Rock legend Tina Turner passed away in her home in Switzerland on Wednesday at the age of 83. The 12-time Grammy Award winner made a name for herself first with her husband Ike Turner in the 1960’s and 70’s with hits like River Deep - Mountain High, Proud Mary and Nutbush City Limits, and then shot into superstardom as a solo artist in the 1980’s when she released her only #1 hit in 1984, What’s Love Got to Do with It. ABC Entertainment contributor Larry Hackett appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to discuss Turner’s amazing career.
“It goes from that Phil Spector sound of River Deep – Mountain High… and then you move to the 70’s and Proud Mary and that incredible band, and then you move to the 80’s and that lush production of the ’80’s, and through it all she sounds the same,” Hackett explained to Berman and Riedel. “You know exactly who you’re listening to, no matter what the production of the song sounds like, no matter what the background music is, it’s Tina Turner, it’s singular.”
Tina’s marriage with Ike became a central part of her life story, as she survived and escaped the abusive relationship, which Hackett finds self-evident in her music. “Every song, every syllable she uttered, you knew what her life, what she had gone through, and it lent a kind of authenticity to what she was doing that you just cannot make up. It was totally wrapped up in every note and every song that she sang. It wasn’t something that she ignored; it was something that was completely fundamental to our appreciation of her as an artist.”
At the end of the day, Hackett says, Tina Turner’s smoky voice and survival instincts are what made her memorable. “Tina Turner’s life and her travails and her struggles are absolutely integral to her art and her performing. Like I said, you do not hear a song, no matter what era it’s from, where you don’t think about what Ike did to her and what she had to overcome. You just don’t.”
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