“Rock and roll is not an instrument; rock and roll is not even a style of music. Rock and roll is a spirit. It’s been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, R&B, rock and roll, heavy metal, punk rock and, yes, hip-hop. And what connects us all is that spirit. Rock and roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and in life.”
– Ice Cube, during N.W.A’s 2016 Rock Hall induction acceptance speech.
This perfect definition of what it means to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame could not have been said any more perfectly, and it could not apply to Tina Turner any more than it already does.
Tina Turner is a legend. She has changed the face of rock and roll through her singing. She has brought a spirit that transforms us into one strong community of rock and roll lovers.
Turner’s career spans over half a century. She’s best known for her singing, but she’s a dancer, actress, and author. Her first recording was in 1958 under the name Little Anne, but only two years later, she was introduced into the rock and roll world as Tina Turner in Ike & Tina Turner Revue.
The Turner duo released hits like: “A Fool in Love”, “River Deep — Mountain High,” and “Proud Mary.”
In the early 1980s, a now divorced Turner reignited her career with “Let’s Stay Together.” It was quickly followed with her 5th solo album “Private Dancer.” The album was a success worldwide, going multi-platinum in multiple countries, and eventually becoming her best-selling album of all time in the United States.
The song “What’s Love Got to Do with It” received three Grammy Awards alone, including Record of the Year. She continued her success with two more multi-platinum albums — “Break Every Rule” and “Foreign Affair.” The singles “We Don’t Need another Hero,” “The Best,” and “Golden Eye” were all hits.
Tina Turner is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Despite not being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, she is often referred to as The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. She’s even been said to be the most successful female Rock ‘n’ Roll artist, with 11 Grammy awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, and more concert tickets sold as a solo performer than any other artist.
It can’t be denied that the wife and husband duo that Ike & Tina were changed the face of Rock and Roll with their couple stance on the genre. There’s no question whether they should have been inducted. However, Tina’s solo career has been more expansive, with a proven longevity.
After her tumultuous divorce, she came back stronger than ever. She broke through the heartbreak, and barriers, and blasted the rock and roll world.
When they say “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” – it’s true for Tina. She’s come back stronger than ever as a solo female force in the industry, so where is her individual recognition for those accomplishments? T
To reiterate — the RRHOF has a woman problem. Not only did they only induct men in 2016, females only make up 10 percent of the Hall’s membership.
No, we don’t necessarily need the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to tell us who has shaped the world of rock. We know exactly who has done it. We own the albums. We’ve danced at the concerts. We cherish the gifts they’ve given through their artistry. There’s a need, though, to honor those artists. To say thank you for what you’ve done — all you’ve given. You are special. You are grand. You are acknowledged. That is what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame does, and that is why the incredibly talented Tina Turner deserves her place. Rock on, Tina. Rock on.