Arts & Entertainment

‘Tina Turner Bet on Herself’

Tina Turner’s story is part of the pop-culture bedrock, one told and retold so frequently that even the most pedestrian music fan can recite all the ugly twists and turns. Instead of recounting that tale in full, Vulture’s Craig Jenkins uses his remembrance to hone in on how Turner, who died this week at the age of 83, tried to find her footing as a solo artist in the ’80s. By 1979, Turner was newly divorced from Ike and looking to branch out on her own. But no amount of praise from friend and disciple Mick Jagger could help her sell records — or keep her from getting dropped by her label. Things took a positive turn with 1984’s Private Dancer, the album that would supercharge her career and turn her into a household name. Yet that didn’t stop America from continuing to hold her at arm’s length; sure, she was now an international superstar, they seemed to be saying, just one who had to be consistently reminded of the abuse in her past. “As we remember the unquenchable fire of Tina Turner,” Craig writes, “let’s never forget how many people didn’t seem to mind letting the embers cool when a little care and grace and space was required.”

—Alex Suskind, senior editor, Vulture 

Tina Turner Bet on Herself When the industry turned its back on her, she refused to give in.

Photo: Jack Robinson/Getty Images

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