Tina Turner's Dramatic Escape and Triumphant Return

By Jack Ripley | November 29, 2023

Ike and Tina Turner Married, 1962

The legendary Tina Turner, renowned for her explosive voice and electrifying stage presence, did not always bask in the spotlight's warm glow. In the heart of her story lies a harrowing struggle - one where she faced the daunting challenge of an abusive relationship and a fight for personal and professional freedom.

Our gallery takes you through the various stages of her journey, presenting a poignant exploration of her life off-stage. We begin with Tina's early years with Ike Turner, a chapter marked by both professional growth and personal turmoil. Tina's story serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit of a woman who refused to be defined by her circumstances. She was a beacon of resilience, strength, and unstoppable talent: Miss Tina Turner! 

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(Getty Images)

In 1962, Ike and Tina got married, but the wedding - and marriage - were far from fairytale-esque. Twenty-two year-old Tina felt too afraid to turn Ike down, and so he hurried her across the border to Tijuana for a fast marriage - and right after, to a sex show.

People can't imagine the kind of man he was - a man who takes his brand new wife to a live, pornographic sex show right after their marriage ceremony...the experience was so disturbing... I suppressed it, scratched it out and created a different scenario, a fantasy of romantic elopement. I was miserable the whole time, on the verge of tears, but there was no escape.

Tina Turner is Synonymous with Her Hit, "Proud Mary", 1971

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"Proud Mary" is one of the signature songs of Tina Turner's career, even though it was originally written and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song was released by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969 and quickly became a hit, but it was Tina Turner's cover, performed with Ike Turner, that gave the song a second life and cemented its place in music history.

Ike & Tina Turner's version of "Proud Mary" was released in 1971 as part of their album Workin' Together. Their rendition transformed the song with a funkier, soulful edge, characterized by a high-energy arrangement and Tina's raw and powerful vocals. It became one of Ike & Tina Turner's most successful singles, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group in 1972. Tina Turner continued to perform "Proud Mary" during her solo career, and it has remained one of her most popular and enduring songs.