8 of Tina Turner's Most Legendary Songs
Tina Turner, whose death was announced on May 24, is one of the most iconic voices in the history of rock and roll. She first rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue with Ike Turner, whom she eventually wed. Their marriage was marked by abuse, and Tina left him in 1976. She went solo that same year, but her solo career truly took off as she recorded and released her 1984 album "Private Dancer."
Turner ultimately won 6 Grammys as a solo artist (plus one win with Ike, one for her work on Joni Mitchell's "River: The Joni Letters," three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award). As a solo artist, she released major hits and transformed herself into one of the greatest artists in the history of rock music.
Throughout her career, Tina released some of the most incredible (and incredibly influential) songs of all time. As a solo artist, she also re-recorded some of her biggest hits with Ike, reclaiming the legacy of those songs and casting them in her own voice. Her story eventually inspired the 1993 biopic "What's Love Got to Do With It"; Angela Bassett received an Oscar nomination for portraying Tina and Tina recorded more music for that film as well. Then, in 2016, she announced she was working on an autobiographical musical about her life, "Tina," which eventually opened in London's West End and on Broadway and featured many of her biggest hits.
Tina was ultimately inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: in 1991 with Ike and in 2021 solo. She is one of just three women — and the only Black woman — to be inducted twice.
In honor of Tina and her incredible legacy, revisit eight of her most essential songs ahead.
"The Best" by Tina Turner
Tina's 1989 song "The Best," off her album "Foreign Affair," is technically a cover, but it became one of her most defining hits. The original version by Bonnie Tyler was released a year earlier. Turner's version adds a bridge and a key change. The song experienced a small renaissance when Noah Reid's Patrick performed it in season four of "Schitt's Creek."
"What's Love Got To Do With It" by Tina Turner
Tina's 1984 song "What's Love Got To Do With It" was a single off her fifth studio album, "Private Dancer." The song went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, her only solo No. 1 ever, per Billboard. The song's title was also used for the 1993 biopic about her life.
"Private Dancer" by Tina Turner
The title track from "Private Dancer" was never actually released as a single, though it's one of Tina's most sensual. The song was originally written by Mark Knopfler of the British rock band Dire Straits, who thought it would be better served by a female vocalist, per his website.
"Proud Mary" by Tina Turner
Tina and Ike covered "Proud Mary" in 1971. The original version was by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and their rendition was also a hit. But Tina's version is even more iconic, and they greatly changed the song from CCR's version. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won the Grammy Award for best R&B vocal performance by a group. Tina continued to perform the song as a solo artist and rerecorded it solo for the soundtrack of "What's Love Got to Do with It." Beyoncé performed the song in Tina's honor at the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors.
"River Deep - Mountain High" by Tina Turner
"River Deep – Mountain High" was released by Tina and Ike in 1996. It was produced by Phil Spector and is considered one of the most influential rock songs of all time. Tina eventually recorded solo versions and included the song in her tours. When Spector was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, Tina performed the song with an all-star group of musicians, including Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen.
"Nutbush City Limits" by Tina Turner
"Nutbush City Limits" was originally released by Ike and Tina in 1973; it was one of the last songs they released together. The song peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. After she split from Ike, Tina performed the song in her live shows with a more rock and roll influence, and she recorded it solo multiple times.
"I Don't Wanna Fight" by Tina Turner
"I Don't Wanna Fight" was recorded for the soundtrack of "What's Love Got to Do With It." It was nominated for two Grammys and became a hit in the US, the UK, and Canada.
"We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" by Tina Turner
Tina's 1985 single "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" was tied to the 1985 film "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," which she starred in alongside Mel Gibson. The song became a huge hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it was nominated for the Golden Globe for best original song.