Mourning Tina? Here Are 5 Things You Should Read

Including the story of the hit that didn't wow her
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
The 5 Best Things to Read About Tina Turner
A portrait of the late singer Tina Turner stands atop her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Los Angeles. Turner died Tuesday at 83 after a long illness.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

If you're among the legions of fans mourning Tina Turner, spend a little more time delving into her greatness via some of the best coverage we've spotted. Some reads that are absolutely worth your time:

  • The classic obit: Hillel Italie's obituary for the AP has some great lines, like this one: "Few stars traveled so far—she was born Anna Mae Bullock in a segregated Tennessee hospital and spent her latter years on a 260,000 square foot estate on Lake Zurich—and overcame so much."
  • How to remember her. Writing for Slate, Sam Adams argues that Turner did something remarkable and unexpected with the 2021 documentary Tina. "Rather than using the movie to orchestrate another comeback, Turner had chosen it as her venue to say farewell. In its final moments, the 81-year-old star told us that the film we were watching would be her last statement as a public figure." As the headline of Adams' piece emphasizes, "Tina Turner told us exactly how she wanted to be remembered." Watch the documentary, urges Adams.

  • The hit that didn't wow her. Insider recalls how Turner's mega-hit "What's Love Got To Do With It?" could have never come to pass. She wasn't a fan after hearing the song, calling it "terrible" while reflecting on it in Tina. "I was rock and roll. I was not ... that was a pop song," she said. But manager Roger Davies got her to meet the producer, Terry Britten, who reworked the song for her. Davies ended up getting a very special shout-out.
  • And 9 more hits. Want the backstory of other songs by Turner? The BBC has it in this rundown of 10 "simply the best" songs and the stories behind each one. And yes, "What's Love Got To Do With It?" is on the list. Here's another bit of trivia about that one: It "made her oldest woman (at the time) to land a US number one single at the age of 44."
  • One perspective. Washington Post pop music critic Chris Richards explores her "unmistakable voice" with a sense of awe, writing at one point, "Early in her career, she worried about being dismissed as a dancer who sings, but it remains staggering to think about what was happening in those moments when a single pair of lungs was fulfilling the twin responsibilities of supplying oxygen to a nonstop body and delivering 'Proud Mary' as the tempo accelerated toward ecstasy. Turner had a tendency to shrug at these superpowers."
(More Tina Turner stories.)

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