A golden phoenix rising from the ashes, entertainer Tina Turner's courageous comeback after physical abuse and financial ruin is an inspiration. "I will never give in to old age until I become old. And I'm not old yet," said the ageless pop icon.
Annie Mae Bullock (1939-) was born a country girl in Nutbush, near Memphis, Tennessee and learned how to sing in her father's Baptist church. "I wasn't as smart then as I am now," she admitted. "But who is?"
As a teen chasing fame, she was discovered in a St. Louis nightclub by R&B guitarist Ike Turner. They formed the Ike and Tina Revue and married. The world paid attention to their magical chemistry as they opened for the Rolling Stones in 1969, then exploded in 1971 with Tina's sizzling interpretation of CCR's Proud Mary.
"I don't just sing my songs," she once said, "I act them."
To cope with her hard times, she found the Buddhist faith, then left Ike in 1976 with 36 cents in her pocket. The horrors of his abuse and drugs were well-documented in her best-selling autobiography and subsequent 1993 film What's Love Got to Do With It. "I was a victim," she explained, "I don't dwell on it."
But her comeback in 1984 sure was sweet.
"My way of life is not slow. I don't walk slowly. I'm always kind of, like, in a pace," explained Ms. Turner, the sexy sexagenarian who on stage dances with those incredible legs. She moves and sings with raw energy and passionate colors.
"Sometimes you've got to let everything go," she said, "Purge yourself. I did that. I had nothing, but I had my freedom... Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it, because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self, comes out."
Work hard and watch the phoenix rise.