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Chart Watch Extra: The Ageless Tina Turner

Posted Fri Sep 3, 2010 1:47pm PDT by Paul Grein in Chart Watch

This can't be right. You're not going to believe this. The ageless Tina Turner has been a mainstay on the Billboard charts for half a century. Fifty years ago this week, Ike & Tina Turner were scaling the Hot 100 for the first time with "A Fool In Love."

Tina has seen lots of ups and downs since then. The downs were documented in What's Love Got To Do With It, the 1993 movie based on her life. The ups have mostly come since she went out on her own in 1976.

Artists leave established groups all the time, but it's rare for an artist's solo career to surpass his or her group achievements. But Tina has done just that. She has amassed 14 top 40 hits on her own, compared to six for Ike & Tina. Six of her albums have made the top 40 on The Billboard 200, compared to just two for Ike & Tina. She has won six Grammys, versus just one for Ike & Tina.

Tina has shown considerable musical range. She is one of only three artists to win Grammys in the pop, R&B and rock fields over the course of a career. The others are Michael Jackson (who did it all in one night in his 1984 Thriller sweep) and B.B. King.

Tina has had much success covering songs that had already been hits; finding new meaning in them and having hits with them again. Ike & Tina did just that with Sly & The Family Stone's "I Want To Take You Higher" and, most famously, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary." Tina launched her 1984 comeback with a cover version of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."

Here are 25 key dates in the career of a legend.

Aug. 29, 1960-Ike & Tina land their first Hot 100 hit with "A Fool In Love." The song reaches #27 in October.

Sept. 18, 1961-"It's Gonna Work Out Fine" reaches #14 on the Hot 100. It's Ike & Tina's highest-charting hit of the 1960s. The single features backing vocals by another high-profile couple, Mickey & Sylvia (who recorded the 1957 classic, "Love Is Strange").

Feb. 6, 1965-Ike & Tina hit The Billboard 200 for the first time with Live! The Ike & Tina Turner Show. It's the first of four live albums by the duo to make (or bubble under) the chart.

June 18, 1966-"River Deep-Mountain High," produced by Phil Spector, peaks at #88. Despite the poor showing, the song is universally regarded as a classic.

Nov. 23, 1967-Tina appears on the cover of the second issue of Rolling Stone. (John Lennon was on the cover of the premier issue.) This makes Tina the first woman and the first African American to make the cover.

March 27, 1971-Ike & Tina land their biggest hit as their cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1969 smash "Proud Mary" reaches #4. A year later, it brings them a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group.

Oct. 27, 1973-Ike & Tina land their last Top 40 hit with "Nutbush City Limits," an autobiographical song written by Tina. Bob Seger covers the song three years later and has a chart hit of his own with it.

March 19, 1975-A movie based on The Who's rock opera Tommy, with Tina playing the Acid Queen, opens. The movie also stars Elton John and Eric Clapton. In September, Tina hits The Billboard 200 with an album titled Acid Queen. It's her first solo project to chart.

1976-Tina leaves Ike, ending a tumultuous, 18-year marriage. (Ike dies in December 2007 at age 76.)

Jan. 21, 1984-Tina lands her first solo Hot 100 hit with a remake of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."

Aug. 11, 1984-Private Dancer cracks the Top 10, where it remains for 39 weeks. The album spawns three top 10 hits: "What's Love Got To Do With It," "Better Be Good To Me" and "Private Dancer."

Sept. 1, 1984-Tina lands her only #1 hit with "What's Love Got To Do With It." The song tops the Hot 100 for three weeks.

Feb. 26, 1985-Tina wins three Grammys, including Record of the Year for "What's Love Got To Do With It."

July 10, 1985-Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, in which Tina stars opposite Mel Gibson, opens. The movie spawns two hits for Tina, "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" and "One Of the Living."

Jan. 18, 1986-Tina cracks the top 15 with "It's Only Love," a duet with Bryan Adams. Over the years, she has also recorded with partners ranging from David Bowie to Barry White.

Nov. 1, 1986-Break Every Rule becomes Tina's second top five album in a row. It features three top 30 hits, including the #2 smash "Typical Male."

Feb. 22, 1989-Tina Live In Europe wins the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. It's Tina's fourth consecutive win in that category. Only two other women have won in that category four times: Pat Benatar and Sheryl Crow.

1991-Ike & Tina are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They are only the third duo to get the nod as performers, following the Everly Brothers (in 1986) and Simon & Garfunkel (in 1990).

Oct. 14, 1991-Tina releases her greatest hits album, Simply The Best. The album has sold 1,733,000 copies, making it her top-seller of the Nielsen/SoundScan era (which began in 1991). The album borrows its title from Tina's 1989 hit "The Best."

June 9, 1993-What's Love Got To Do With It, a bio-pic based on Tina's 1986 autobiography, I, Tina, opens. Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett go on to receive Oscar nominations for their performances as Ike & Tina. In August, "I Don't Wanna Fight" hits the Top 10, becoming Tina's biggest hit of the ‘90s.

Nov. 17, 1995-GoldenEye, starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, opens. Tina sings the title song.

Feb. 19, 2005-All The Best debuts at #2 on The Billboard 200. It's the highest-charting album of Tina's career.

December 2005-Tina receives a Kennedy Center Honor. Tony Bennett and Robert Redford are among the other honorees.

Feb. 10, 2008-Tina teams with Beyonce for a memorable performance of "Proud Mary" on the 50th annual Grammy Awards.

Nov. 7, 2009-Tina Live cracks The Billboard 200, three weeks before Tina's 71st birthday.

Note: I wrote the liner notes for the 1994 collection, The Collected Recordings: Sixties To Nineties.

Follow Yahoo! Music:


1. Charles -
Hey paul!

I would like to know what are Justin Timberlake's 10 best selling singles (as a lead artist or featuring) and how many copies do FutureSex/LoveSounds & Justified have sold?

2. Leah Walker -
Hi Paul,

I love your column! Best music column around, I read it religiously.

I was just wondering, do you know how many total digital singles Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Elvis Presley have sold?

Thanks so much Paul, keep writing!

3. Yahoo! Music User -
Paul, could you tell us the sales of these Celine Dion albums:

The Collector's Series, Volume One
A New Day... Live in Las Vegas


4. Paul Grein -
Leah, Thanks for your kind words. I have suggested to Nielsen/SoundScan that they add a chart that lists artists with the most digital song sales. I think it would be a great addition to their menu of charts. If and when they do, I'll write about it.

Charles, Mr. Timberlake has seven songs on Nielsen/SoundScan's running list of the top 200 best-selling digital songs. They are:

Sexyback, 3,490,000
T.I.'s Dead And Gone, 2,850,000
Madonna's 4 Minutes, 2,801,000
What Goes Around...Comes Around, 2,004,000
My Love, 1,943,000
Timbaland's Carry Out, 1,930,000
Timbaland's Give It To Me, 1,886,000

5. Max Lala -
thank you for anwsering my question last time, I'm so happy! Can I ask this time about digital sales of another 3 songs of Celine Dion? I mean "The Prayer" (it was a duet with A. Bocelli, live duet with J.Groban, and solo version), and two latest singles: "Alone" and "My Love". Than U so much in advance!

6. Yahoo! Music User -
Tina--still the best legs in the business.

7. Paul Grein -
Here are some more numbers from the expert tabulators at Nielsen/SoundScan.

Yahoo Music User (get a name!): Celine's Vol. 1--Collector's Series has sold 914K. A New Day Live In Las Vegas has sold 530K. Miracle has sold 944K.

Max LaLa: Celine's Alone has sold 98K. My Love has sold 31K. Her solo version of The Prayer has sold 10K. Her collabo with Mr. Groban has sold 163K. I couldn't find the one with Bocelli.

8. Yahoo! Music User -
Great Blog Paul,

I wanted to know how much "Alejandro" by Lady gaga has sold.

Also, is Lady GaGa the artist with the most multi-platinum singles? Thanks!

9. Yahoo! Music User -
Sales for Lady Gaga's Beautiful Dirty Rich?

10. Claudio Latini -
Hi Paul, could you give me the numbers of Shakira's albums, please?

Fijacion Oral Vol. 1
Live and Off The Record

Thanks :)

11. Ricardo -
Paul great article, can you tell me the following sales:

The Fame Monster EP
One of the Boys
Sweet Escape

How much do u think Teenage Dream album will sell next week, I predict that It will sell 100-110 K

12. Ya Hoo -
Hi Paul :)
Great ARticle

My question for you is regarding the sales of TLC's top selling singles OR albums.

THanks so much

13. Ricardo -
thanks for ignoring my questions again you [profane]

14. Limbruglia Bee -
hi. paul. I signed yahoo for make comment here! lol
I want to know Beyonce's sales.
can you post her digital sales fo old singles?
(like crazy in love, Naughty girl, me myself and I, baby boy. Deja vu,)
and it will be amazing If you post her catalogue album and EP and DVD sales.
Album : Dangerously in Love, B'day, I am sasha fierce.
EP : Irreemplazable, Above and Beyoncé
DVD : B'Day Anthology , The Beyoncé Experience, Am... Yours

15. Randy -
Greetings Paul, Tina was the first singer/performer that grabbed my attention as a child and she has been the begin all end all for me. I took my mom to see her in concert back in '96...Wildest Dreams tour I believe...and she had a blast not to mention Cindy Lauper opened for her. Needless to say I was thrilled by your article today as I am with just about all your articles so thank you. I value your vast knowledge of music and your intelligent critiques. Much appreciation.

16. Mario Macaione -
you're right I should have incluided titles in my previous post... I was thinking that maybe these songs could be close to 1 million: 'Shake It Off', 'It's Like That', 'Don't Forget About Us' or 'Bye Bye'.
Can you give me some info on those songs?
And also, is Mariah's album "Rainbow" close to 3 million sold? It's certified 3x Platinum, but the last numbers I have are under 3 million.
Thanks, as always.

17. Martin A -
Hi Paul, thanks for yet another great article - Tina Turner sure belong to the greats of music.

Last week you listed "Elvis' Golden Records" (=vol.1) as having sold 281k since 1991 (soundscan-era). That made me a little confused, because the soundscan number I currently have for the "Elvis' Golden Records" (=vol.1) album (that comes from Jan 2005) lists it as having sold 1,356,000. So, is it possible that the 281k figure that you listed last week only includes sales from the latest re-release (the 1997 one)?

It'd be very interesting to see how the other volumes in the "Elvis' Golden Record" series have sold :) So, if time allows, I'd love to see the numbers for Vol.2, Vol.3 & Vol.4. And in addition to these albums, I'd also like to know the numbers for 'Elvis Is Back' (1960) and 'From Elvis In Memphis' (1969). (Please add the sales from the different re-issues to the same total) Thanks in advance! And take care!


18. Rodrigo -
Paul could please give me the US sales from Jay-z's Blueprint 3 and its singles:
Run this town
Empire state of mind
On to the next one
young forever


19. Duca -
Hi, Paul, I was wondering can I get sales of these Britney singles:

Born To Make You Happy (digital + physical)
From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart (digital)

Thanks :]

20. Mr Hop -
Tina is still as "fine" as ever!
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