Not many of us even have
idols anymore. And for those of us who do still respect our elders and their
accomplishments and try to emulate all that is positive about our idols,
we don’t always get to meet them. And even if we do meet them, we don’t usually
get to honor them in any public way. And even if we do get to honor them
in a public way, they don’t come out of retirement to express their appreciation
of our worship. So that’s why the announcement that Beyoncé Knowles and Tina Turner
will duet at the upcoming Grammy Awards presentation made
me one “Proud Mary.” Well, my name is not Mary, but I am proud.
OK, not proud, but excited!
Beyoncé has made it clear
that she grew up adoring Tina Turner. Here’s her 2005 Kennedy Center
(please, feel free to ignore all political figures seated next to Tina):
Beyoncé has her detractors,
but I’m just not one of them. To me she is a
a "true entertainer" in the classic sense. Beyoncé is a show-must-go-on style performer,
and when she commits to a performance, the audience is guaranteed to
get her very best. She dances and sings her audiences into a frenzy. She
learned that well from Tina Turner.
Turner’s reputation was built
on her live performances, but the woman has a fine voice. She spent a
large part of her early performing life in a marriage and partnership
with Ike Turner. The two formed the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. Ike
controlled the group and Tina. Tina’s life during that turbulent time
has been well chronicled in her autobiography I, Tina.
was so powerful it was turned into the film What’s Love Got to Do
With It, which of course gave us Angela Bassett looking as
fine as fine can be on screen. Yes, I realize that I just went off on
a tangent! Anyway, regardless of what was happening in Tina Turner’s
personal life during those years, she still found a way to give herself
completely to her audiences through her live performances.
Here’s Ike and Tina’s “Proud
After she fled from the abuse
and control of Ike Turner, basically broke with no manager and no agent,
Tina got right back up on the stage and moved on and moved past her
past. The story would be triumphant enough if she had just survived, but Tina actually thrived after she walked away from Ike
in 1976. Ike died in December at the
age of 76, and there may be some real symbolism in that number.
Tina has made no formal statement
regarding his death. Articles quoted a statement from Tina’s spokeswoman: "Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She
has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will
be made." And that ended any additional press over that portion
of her life.
So the Grammy duet is much
less about Beyoncé and much more about Tina Turner. Turner is 68 years
old and retired from live performing in 2000. The Grammys are scheduled
for Feb. 10, and the striking writers will not impact the broadcast
of the show. Thank goodness. I’m actually not one to watch awards shows,
but for a peek at a Tina Turner performance, I’ll tune in.