Renown Singer Tina Turner dies aged 83
One of rock 'n roll's most famous voices, Turner died after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.
Born Anna Mae Bullock, Turner's career spanned over 60 years and some of her most famous records include "What's Love Got to Do With It" and "(Simply) The Best".
Selling more than 180m albums, the Tennessee born singer won 12 Grammy awards and over three decades of sold-out worldwide stadium tours.
Turner rose to fame in the late 1960s as the singer of the band Ike & Tina Turner Revue, before carrying on as a solo artist in her own name.
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Brownsville, Tennessee, the youngest daughter of Floyd Richard Bullock and his wife Zelma Priscilla (née Currie).The family lived in the nearby rural unincorporated community of Nutbush, Tennessee, where her father worked as an overseer of the sharecroppers at Poindexter Farm on Highway 180; she later recalled picking cotton with her family at an early age. When she participated in the PBS series African American Lives 2 with Henry Louis Gates Jr., he shared her genealogical DNA test estimates and traced her family timeline. Previously, she believed she had a significant amount of Native American ancestry.
Bullock had two older sisters, Evelyn Juanita Currie and Ruby Alline Bullock, a songwriter. She was also the first cousin once removed of bluesman Eugene Bridges. As young children, the three sisters were separated when their parents relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee, to work at a defense facility during World War II. Bullock went to stay with her strict, religious paternal grandparents, Alex and Roxanna Bullock, who were deacon and deaconess at the Woodlawn Missionary Baptist Church. After the war, the sisters reunited with their parents and moved with them to Knoxville. Two years later, the family returned to Nutbush to live in the Flagg Grove community, where Bullock attended Flagg Grove Elementary School from first through eighth grade.
As a young girl, Bullock sang in the church choir at Nutbush's Spring Hill Baptist Church. When she was 11, her mother Zelma ran off without warning, seeking freedom from her abusive relationship with Floyd by relocating to St. Louis in 1950. Two years after her mother left the family, her father married another woman and moved to Detroit in 1952. Bullock and her sisters were sent to live with their maternal grandmother, Georgeanna Currie, in Brownsville, Tennessee. She stated in her autobiography I, Tina that her parents had not loved her and she wasn't wanted. Zelma had planned to leave Floyd but stayed once she became pregnant. "She was a very young woman who didn't want another kid," Turner recalled.
As a teenager, Bullock worked as a domestic worker for the Henderson family. She was at the Henderson house when she was notified that her half-sister Evelyn had died in a car crash alongside her cousins Margaret and Vela Evans. A self-professed tomboy, Bullock joined both the cheerleading squad and the female basketball team at Carver High School in Brownsville, and "socialized every chance she got". When Bullock was 16, her grandmother died, so she went to live with her mother in St. Louis. She graduated from Sumner High School in 1958. After her graduation, Bullock worked as a nurse's aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.