Tina Turner's Dramatic Escape and Triumphant Return

By Jack Ripley | December 13, 2023

Ike and Tina Turner Produced Non-Stop Hits, 1960s

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Ike and Tina, performing together as The Ike and Tina Turner Revue, achieved great success in the 1960s, pushing out hits like "I Idolize You," "Poor Fool," and "It's Gonna Work Out Fine," which earned them their first Grammy nomination in 1962. In 1966, they signed with Phil Spector's label, Philles Records, and produced the single "River Deep – Mountain High." While the song was initially not successful in the US, it was a big hit in the UK and is now considered one of the greatest songs ever recorded. the Revue was known for its electrifying performances, complete with a high-energy band, the Ikettes as backup dancers, and Tina's vibrant stage presence and emotive vocals at the forefront. Ike, on the other hand, masterminded the musical direction and production.

Ike and Tina Turner Rose To Fame, 1961

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While Ike and Tina were both enjoying the highs of professional successes, Tina had been forced to deal with intense lows behind the scenes since the start of her relationship with Ike. Right after the recording of "A Fool In Love", Tina had tried to end the relationship - and the physical and sexual abuse began. 
 

First, he was verbally abusive. Then, he picked up a wooden shoe stretcher. Ike knew what he was doing. If you play guitar, you never use your fists in a fight. He used the shoe stretcher to strike me in the head – always the head...After that he made me go to bed and he had sex with me. That was the beginning of the torture...He threw hot coffee in my face, giving me third-degree burns. He used my nose as a punching bag so many times that I could taste blood running down my throat when I sang. He broke my jaw. And I couldn’t remember what it was like not to have a black eye.

Ike would continue with this abuse towards Tina for over a decade.