Everyone loves a comeback story; rewriting your destiny and inspiring the world to look up to you.
Tina Turner, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—as one-half of a duo and later as a solo artist. During her stint in a duo with former husband Ike Turner, she ruled the charts with 20 songs on the Hot 100 and 26 on the Hot R&B charts. This included hits like ‘Proud Mary’ which peaked at No. 4.
Winner of 12 Grammys, Tina went on to release hits like ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ and ‘Private Dancer’, with 17 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts—a stunning comeback as a solo artist after ending her abusive marriage to Ike.
As a tribute to Tina’s resilience and her impact on the music industry, here is a list of her top 10 songs (in no particular order).
1. What’s Love Got To Do With It (1984)
Released in 1984 as a single from the album Private Dancer, the song was her first and only Billboard Top 100 No. 1 where it stayed for three weeks. And it was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012. Her big comeback at the age of 46 when many thought she was past her prime, the song took the world by storm and also introduced many to her discography. The song peaked at No. 1 and also won her four Grammys and an Oscar nomination for the biographical film by the same name.
2. Private Dancer (1984)
Released by her along with the album of the same name in 1984, the song was initially written by Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler for their album Love Over Gold. It was later offered to Tina, who brought into the music not just a passion but also her pain and pride. The song peaked at No. 7 on the Top 100 charts.
3. Proud Mary (1971)
A cover of a song originally released by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969, it was released by Ike and Tina Turner in 1971 as a single for their 1970 album, Workin’ Together and later re-recorded by Tina for the 1993 movie What’s Love Got to Do with It. The song peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 100 charts and won them a Grammy.
4. The Best (1989)
Released by Tina for her album Foreign Affair (1989), it was a cover of Bonnie Tyler’s song by the same name. Featuring a saxophone solo by Edgar Winter, it was described by Billboard’s Bill Coleman as an “easy-paced pop offering which finds Turner’s voice taking front and centre stage.” The song spent 14 weeks on the Top 100 chart where it peaked at No. 15.
5. We Don’t Need Another Hero (1985)
Appearing in the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (starring Tina as Aunty Entity), hot on the heels of Private Dancer, it has been called a pulsating rock and pop radio hook combined with the sweep and force of her Ike and Tina days by The Guardian. The song peaked at No 2 and charted for 18 weeks on the Billboard Top 100 charts.
6. Nutbush City Limits (1973)
Released as a single for the album of the same name, it is a semi-autobiographical memoir of her life in her hometown of Nutbush Tennessee. It was the last hit single Ike and Tina produced together as a duo before their split in 1978. It also became a dance sensation in Australia with a line dance of the same name. The song peaked at No. 22 on the Top 100 charts.
7. Typical Male (1986)
Released in 1896, the song features Phil Collins on the drums and even a saxophone solo by Tim Cappello. Featured in the album Break Every Rule, the music video showcased her playfulness and charm. The song spent 18 weeks on the Top 100 charts and just missed becoming her second No. 1 Hit, peaking at No. 2.
8. I Don’t Wanna Fight (1993)
Penned by British singer Lulu and her brother, Tina recorded the song as a part of the soundtrack for the movie What’s Love Got to Do with It. The film is based on Tina’s life and features Angela Basset and Laurence Fishburne as Tina and Ike respectively. The song peaked at No. 9 and spent 24 weeks on the Top 100 charts.
9. Let’s Stay Together (1983)
Originally a song by American singer Al Green for his album by the same name, the song was covered and released by Tina in 1983. Produced by British synth-pop group Heaven 17 and British Electric Foundation, it charted at No. 6 in the UK. The song spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Top 100 charts and peaked at No. 26.
10. River Deep – Mountain High (1966)
The title track to their studio album that was released in 1966, the song was sung only by Tina, though it has been credited to Ike and Tina. Producer Phil Spector released the duo from Loma Records and signed them to his Philles Records to use Tina’s voice with his “Wall of Sound” technique and the Wrecking Crew. Though it only charted at No. 88 on the Billboard Top, it is still considered one of her most spectacular performances.