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May 25, 2020

Rock diva Turner turns 70

Tina Turner, whose famous legs, short skirts and spike heels have flashed across the stage nonstop for more than half a century, will turn 70 next week. Turner’s enduring popularity resurged in recent months as she pranced through her sold-out Tina! 50th Anniversary Tour through Europe and North America. By tour’s end in May, it had grossed 130 million dollars.

Rolling Stone calls Turner “one of the greatest singers of all times,” and she has sold 200 million records and more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. Turner was born on November 26, 1939, as Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee. Her father worked on a cotton plantation, her mother had Indian ancestry. She grew up in a gospel church, but has practiced Buddhism since the 1970s. After high school, the young woman with striking appearance moved to the Blues metropolis of its time, St. Louis, where she met Ike Turner, the guitarist who was eight years her senior. Their first single, Fool in Love, stormed to the top of the Hit Parade. Her breakthrough as a soloist came with River Deep Mountain High, written for her by Phil Spector in 1966.

When she started her solo career in 1984 in New York, she was half a million dollars in debt and lived from social welfare. That same year, the 45-year-old won four Grammys for her comeback album Private Dancer, and appeared with Mel Gibson as Aunt Entity in Mad Max – Beyond Thunderdome.

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