Friday, May 12, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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At 60, Tina Turner is still going strong on her last arena tour

Seattle Times staff critic


Tina Turner, Lionel Richie and Janice Robinson, 8 tonight, Tacoma Dome ($35.25-$79.25; 206-628-0888).


-- Hard to believe but . . . she's 60 years old! Born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939, at Haywood Memorial Hospital in Brownsville, Tenn., near her hometown of Nut Bush (as recounted in the Ike & Tina Turner song "Nutbush City Limits").

-- She has Indian blood. She is part Navajo and Cherokee.

-- She's a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist who credits her success as a solo artist to her daily chanting ritual. She also meditates every morning.

-- She's a neat freak. Everything in her home must be in its place. Her clothes must be on the proper hangers, and arranged by color. She says she knows exactly where everything is in her home. Her hotel rooms have to be cleaned and the furniture arranged according to her specifications.

-- Ike & Tina Turner had a 16-year career. She's been a solo artist for 24 years.

-- She met Ike Turner (born Izear Luster Turner Nov. 15, 1931, in Clarksdale, Miss.) in East St. Louis in 1959, when she was 18. He changed her name to Tina Turner (they weren't married until 1962). After she joined Ike's Kings of Rhythm band, they soon had three hits in a row: "A Fool In Love," "I Idolize You" and "It's Gonna Work Out Fine." ("Nutbush City Limits" and "A Fool In Love" are featured on her current tour.)

-- Between 1960 and 1975, Ike & Tina Turner had 25 hits on the R&B charts for nine different record companies.

-- As told in her 1986 book, "I, Tina: My Life Story," and the movie based on it, "What's Love Got to Do With It" (1993), she escaped her abusive relationship with Ike Turner on July 1, 1976, running away with nothing but the clothes on her back, 36 cents in change and a gas-company credit card. They were officially divorced in 1978.

-- Before leaving Ike, she had attempted suicide in 1968.

-- Ike & Tina Turner opened for the Rolling Stones on a 1966 tour. Her career as a solo artist got its first big boost in 1981, when the Stones offered her opening spots on a few key concerts. Rod Stewart then had her open for his tour.

-- She had to go to England to get recognition on her own. English manager Roger Davies has guided her career since 1983. Her first big hit was a cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," which went to No. 6 in England in 1983.

-- Her first solo album was "Tina Turns the Country On," a country-music album with covers of songs by Hank Snow, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor, released in 1974 on Ike Turner's Bolic label. Her first solo album after leaving Ike was "Rough," released in 1978. It flopped. So did 1979's "Love Explosion." Third time was the charm: "Private Dancer" revived her career in 1984.

-- She has two sons: Raymond Craig Turner (born Aug. 20, 1958; father: Raymond Hill) and Ronald Renelle Turner (born Oct. 27, 1960; father: Ike Turner).

-- In 1984, Lionel Richie gave a boost to her career by having her as opening act on his tour. Now she's giving a boost to his career by having him as opening act.

-- She says this is her last arena tour. But she says she may perform again in smaller venues and at charity concerts.

-- Since this is her last arena tour, she's emphasizing her hits in her two-hour set, including "What's Love Got to Do With It," "The Best," "River Deep Mountain High," "Proud Mary" and "Private Dancer." She sings only a few songs from her latest album, "Twenty Four Seven."

-- The elaborate, three-tiered stage includes a platform that moves out above the audience. She has at least six costume changes.

-- She has homes in Switzerland and in Nice, France.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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