It happened minutes! With deep regret at the tearful farewell of Legendary singer Tina Turner

It happened minutes! With deep regret at the tearful farewell of Legendary singer Tina Turner


Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939,[b][12][13] in Brownsville, Tennessee,[14][15][16] the youngest daughter of Zelma Priscilla (née Currie) and Floyd Richard Bullock.[14][17] The family lived in the nearby rural unincorporated community of Nutbush, Tennessee, where her father worked as an overseer of the sharecroppers at Poindexter Farm on Highway 180; she later recalled picking cotton with her family at an early age.[18][19] When she participated in the PBS series African American Lives 2 with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, he shared her genealogical DNA test estimates, which were predominantly African, approximately 33% European, and only 1% Native American.[20][21] Previously, she believed she had a significant amount of Native American ancestry.[22]

Bullock had two older sisters, Evelyn Juanita Currie and Ruby Alline Bullock, a songwriter.[23] She is also the first cousin once removed of bluesman Eugene Bridges.[24] As young children, the three sisters were separated when their parents relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee, to work at a defense facility during World War II.[19] Bullock went to stay with her strict, religious paternal grandparents, Alex and Roxanna Bullock, who were deacon and deaconess at the Woodlawn Missionary Baptist Church.[25][19] After the war, the sisters reunited with their parents and moved with them to Knoxville.[19] Two years later, the family returned to Nutbush to live in the Flagg Grove community, where Bullock attended Flagg Grove Elementary School from first through eighth grade.[26][27]

As a young girl, Bullock sang in the church choir at Nutbush’s Spring Hill Baptist Church.[28][29] When she was 11, her mother Zelma ran off without warning, seeking freedom from her abusive relationship with Floyd by relocating to St. Louis in 1950.[30] Two years after her mother left the family, her father married another woman and moved to Detroit in 1952. Bullock and her sisters were sent to live with their maternal grandmother, Georgeanna Currie in Brownsville, Tennessee.[30] She stated in her autobiography I, Tina that her parents had not loved her and she wasn’t wanted.[31] Zelma had planned to leave Floyd but stayed once she became pregnant.[32] “She was a very young woman who didn’t want another kid,” Turner recalled.[32]

As a teenager, Bullock worked as a domestic worker for the Henderson family. She was at the Henderson house when she was notified that her half-sister Evelyn had died in a car crash alongside her cousins Margaret and Vela Evans.[33] A self-professed tomboy, Bullock joined both the cheerleading squad and the female basketball team at Carver High School in Brownsville, and “socialized every chance she got”.[18][30] When Bullock was 16, her grandmother died, so she went to live with her mother in St. Louis. She graduated from Sumner High School in 1958.[34] After her graduation, Bullock worked as a nurse’s aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

ullock and her sister began to frequent nightclubs in St. Louis and East St. Louis.[30] She first saw Ike Turner perform with his band the Kings of Rhythm at the Manhattan Club in East St. Louis.[30] Bullock was impressed by his talent, recalling that she “almost went into a trance” watching him play.[37] She asked Turner to let her sing in his band despite the fact that few women had ever sung with him.[29] Turner said he’d call her but never did.[38] One night in 1957, she got hold of the microphone from Kings of Rhythm drummer Eugene Washington during an intermission and she sang the B.B. King blues ballad, “You Know I Love You”.[39][40] Upon hearing her sing, Turner asked her if she knew more songs. She sang the rest of the night and became a featured vocalist with his band.[41][42][43] During this period, he taught her the finer points of vocal control and performance.[41] Bullock’s first recording was in 1958 under the name Little Ann on the single “Boxtop”. She is credited as a vocalist on the record alongside Ike and fellow Kings of Rhythm singer Carlson Oliver.[44]

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