Simply The Best: There Is Only ONE Tina Turner
Today is Tina Turner’s birthday! The Queen, the myth, the legend turns 73 and her legacy still grows daily. When I was a kid back in the 80s I was glued to MTV. There were a handful of Black artists that would have regularly rotating videos on the air…MJ, Lionel Richie, Prince and Tina Turner. I remember one day chattering on and on to my Dad about Tina’s music and he looked at me confused. Then asked “you mean Ike and Tina…Tina”? I answered like a frustrated teenager “Nooooo…. THE Tina Turner she’s Black but she sings Rock!!”. My Dad looked bewildered once again and said “Yeah, from the Ike & Tina Turner Review”. He proceeded to go over to our stereo and pull out these old 45s and show me the album covers. But the images looked NOTHING like MY Tina! MY Tina was the wild and fierce, and this lady with that Ike guy (who was sporting a Star Trek perm)…nah, not the same chick. It was a few weeks later that I read a story in Jet Magazine that confirmed that my Dad was right.
Well I went running to my Dad then, I had to know more about THAT Tina! As he told me stories of seeing The Ike & Tina Turner Review perform live, I was memorized. Not just by the story, but by the transformation in my Dad. This calm, unassuming man was all fired up as he spoke of the show stopping outfits and powerful dance moves. I understood then that my Dad had HIS Tina and I had MINE. But they were the same, there was only ONE Tina and she appealed to both me and my Dad. I think I became an even bigger fan that day and my enthusiasm for Anna Mae Bullock from Nutbush, TN has never waned.
Fast forward to today and I’m in the 40-something gang and I watch the kids in their 20s try to mimic the stylings of Tina. I used to get mad and go on rants and tangents about them disrespecting an icon, and how they had not EARNED the status. These days I just shake my head because I KNOW there will only ever be ONE Tina Turner and she is Simply The Best!!
No, there is no such thing as the “Tina Turner of THIS Generation”. Cause Tina Turner has spanned 4 generations of fans, you can’t replace a queen who has never abdicated her throne. Sure she performs less, and yes she is older and less agile…but have you HEARD the woman speak, let alone sing. Have you seen her undeniable dignity off stage in contrast to her fiery performance on stage. Have you seen her smile and gee whiz those legs (I’d kill for those legs)! So now consider all that and tell me who could DARE hold the title of the ‘new’ Tina Turner? Not nary a soul!!
But here is one very undeniable reason that Tina Turner can never be duplicated. Its because she is a UNIQUE ORIGINAL. She created her own style, her own sound and her own look. She had the courage to break barriers in her professional career and crash boundaries in her personal life. She was like no one before her and no one since, which is why in my book she is at the top of the heap!!
So now I’m going to ask Beyonce and Rihanna and all the other aspiring icons to take a seat back stage and learn a lesson from Queen Tina, because at age 73 she is still SIMPLY THE BEST!!