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5 life lessons we learned from the ‘Queen of Rock and Roll’ Tina Turner

Tina Turner’s very public life offers 5 valuable life lessons
5 life lessons we learned from the 'Queen of Rock and Roll' Tina Turner
Tina Turner (Photo credit: Bang Media)

As the world grieves the death of the undisputed “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Tina Turner, it’s clear that she made a tremendous impact not only with her musical contribution, selling over 100 million records worldwide,  but also by the example of her life. The 1993 cinematic biography based on the tragedy and triumph of her life’s story is one of the most influential movies of the last century. The unforgettable performance by Angela Bassett earned an Academy award nomination, but it was Turner’s story of tenacity that resonated with fans and will remain timeless.


Turner lived her life out loud and through her transparency, we are able to pull timeless life lessons that can be applied to us all.


  1. Shake it until you make it! Turner’s complete commitment to her performance was the inspiration for Beyoncé and countless other performers to give their all when onstage. Turner’s energetic performances made her an icon, but if you watch performances of her as Anna Mae Bullock, before she became the iconic Tina Tina, her stage presence was the same. She gave her all whether she was performing for a small local crowd or a global stage in front of thousands. Turner’s example teaches us that when you receive a gift from God it’s important to use it regardless of where you are at the time.
  2. Don’t look backward, when your name is the one in lights. As a Black woman born in Nutbush, Tennessee, in 1939, Turner had more than enough reasons to doubt herself on a national stage. After dealing with abandonment and abuse throughout her career, she could’ve given up and returned to Tennessee. Thankfully, her tenacity and internal belief propelled her forward instead of looking backward and allowing her past to keep her from the iconic future she achieved on her own.
  3. There is no shame in dealing with domestic abuse. Many women and men are ashamed to acknowledge being victims of physical and mental abuse. Turner boldly and transparently shared her story in her own memoirs, “I, Tina” written in 1986, the movie, “What’s Love Got to Do With It” in 1993 and again with the reissue of the memoir in 2010, “I, Tina: My Life Story”. Turner was an advocate for domestic violence survivors and encouraged victims to follow her example by leaving and never looking back.
  4. Fly high and realize there are no limits on your talent. Turner was an American icon, but she also moved to England and later applied for and acquired citizenship in Sweden, enjoying a successful international audience. She refused to be put in a box or labeled with her music or her lifestyle and she reaped the benefits with a timeless career that defied cultural boundaries.
  5. There is a role for you to play in the world. Create the role you want as opposed to becoming a version of someone else’s role for you. In addition to being a rock star, Turner was an actress, mother, wife, spokesperson and much more. She lived by her own rules without racial, religious or even cultural restraints. Her willingness to follow the path to her own version of happiness is admirable and a beautiful testament to living  life on one’s own terms.

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