Music icon Tina Turner is celebrating her 77th Birthday today!
Turner, who now lives full-time in Switzerland with her husband, German music executive Erwin Bach, was born as Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee.
She was born on November 26, 1939.
Despite having fallen more out of the public eye since her marriage to Bach in 2013, Turner still remains one of the most celebrated musicians, recording artists, dancers, and singers in the world.
Tina Turner’s musical career has been filled with a number of achievements. Notable among those, but certainly not limited to them, are:
- Placement (17th) on the Rolling Stone’s “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.”
- Membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Grammy Hall of Fame membership for three songs: “River Deep – Mountain High” (1999), “Proud Mary” (2003), and “What’s Love Got to Do with It” (2012).
- Eight Grammy Awards.
- Oldest person, at 73, to be featured on the cover of Vogue magazine (per Billboard).
- Stars on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
Beyond Tina’s veil of what seems to be a happy, “top of the world” kind of life, however, hung a long lingering sorrow that was all too often not seen by her fans.
Turner once famously married Ike Turner – a musical mentor of hers in St. Louis – on her birthday in 1962. It was this union, at the age of just 23, that produced her second son, Ronald. Tina’s first son had come a few years earlier from a prior relationship with Kings of Rhythm saxophonist Raymond Hill.
Sadly for Turner, more noteworthy than celebrating the birthday of her second son was the heated tension between her and Ike that led to allegations of physical and mental abuse against her husband. This marriage – which has long been the subject of extensive media coverage over the years – once led to Tina admitting that she “never felt like I was married.”
This sentiment was presented as part of the 2004 biography, which was written by Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth, entitled “The Importance of Being Famous: Behind the Scenes of the Celebrity-Industrial Complex.”
Of course, not all of Tina’s interactions with men were quite so negative.
Turner would once famously say in an interview, as documented by Wild Sound Festival Review, that her relationship with musician Mick Jagger was truly unique.
“When you raise boys, you know how they play,” said Tina Turner.
“With Mick, you always have to be on guard, because you never know what he’s going to do. But Mick is like a brother. It wasn’t as if some guy pulled off my skirt; it was like this boy I knew did it.”
Through all of her ups and downs with the opposite sex, however, Tina appeared to have finally found happiness later in life when she married her friend Bach, in 2013; they had been dating since 1986. The same year as her marriage to Bach, Turner applied for – and became a citizen of Switzerland, renouncing her U.S. citizenship in the process.
Through her ups and downs, however, Tina’s life as one of the most well-known and well-respected singers in the world hardly did much to lift her own self-esteem or sense of self-worth.
If anything, in fact, fame was something that Tina Turner learned that she would have to live around in order to survive.
According to Wild Sound Festival Review, Turner once famously noted that “I don’t hate myself anymore. I used to hate my work, hated that sexy image, hated those pictures of me onstage, hated that big raunchy person.”
For Tina Turner, performing was almost akin to playing a role in a movie or television show. It never quite felt like she was herself while singing and dancing with the cameras on her world famous legs.
“Onstage, I’m acting the whole time I’m there,” smiled Turner when talking about this type of double life of sorts, “As soon as I get out of those songs, I’m Tina again.”
[Featured Image by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images]