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Where Are They Now? - Tina Turner

Agosto 2014
“È morta Tina Turner”. La voce si è sparsa poco tempo fa, ma era solo l’ennesima bufala del web! La cantante, classe 1939, non solo è viva e vegeta, ma continua a vivere la sua intensa esistenza: si vocifera che divorzierà dal suo secondo marito, ma chi lo sa, forse è solo un’altra diceria...

di Alastair Peel

File audio:

Tina Turner today
Tina Turner today
Ike and Tina Turner in 1974.
Ike and Tina Turner in 1974.

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

On June 24th it was announced that the singer Tina Turner was dead. Fortunately, it wasn’t true. Tina Turner is still alive. She was the victim of a “celebrity death hoax.” These are very common these days. This is not the first time that Tina Turner, who is now 74, has come close to death. In the 1960s she tried to commit suicide. Her life has been very eventful .


This eventful life was the subject of a 1993 film, What’s Love Got To Do With It? It starred Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as her husband Ike. Tina’s real name is Anna Mae Bullock and she was born in Nutbush, Tennessee in the Deep South in 1939. She met Ike Turner, a musician, when she was a teenager, and she became the singer in his band. Ike and Tina Turner were a popular act in the 1960s and ‘70s with songs like “River Deep – Mountain High” and “Nutbush City Limits.” Fans loved Tina’s singing, her miniskirts and her long, sexy legs, but behind the scenes life was less glamorous. Ike had a drug problem and he was abusive. Tina was often the victim of domestic violence. She even attempted suicide but in 1976 she decided to leave Ike and their children. When she left she had 30 cents in her pocket.


The couple divorced and, after a long legal battle, they reached an agreement about their music and other business interests. Tina started a solo career and it wasn’t easy at first, but by the mid 1980s she had established herself as an international star. She also acted in movies like Mad Max. Like Gloria Gaynor, she had  “survived” and she was an inspiration to other women. Oprah Winfrey, another African American woman from the Deep South with a traumatic past, said: “When I leave a Tina concert, I feel the same way I do after I’ve seen any great art: I want to be a better human being.”


Ike Turner died of a cocaine overdose in 2007. Tina’s comment was laconic, to say the least. A press statement said: “Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in more than 30 years. No further comment will be made.” Like many African Americans, Tina Turner grew up in the Baptist Church but, as an adult, she became a Buddhist. She says that chanting helped her survive the hard times. Another surprising fact about her is that she lives in Switzerland and that she is now a Swiss citizen. Her second husband, Erwin Bach, is a German music executive, and he’s 16 years her junior. There is a rumour that they are now separated but this may also be a hoax...

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