Physical strength in a woman – that's what I am. -Tina Turner
Tina Turner’s story is all about the importance of facing challenges. Over the course of her life, she has faced countless challenges—and overcome them all. She was married to the abusive Ike Turner; eventually, she found the strength to divorce him—leading to a much better life for her and her children. After that, she had trouble beginning a solo career—she even lived on food stamps—but she powered through, ultimately providing a successful livelihood for her and her children. We can derive a lot of knowledge and wisdom from her strength and wisdom; they have truly been strong enough to change and impact the world.
Turner was born under the name of Anna Mae Bullock in 1939, and turned 77 this past November. She was the daughter of sharecroppers, Floyd and Zelma, and, unfortunately, they divorced when she was quite young. As a result, her grandmother took in Turner, as well as her sister Aillene, to raise the girls.
When she was a teenager, it was at Club Manhattan—which she went to one night in 1956, joined by Aillene—that Turner watched the Kings of Rhythm give a performance—and where she later met Ike Turner, her future husband. Quite a talented singer herself, soon began to sing with the group, and became a major feature of their show.
About four years later, one of the other singers didn't turn up to a recording session, so Turner sang in her place, taking the lead on “A Fool in Love.” The song—credited to “Ike and Tina Turner”—became a hit, crossing over from the R&B charts to the pop charts. In fact, working together under the name of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, their musical collaborations became a household name, with their work hitting the top five on more than one occasion.
The couple fell in love and married in 1962. They continued working on their careers until, in 1969, they were the opening act for the Rolling Stones. And, in 1971, they released Workin’ Together, which featured a now-famous cover of “Proud Mary”—which was so successful that it netted them their first Grammy and rose to the top of the American charts. However, the couple separated in the mid-1970s, and divorced in 1978; Ike had physically abused her for years, as well as using drugs and alcohol excessively.
She began singing on her own, but wasn't successful right away. Initially, she needed to clean houses—and even use food stamps—to sustain her family. She performed at less popular venues, and appeared as a guest on the albums of other artists. Her career picked up fairly soon after, however. In particular, 1984’s Private Dancer was a turning point in her career—one of her most successful albums until that point. Turner continued performing over the decades, eventually, in 1991, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the summer of 2013, she married Erwin Bach, a record executive. She is a Buddhist, and sings prayers alongside spiritual musicians.
Tina Turner’s story can teach us a lot about not letting your failures prevent you from being the best person you can possibly be. Her solo career wasn't successful right away, and for a while it even might have seemed that she was less successful as a solo artist. However, she kept working at it, despite her failures. She performed at less popular venues, cleaned houses, went on food stamps, and sacrificed everything for her career and her children—and eventually all her hard work paid off when her solo career took off.
Affirmation for today:
Great strength lies within me at all times.