Tina Turner is one of the most iconic names in the music industry. Responsible for bringing us “Proud Mary,” Turner may be 76 years old, but she’s still going strong. However, despite the fact that Turner has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 facts you probably didn’t know about Tina Turner.
Number Fifteen: She Was Not Always Tina Turner
In fact, her birth name is Anna Mae Bullock. Turner was raised in the small town of Nutbush, Tennessee.
Number Fourteen: She Met Ike Turner in a Club
Turner met Ike at St. Louis’ Club Imperial, which her sister Allene took her to in high school. Turner worked with Ike on his single titled “A Fool For Love” after the singer who was originally supposed to work on it didn’t show.
Number Thirteen: Her Sexy Persona Was Curated by Ike
Though Ike was Turner’s husband, he was also the one who wanted her to embrace her sex appeal on stage. Ironically, this also spurred him to go into a jealous rage on several occasions.
Number Twelve: Her Biggest Hit Was “Proud Mary”
You might know that “Proud Mary” was a big success, but did you know it was her biggest hit? The song was actually a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song, and it won her and husband Ike a Grammy.
Number Eleven: She and Ike Had Radically Different Lifestyles
By 1974, Turner and Ike had completely different ways of life. Ike had spiraled into cocaine binge after cocaine binge, while Turner had converted to a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist. While on tour in the 1980s, Turner would often chant for up to three hours every day.
Number Ten: Her First Two Solo Albums Flopped
It’s true. Tina Turner’s first two solo albums, released in 1974 and 1975, did horribly on the charts.
Number Nine: She Left Ike in 1976
Turner left Ike in 1976 with only 35 cents and a gas station credit card in her pocket. They ended up divorcing in 1978, and Turner took all of the responsibilities for debts incurred by canceled shows and taxes.
Number Eight: Al Green Made Her Famous
Well, sort of. Turner finally got her big break into the industry with her cover of Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” When Turner released “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” in 1984, she became the oldest female artist to have a number-one hit single in the United States.
Number Seven: She Is Beyond Fierce
Turner starred as Aunt Entity in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. However, she said that her character wasn’t fierce enough. She said, “I don’t want you falling asleep in my movies.”
Number Six: She Was a Cougar
Turner didn’t enter another serious relationship after Ike until she began dating a German record executive who was 17 years younger than she was. The producer was named Erwin Bach, and they moved in together shortly after they started dating.
Number Five: David Bowie Might Have Proposed to Her
Turner performed on stage with David Bowie in 1985. They sang “Tonight” together, and when Bowie whispers in her ear, it is rumored that he is proposing to her.
Number Four: She Broke a World Record
During her Break Every Rule tour in 1988, Turner ended up breaking a world record instead. She played for 184,000 people at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the time, it was the world’s largest documented paying audience.
Number Three: She Is a Citizen
Turner and Ewin moved to Switzerland in 1994. In 2013, Turner actually relinquished her citizenship in the United State and became a Swiss citizen.
Number Two: She Has Her Own Highway
Turner has her own highway in Tennessee! The highway is called Tina Turner Highway, and it is located on State Route 19 between Brownsville and her hometown of Nutbush, Tennessee.
Number One: She Has the Most Famous Legs in Showbusiness
According to George W. Bush, anyway. In 2005, Bush said that about her legs when she received the Kennedy Center Honors Award.