On Thursday, news broke that Tina Turner has died at the age of 83. The singer died peacefully in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, following a long illness, her publicist Bernard Doherty said in a statement. Read more here.
Content warning: This story deals with domestic violence and suicide and may be triggering for some readers.
It started with a microphone.
Barely 18 years old, Anna Mae Bullock - who would go on to become the icon known as Tina Turner - was at a popular R&B club in St. Louis, Missouri, with her sister Alline when a microphone was placed in front of her.
She began to sing.
That voice - that raw, powerful voice - caught the attention of Ike Turner, who performed there with his band, Kings of Rhythm. Anna Mae had previously asked Ike if she could sing for him and had been rebuffed.
But now, after hearing her sing for the first time, he was enthralled.
"Girl, I didn't know you could sing!" he told her.
She could and she did, immediately becoming a featured vocalist with his band.
While recording his first demo, which Anna Mae sang on, Ike decided she needed a new name. He liked Tina because it rhymed with Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, and he tacked on Turner as a form of trademarking, protection [in case she left him, he could get "another Tina Turner"], and, most likely, possession.
Thus, Tina Turner was born.