The legendary entertainer who is Tina Turner wasn’t always the fabulous icon with mile-long legs that she is today.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, Tina Turner was born in Brownsville, Tennessee, and was the youngest daughter of a sharecropper overseer and his wife. Tina has actual memories of picking cotton with her family from a very young age. She had two older sisters, but she was separated from her siblings when her parents moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to work at a World War II defense facility. At that time, Tina went to live with her strict and very religious grandparents.
Fortunately, after the war, Tina was reunited with her parents and sisters and she got her first singing practice in Nutbush, Tennessee’s Spring Hill Baptist Church, where she sang in the choir. There was a hidden and ugly story underneath what looked like a good life, however. Tina’s mother was in an abusive marriage and eventually ran away to escape. When her father remarried some years later, the girls were sent to live with their other grandmother. Tina specifically says that she was “not wanted” by her mother because her mother didn’t want another child after having her first two children.
When she was a teenager, Tina went to work as a domestic worker. She was able to carve out a life with a lot of activity and was a cheerleader and basketball player in high school. After graduating from high school, Tina worked as a nurse’s aide at a hospital. When she first saw her future husband, Ike Turner, he was performing with his band at a club in St. Louis. Tina was so mesmerized by his talent that she “almost went into a trance” as she watched him play. We all know how this ended up because Tina found herself in an abusive marriage to Ike.
However, the lady freed herself and has lived unapologetically since then. She has sold more than 100 million records and is one of the best-selling artists of all time. It’s not just about money, either. The lady has a whopping 12 Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. She was also the first black artist and the first woman on the cover of Rolling Stone.
It’s impossible to imagine that this living legend is 81 years old. For her 80th birthday, she shot a video explaining what it was like to be 80. She said that she never thought she’d be “like this,” and by that she meant looking great and feeling great.
She said that she’s overcome some illnesses and has been given a second chance at life. Watch her video below.