An Ode to Tina Turner

What can you even say about her talent, strength, her inspirational life, her unwillingness to live anyway but how she wanted to?

I had never seen this photo before today. I can’t stop staring at it. What a woman. Her bravery, her strength, her expression which just says: here I am world. I’m doing it, I’m making it happen and don’t you dare try to stop me.

I can’t add to the accolades, so my story is more personal. I, of course, grew up listening to her after her resergence with Private Dancer. As a girl growing up in a not great home, her story, that someone could leave, could change her life, could say: nah, this isn’t for me. There is something for better for me out there. That someone could think and actually sing “You’d better be good to me”, was a revelation, a hope. I could get out of there one day, too. I could demand that people be good to me. Believe me that no one in my life was telling me that, but Tina did.

Years later after my mother died, a friend took me to see Tina live. It was 2008, Tina was 69 years old and it was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen in my life.Life affirming. In the year 2000 when my friend’s mother died, Tina was no longer touring, so I couldn’t take her. I scavenged online and discovered there was a DVD/CD of the very 2008 tour*, though it was difficult to find for sale. I found it and I bought two, one for each of us. When we got the chance we went to Tina, the Musical.

Everything about her is wrapped up for me in what can you do with your life, what do you want to do with your life, who do you want to be? Every moment with her is life affirming and inspirational. It is a loss for the world that her light has gone out, but heaven truly has another star. I’ll be spending my time listening to that 2008 concert, and all her other works once again to remind me to live large.

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