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From picking cotton to dancing with Jagger

Paul Natkin/Getty

Tina Turner came from humble beginnings, says Matt Schudel in The Washington Post. She grew up on a farm in Tennessee and remembers picking cotton as a child. Her first big break was when she sang on stage in a St Louis club, impressing the main act, Ike Turner. He signed her up to his band, later renamed the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, and the pair wed soon afterwards. But Ike was unstable and abusive: Tina once had to perform with a broken jaw after a particularly bad beating. In 1976, she walked out on him with only 36 cents and a petrol station credit card in her pocket. “She found refuge with friends, in exchange for cleaning their houses, and lived on food stamps.”

Then, with the support of David Bowie and a new manager, the Australian Roger Davies, she became “a brighter star in her forties and fifties than she had been in her youth”. Hits like The Best and What’s Love Got to Do With It helped her sell 100 million records and win eight Grammys. Turner’s “overtly sexual costumes, dance moves and persona were imitated by performers across generations” – including Mick Jagger, who once walked into her dressing room during a joint concert tour and asked for dancing advice. “To this day,” Turner wrote in her 2018 memoir, “Mick likes to say, ‘My mother taught me how to dance.’ And I say, ‘Okay, that’s fine.’ But I know better.”