Tina Turner - What’s Love Got To Do With It (Official Music Video)

With her Private Dancer era, Turner, an already respected husky-voiced musician and renowned performer, ascended to megastardom. Along with the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, and George Michael, she was one of ‘80s pop’s true icons, full stop. She would eventually sell some 100 million records worldwide and play to a record-breaking crowd of 180,000 at Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro in 1988, a performance that was immortalized in the concert film Tina Turner: Rio ‘88.

Tina Turner - I Can’t Stand The Rain (Live from Rio de Janeiro)

Turner, along with Ike, was the first Black artist to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (alongside Ike in 1991 and as a solo artist in 2021), and won 12 Grammys. The list goes on for an artist of her stature, one who spent decades as a living legend.


Tina Turner was also well known for telling her story, including surviving her ex’s horrific abuse. She first did so in a 1981 People magazine profile, and though she had misgivings about sharing so much of herself, she’d go on to do it several more times, including in her bestselling memoir, 1986's I, Tina. Turner said that she couldn’t stomach sitting through the Oscar-nominated 1993 film adaptation of that book, What’s Love Got to Do With It. The 2021 HBO documentary Tina took a meta approach to telling Turner’s story (and, effectively, her telling of her telling of it). In it, Turner said that she believed that by sharing her truth with People, she’d be able to fully abandon her past—what actually occurred is that her subsequent career was somewhat defined by it. It came up again and again. Her story of her survival and her public profile were inextricably bound, much to Turner’s chagrin. One of that documentary’s directors, T.J. Martin, recalled to Jezebel Turner’s words during their first meeting: “There’s been a book, a movie, and a musical. What the hell are we going to do a documentary for?” That reluctance turned out to be one of the doc’s primary points of focus.

A final scene in the doc depicts Turner attending the premiere of Broadway’s Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. In an interview, Turner reflects, “Some people say the life that I lived and the performances that I gave, the appreciation is blasting with the people. And yeah, I should be proud of that—I am—but when do you stop being proud? How do you bow out slowly, just go away?” Her husband Erwin Bach recalls Turner telling him that her trip to New York for the premiere would be her way of saying goodbye to her American fans. “I think this documentary here and the play, this is it. It’s a closure, a closure,” he said.


He was, sadly, correct. But how many people get to put such a lovely bow on their legacy, bowing out precisely on their terms? That’s a real queen for you.

Tina Turner - I Don’t Wanna Fight (Official Music Video)