Al Green
's "Let's Stay Together," hit the Top 30 early in 1984. Second single "What's Love Got to Do with It" became one of the year's biggest hits, spending three weeks at number one. Her album Private Dancer included two more Top Ten singles, the title track and "Better Be Good to Me."
With another movie role in 1985 (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome), she found a number two hit with its theme, "We Don't Need Another Hero." Her next big hit followed in 1986 ("Typical Male"), after which Tina began to decline, still charting occasionally and selling respectably with albums including 1989's Foreign Affair, 1996's Wildest Dreams, and 2000's Twenty Four Seven. In 2009, Turner oversaw and added spoken word segments to Beyond: Buddhist and Christian Prayers, which featured singing from Regula Curti
and Dechen Shak-Dagsay
. The CD was officially released a year later in 2010. Four years later, a collection of her romantic solo material called Love Songs appeared in time for Valentine's Day. ~ John Bush, Rovi