TINA TURNER DIES…

By now, no doubt, you’ll know that TINA TURNER died yesterday, Wednesday, 24th September. She passed away  at her home near Zurich, Switzerland and it’s reported that in recent years she’d been in poor health – a stroke in 2013, cancer in 2016 and a kidney transplant in 2017.

Ms Turner’s social media pages broke the sad news: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.

Here is not the time nor place to offer a full biography or list the achievements of Nutbush City born, Anna Mae Bullock, save that to say she was one of the very few artists  to deserve  the titles, “legend” and “icon”.

 In essence, Tina Turner enjoyed two careers – first with her husband Ike Turner and then as a solo star. In both phases of her career her powerful gospel-tinged voice and magnetic stage presence singled her out as a superstar.

Tina’s relationship with the abusive Ike Turner has been well documented but the duo did  deliver a plethora of classic recordings, plenty of them espoused by the early soul crowd. Songs like ‘I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine’, ‘A Fool In Love’, and ‘Gonna Have Fun’ were all UK mod favourites and, of course, the Turners’ ‘River Deep Mountain High’ always appears in listings of the very best classic pop recordings;  that one’s also the supreme definition of Phil Spector’s ‘Wall Of Sound’.

After she freed herself from Ike, Tina’s career nose-dived till UK musicians Martin Ware and Glenn Grogory (of Sheffield band Heaven 17) hooked up with her for a recording of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ and  the rest….well! Songs like ‘Private Dancer’, ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’,  ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ and ‘Simply The Best’ became pop/rock classics and though they’re maybe more pop than soul, they still stand as testament to a remarkable singer, a survivor  and, yes, an icon and a legend!

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