Tina Turner: a symbol of strength under adversity. Simply the best

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“And we’re rolling, rolling, rolling on the river. Listen to the story...”

I’m 18 years old and I’m watching the ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ film.

Now, I knew Tina Turner from pixelated 80s tv, a singer with a belter of a voice and rock n’ roll swagger. The story of Anna Mae’s courage in the face of abuse shook me. If someone who overcame so much went on to flourish with a smile, perhaps, in some small way, there was hope for me too.

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Tina Turner became my cheerleader. As my teens turned into twenties, and I went from university, to jobs, to relationships she provided a soundtrack and a touchstone.

Tina Turner on stage at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh, March 1985.Tina Turner on stage at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh, March 1985.
Tina Turner on stage at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh, March 1985.

Then there was the Tina Turner strut, as she walked confidently into a room, an awards ceremony or an arena with sky high heels, red lipstick, and smiles. Whenever I ever felt nervous, I would play ‘Proud Mary’ and leave home with a bounce in my step.

Time passed, and as I ditched gym memberships for daily walking, Tina walked with me winning 12 Grammy Awards and becoming a two-time inductee into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

A few months ago, I watched the film ‘Tina’ her authorised swansong where she said; “it isn’t what happens to you its how you handle it,” and lived this out with her 1990 Live in Barcelona concert, walking along a skyline platform in heels, belting out ‘Steamy Windows’ an icon at the top of her game.

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In later years, retirement beckoned with marriage to her long-term love Erwin, when she made rare public appearances, I always felt happy for the peace and contentment she had found.

Tina Turner wasn’t only a music legend; she was a symbol of strength under adversity and an example of possibility and what could be if you let your light shine. Since Tina’s passing many words have been said by the great and the good, from this wee lassie in Kirkcaldy I have only three. Simply the best.