Tina Turner Biography

(The "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll")

Birthday: November 26, 1939 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Nutbush, Tennessee, United States

Anna Mae Bullock, popularly known by her stage name Tina Turner, was a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, and author. She was one of the most popular female rock artists, and is known as the queen of the rock. Turner received many Grammy Awards in various categories, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame. Over 100 million copies of her albums were sold worldwide, which is why she was named as one of the greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. But all this success and fame did not come easy for her. She had to start from scratch as she had no formal training in singing. Above all, she faced a very difficult childhood. She met Ike Turner, whom she would later marry, when she was 16 years old. Ike helped her in getting recognized in the music industry and for many years, she only sang duets with him. She had a difficult relationship with Ike as he was an alcoholic and cocaine addict. He used to beat her and emotionally abuse her. She went through a major downfall in her personal and professional life after getting divorced from him, but thankfully she turned to Buddhism, which helped her concentrate better on her career. Private Dancer, considered to be her comeback album, sold 20 million copies, and earned her prestigious awards. Later on, she took up Swiss citizenship and settled in Switzerland.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Anna Mae Bullock

Died At Age: 83


Spouse/Ex-: Erwin Bach (m. 2013), Ike Turner (m. 1962–1978)

father: Floyd Richard Bullock

mother: Zelma Priscilla

siblings: Evelyn Juanita Currie, Ruby Alline Bullock

children: Ike Turner Jr, Michael Turner, Raymond Craig Turner, Ronnie Turner

Born Country: United States

Musicians Rock Singers

Died on: May 24, 2023

place of death: Küsnacht, Switzerland

Ancestry: American Swiss

U.S. State: Tennessee

Childhood & Early Life

Tina Turner was born on November 26, 1939, in Tennessee, USA, to Zelma Priscilla and Floyd Richard Bullock. Her father was an overseer of a group of sharecroppers. During World War II, Turner was separated from her parents and had to go and live with her grandparents in Knoxville.

After the war, she reunited with her family in Knoxville, and attended Flagg Grove Elementary School. Turner had a knack for singing from a very young age, and used to sing in the church choir.

Turner’s childhood became chaotic when her mother ran away because of her abusive father. She was only 13 when he remarried and abandoned her and her sister. She went to live with her grandmother and worked as a domestic worker.

She attended Carver High School while living with her grandmother. When Turner was 16, her grandmother died, and she had to go live with her mother. She graduated from Summer High School in Missouri and dreamt of becoming a nurse.

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Tina Turner used to visit nightclubs in St. Louis. At Club Manhattan, she met her future husband Ike Turner, and his band Kings of Rhythm. Ike recognized her talent and gave her chance to record with him as a background singer in 1958.

In 1959, she recorded a dummy vocal for Ike’s song, which was later sent to Juggy Murray, president of Sue Records. Ike was paid a large sum of money for the recording and publishing rights of the song.

Tina Turner and Ike started singing together and in 1960 their single A Fool in Love reached the second position on the Hot R&B Sides. Later on, It’s Gonna Work Out Fine earned them their first Grammy Award nomination.

The duo became popular and went on to sign with Loma Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records in 1964. They gave live performances all over the United States, and performed in shows like Hollywood A Go-Go.

In 1966, she recorded the song River Deep – Mountain High which was released under Philles Records. The song became a big hit in the UK, giving Turner an opportunity to open for The Rolling Stones on their UK tour.

Around that time, Turner and Ike’s albums, such as, Outta Season and The Hunter were gaining success. Their revue also became popular in Las Vegas. These shows were attended by celebrities like Elvis Presley and Elton John.

She signed with Liberty Records in 1970 and came out with two albums, Come Together and Workin’ Together with Ike. Turner and Ike were becoming popular all over the country and were invited to be interviewed and perform at The Ed Sullivan Show.

In 1974, Turner released her first solo album Tina Turns the Country On! with the help of Bolic Sound Studios. The album was critically acclaimed and fetched her Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Ike and Turner were still making music together. Subsequently, they ventured into gospel music, and released The Gospel According to Ike & Tina. It became an instant hit, and they were nominated for Best Soul Gospel Performance.

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In 1974, Tina Turner played the role of The Acid Queen in the London-based musical Tommy. Her performance made her famous in the UK, and in the following year she released her second solo album The Acid Queen.

From 1975 to 1978, she went through a rough period because of her marriage with Ike, who was an alcoholic and cocaine addict. It affected their professional association, and Turner stopped performing with him.

Turner tried renewing her career with her cabaret-styled performances in Vegas with the help of United Artists Records in 1978. She also started appearing on shows like The Hollywood Squares, Donny and Marie, etc.

In 1978, her third album Rough was released under the same record label. It was followed by Love Explosion. Unfortunately, the albums failed to impress her fans, and she decided not to renew her contract with the company.

In 1980, with her newly formed association with Roger Davies, Turner was showcased at The Ritz, New York. This gave her an opportunity to perform with Rod Stewart, first on Saturday Night Live and then in his US tour.

In 1983, after signing with the Capitol Records, Tina Turner released Let's Stay Together. The single was a huge hit in Europe and America. She signed a three-album deal with the record.

In 1984, she released Private Dancer, which is considered to be her comeback album. The album sold about 20 million copies worldwide. The hit single from the album What’s Love Got to Do With It earned her a Grammy Award.

Following the success of her album, Turner appeared in the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. The movie was a huge success and her acting skills were honored with the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress.

In 1986, she released another hit album Break Every Rule which has sold 12 million copies to date. In the same year, she published her autobiography I, Tina, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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She made history by performing with Paul McCartney in front of the largest paying audience in Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1988. The event was etched in Guinness World Records. The following year, Foreign Affair was released.

In 1993, Tina Turner signed the rights for the production of the movie What’s Love Got to Do with It, which was based on her relationship with Ike. She also helped the female protagonist with her costumes and taught her dance moves.

She worked with the band U2 for the composition of a song in the James Bond movie Golden Eye in 1995. Following the success of that, Wildest Dreams was released, and it went gold and platinum in the US and Europe, respectively.

In 1999-2000, she appeared on the VH-1 special Divas Live '99, and then released Twenty Four Seven. She launched a tour for the album, helping it achieve gold certification in the United States. The tour grossed over $100 million.

Turner was honored by the Kennedy Center Honors in 2005, and various artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Etheridge, Queen Latifah, Beyonce, and Al Green paid tribute to her that night. President George W. Bush also appreciated her.

In 2008, she performed with Beyonce at the Grammy Awards, and won a Grammy as a featured artist for River: The Joni Letters. In the same year, she embarked on her first tour in ten years, Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour.

Tina Turner attended the Giorgio Armani show in Beijing in 2012. The following year, she appeared on the cover of the German issue of Vogue magazine, becoming the oldest person to appear on the cover of Vogue.

In 2018, she released a jukebox musical titled TINA: The Tina Turner Musical, depicting her life in a nutshell. It was released in collaboration with Phyllida Lloyd and Stage Entertainment. It premiered in London with Adrienne Warren in the lead. The same year, she released her second memoir Tina Turner: My Love Story.

Major Works

Private Dancer, Turner’s fifth album released in 1984, is considered to be the breakthrough album of her career. It gave her success at the time when her career suffered a major setback after she got divorced.

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Tina Turner earned four Grammy Awards for her album Private Dancer. The album’s hit single What's Love Got to Do with It went on to become her signature track. The album became a bestseller in the United States and in other parts of the world.

Awards & Achievements

Tina Turner won 12 Grammy Awards, including four for her breakthrough album Private Dancer. One of the awards was for the hit single What’s Love Got to Do with It. She won another Grammy for the soundtrack of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Her other releases for which she received Grammys are Back Where You Started, Tina Live in Europe, and River: The Joni Letters.

Turner was a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Her recordings, River Deep – Mountain High, Proud Mary, and What's Love Got to Do with It are in the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2018, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Personal Life & Legacy

Tina Turner had her first child, Raymond Craig, in 1958 when she was 18. Pregnancy out of wedlock agitated her mother, and she threw her out of the house. She then went to live with her future husband Ike Turner.

She got married to Ike in 1962, and became stepmother to his sons from his former marriages. The couple had a son together named Ronnie Turner. The relationship, as described by Turner on several occasions, was abusive in nature and they got divorced in 1978.

In 1986, Turner started dating German music executive Erwin Bach whom she met at a party while touring for Private Dancer. After a courtship of 27 years, the couple tied the knot in July 2013.

Tina Turner died on 24 May 2023, at the age of 83, at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, following a long illness. 


Turner was a Buddhist and used to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Because of her abusive relationship with Ike, Turner tried to commit suicide by swallowing 50 Valium pills.

She became a Swiss citizen in 2013.

Tina Turner Movies

1. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

  (Biography, Music, Drama)

2. Tommy (1975)

  (Drama, Musical)

3. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

  (Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure)

4. Last Action Hero (1993)

  (Adventure, Action, Comedy, Fantasy)

5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)

  (Musical, Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy)


Grammy Awards
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
2008 Album of the Year Winner
1989 Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female Winner
1987 Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female Winner
1986 Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female Winner
1985 Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female Winner
1985 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female Winner
1985 Song of the Year Winner
1985 Record of the Year Winner
1972 Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group Winner
MTV Video Music Awards
1986 Best Stage Performance in a Video Bryan Adams & Tina Turner: It's Only Love (1985)
1985 Best Female Video Tina Turner: What's Love Got to Do with It (1984)
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See the events in life of Tina Turner in Chronological Order

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