The woman born Anna Mae Bullock was one of music’s most incandescent talents, whose on-stage dynamism was as impressive as the hellish life she endured for many years off the stage.
While she is revered as an artist and a person who lived an uncompromising life, it was one which also took a toll on her, as she alluded to in the fantastic 2021 documentary Tina.
“Some people say the life that I’ve lived and the performances I gave … the appreciation is lasting with the people, and I should be proud of that,” Turner said in the film. “I am. But when do you stop being proud? How do you bow out slowly — just go away?”
Dallas plays a key role in Turner’s biography. It’s where, in 1976, Turner finally freed herself from the abusive grip of her then-husband Ike Turner. She fled the Statler Hotel with just a gas card and 36 cents.
The scale of her achievements was difficult to ignore. Turner, who sold more than 100 million records worldwide, won a total of 12 Grammys throughout her career, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and was the first black artist and first woman to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone.
She also acted in films like 1975’s Tommy and 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Her own life was turned into an acclaimed film, What’s Love Got to Do With It, in 1993, which earned Angela Bassett, who portrayed Turner, an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Turner was also the subject of a successful Broadway musical, which closed last year.
Her final studio album was 1999’s Twenty Four Seven, and Turner retired from touring a decade later in 2009, after the completion of her “Tina! 50th Anniversary” tour.
That tour stopped in Dallas in Oct. 2008 at the American Airlines Center, where Turner performed for more than two hours, and at the age of 68, had more dynamism than many artists half her age.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.