Who run the world!? Tina & Beyonce!

(Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

(Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

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Today marks the 5 years anniversary of their, now legendary, 2008 Grammy performance and on this occasion we take a closer look at the influence that T. had on B.

“If there was an award for biggest know groupie of Tina Turner, i would win that title!”
Well when she said that back in 2005 when Tina was inducted into the Kennedy Center Honor, Oprah Winfrey forgot that an other celebrity was inspired a lot by Tina. And Miss Beyonce showed it to the world on that same night when she took the stage for an homage to her idol.
When watching Beyonce performing, one can wonder why she is always compared to Tina Turner. At first, the similarities aren’t that obvious for someone who isn’t familiar to Tina Turner career and persona; Beyonce rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny Child, she grew up watching Tina performing on tv and found out that if she was going to be an entertainer she would be like her! Of course Tina Turner comes from another time, she learned how to make music in the 50’s. Her stage persona is wild, raunchy, she is the definition of Rock n’ Roll. While Beyonce is from this new generation of singer, more polished with music intended for teenagers not carrying much about quality but more about album sales.

But still, Beyonce proved that she was more than that. That she learned from the best and was going to prove it by being a hard working woman both on and off stage but also by giving a positive image of herself to her fans. Through the years we’ve noticed a lot of similarities between the 2 performers; incredible stage shows, sheer spectacle, performances that are more energy and power than virtuosic vocal demonstrations, big blondish hair, great legs, and of course, this (photo montage by Jamie C.):

Tina Turner & Beyonce

In 2008 it was announced that Tina Turner would come out of retirement to make her first proper public live performance in eight years at the Grammy Awards. The excitement was even greater when it was rumored that Beyonce would join Tina for a duet.

Sporting a skin-tight silver bustier and matching capri pants, Tina warmed up for the duet with a medley of What’s Love Got To Do With It and Better Be Good To Me.

Turner, 68 at the time and 26-year-old Beyoncé got the crowd on their feet with a lively version of Proud Mary, for which Ike & Tina Turner won a Grammy in 1972. Among the fans tapping their feet were veteran rocker John Fogerty, who wrote the song. By the end, Beyoncé looked exhausted, but Turner seemed ready for more.

As a bonus, Tina picked up a Grammy Award as a participant on jazz icon Herbie Hancock’s surprise album of the year winner River: The Joni Letters.

Tina Turner & Beyonce

The video of the duet being property of the Grammy, it is not allowed to upload it on Youtube. So as a little compensation, for those who never saw or heard it ( is there any ?), you can listen to the whole perform on the blog!

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Who run the world!? Tina & Beyonce!

  1. Lousina

    “…more polished with music intended for teenagers not carrying much about quality but more about album sales.” 100% true, that’s the music of nowadays. Honestly, I like miss Tina much more than miss Beyoncé, but Beyoncé is one of the ‘less worse singers’ we have at the moment. Maybe because of the influence of Tina?

  2. Nancy

    Agree. Wish folks would stop comparing Beyonce to Tina. I don’t see it …on any level….possibly because there will never be another Tina.
    Its been 50 years for Tina and we are still talking about her. I doubt you will hear Beyonces name in another 5-10. I still listen to Tina ….every day.

  3. Faye

    I prefered Beyonce in Destinys Child. One thing is for sure, there will never be another Tina Turner. She is simply the best!

  4. Thank you for the good article!!
    But I do not agree about the part about polished music regarding album sales.
    Tina Turner has often been criticised for her polished recordings, especially for BER which missed a lot of roughness and her raunchiness. (No need to mention Open Arms at that point ;-)). And Tina made no secret of it, that she strongly followed the advices of her manager when it came to selection of songs and recordings. Because everything was about album sales.
    On stage it was – as we all know – something different. But nevertheless the mainstreamed “little” pop songs also had to be performed on tour, as they had been released as a single (for example Two People or Don’t Wanna Lose You) – and everything was about sales again. 😉

  5. Biggie

    Who run the world – the Blog boys do!

  6. Edmund

    it’s not the same type of polished we’re talking about here. Yes Roger pushed Tina to be commercial but there’s no way anyone can tell me that you couldn’t pick up the raunch, wail and genuine command of her voice behind all those synthesizers, she’s a naturally convincing vocalist. Yes it was even more raw during her live shows but the so called polishing that was done to Tina is very different to the one that today’s artists are doing, there’s absolutely no soul there

  7. T-ROX

    The main difference between Tina and Beyonce is that Tina had no real precursor, she is totally unique and helped to establish a platform for female performers in pop music. Tina emerged in the late 50’s, and there was no black female mega/superstar. The first I think it was Diana Ross in the 60’s with The Supremes. Beyonce emerged in the late 90’s, so she took a lot from many female superstars of the 60’s and 70’s (Diana Ross, Donna Summer and especially the Tina Turner from the Ike & Tina Revue of the 70’s), 80’s (Madonna, Janet), 90’s and even from her contemporaries (Jennifer Lopez, for example). She is a product of many influences, and you can see many legends in her performance. But you can also see something original in her (her wild routines – Crazy in Love, Single Ladies – are different from Tina’s ones). I think she does not have the same talent of a Tina or a Diana, but she is a hard-worker, and made herself the biggest female singer of the 00’s.

  8. Cergio

    Well written and I think you are accurate, T Rox. I can tell something about both: live performances. I saw Tina once on the Wildest Dreams tour. It was a life experience I will never forget. Still gives me chills to remember that night: the energy, the joy of being on stage, the positive message, the smiles, dances, the costumes, the lights. Magic. Years later I went to Beyoncé’s concert and missed the above. It didn’t reach me, it didn’t moove me. I was a show. I don’t compare them: no need to do that. Another example: I also went to a Diana Ross concert. All of the above was there. They have “it”. Maybe B. will get “it”, in time. I think she wants “it”…
    KUDOS to the Girls!

    • T-ROX

      Thank you Cergio! The main fact is that both Tina and Diana are real pioneers in pop/rock music. Beyonce deliberately took many aspects of Tina and Diana, among others, and that’s cool, ’cause she is always giving them props in interviews and media. This is what I like about Beyonce – she really recognizes the legends who came before her. She is always talking about Tina as her biggest influence and as the best entertainer she ever saw. So, this is kinda sweet. But, I do think Beyonce lacks a type of genuineness and naturality that I can see in true originals as Tina and Diana. Everything about her is so calculated. But maybe that’s the way to be… ’cause she had great success.

  9. Cergio

    Also: Beyoncé’s version of Proud Mary is really good! She is in it heart and soul. And the duet… They were really connected! Really nice moment on their careers!

  10. Rebecca

    Beyonce should not be compared to Tina because Tina has always sang her songs with all her heart.Tina rules!!!!! Beyonce drools!!!!!

  11. TinaFan

    Spot on TROX.

    We all know that there are blaring similarities between Beyonce and Tina and we all know that Beyonce has heavily borrowed from Tina. No need to argue or dispute that for Beyonce stated at the Kennedy Center Honors that her mother Tina and our Tina contributed heavily to who she is as a woman and artist more than any other women.

    With that being said let’s discuss why most get mad.

    The biggest difference I see between Tina and Beyonce, is that Beyonce is fully involved in the business side of her career and is constantly working on her brand. Tina has never thought of or treated herself as a brand but as a performer first and foremost. So when the lights of the stage turn off, Tina goes back to her life in private and she’s satisfied with that.

    I’ve never seen Tina in love with the celebrity red carpet circuit and the networking that’s involved in it. Tina never saturated herself into the mainstream even at the height of her career. Tina likes to do her projects, tour and get back home to her private life. Although Beyonce claims to love her privacy it’s hard to tell when everywhere she is there seems to be the perfect shot of her captured.

    Beyonce is constantly evolving with her music and even her image. Tina has stuck with a sound similar to the one that relaunched her career and has also worked with many of those same producers, which has hampered her later chart performances and dated her artistically. The heavy synth beats may have worked in 1984 but they just didn’t translate as well into the 1990s and 2000s. Music is a life force, constantly evolving and changing, and the need for experiment is paramount.

    Tina has also kept her look pretty near the same. In entertainment image is big. It’s been nice to see her in the last decade play with her wigs and get away from the mushroom cuts that carried her through from the early 1980s into the new millennium. Tina just isn’t concerned with all the pomp and circumstance of celebrity, she’s always said she’s a “tomboy at heart.”

    Many music critics have always cited Tina’s material as the biggest hamper on her chart performance. Her voice on every production is always praised by critics. Think if Tina would allow producers like a Pharell, The Dream, or even David Guetta to truly make her a ROCK album she’d dominate any chart or awards show.

    Unfortunately Tina decided, and maybe rightfully so, to play it safe after her comeback. I don’t fault her but I do wonder “if just”. It would be amazing to see her step outside of the comfort zone that Roger, producers and record companies allowed her to slide into and give us something amazing. Could you imagine her dominating the Grammys in her 70s? I think it’s possible if she wants it, but she’ll have to burn the blueprints of the past and do something new. Y’all hear her on Herbie Hancock’s “The Joni Letters?” Amazing.

    Her live performances we really don’t have to discuss. They have been hailed as something of an 8th wonder (are they not). Between she and James Brown, I don’t think there can ever be better a live performer better. You can add Michael Jackson, Prince, the Rolling Stones and Beyonce to those list and they don’t come close. Pyrotechnics aside, I’m talking raw performances. UNIQUENESS that only comes once or twice in a lifetime if we’re lucky.

    Also Beyonce rose to fame at the height of the Internet and social media boom. Could you imagine if Tina had resurrected her comeback during the Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram eras? It’s just a different world and time.

    I do not need to downplay Beyonce’s talent to know that Tina is a gem and one of the greatest artist. They’re two different people and should not be compared just because we feel that Beyonce has borrowed from someone we love (Tina).

    • T-ROX

      Hi Tinafan, you put it well. I agree with you in almost everything. I just don’t think Tina didn’t reinvent herself, her albums and tours between 1984-2000 have different “feels” and projected different sounds. Tina updated her sound in the 90’s, without losing the “classic Tina feel”. Yes, she did not reinvent herself heavily, but she did evolve herself with the times. WTHIO and WYW, the lead singles of her last two studio albums, are big examples of that. Yes, the look has always been kinda wild-sophisticated, but it was not always the same. I think age and promotion played a big part in the reception of her records in U.S. It’s very hard to receive airplay in U.S. after a certain age. It happens with every major female pop star. And I agree with the fact that Tina is not a media-type person/artist. Other thing I have to say is that I don’t think today Tina would be able to dominate the charts (it don’t matter the producers), even Beyonce didn’t score a Top 10 hit in U.S. with her last album “4”. Tina still can make a great album, but it would sell better in other places. U.S. audiences didn’t pick older artists, Tina did break some rules, but right now i feel it’s unlikely to dominate the charts or the awards (a political thing these days).

      • TinaFan

        T-Rox I feel that Beyonce’s 4 didn’t do as well on the mainstream charts because it was definitively an R&B album and there weren’t any really uptempo songs except the mid-tempo “Love On Top”. I stand by the fact that if Tina made a TINA ROCK album with younger producers from Hip-Hop (she’s previously said she respects rap) and even R&B but made them tap into their Rock influence it would be out of this world.

        I think her story of survival is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and with good production and promotion I think she could churn out another one, but she has to step outside of the producer comfort-zone to accomplish that. I want a fresh Tina album that’s truly Tina but updated to the taste of what’s at the pulse of music now or what she determines will be at the pulse in the future. Just wish she’s step out on that limb.

  12. Prince

    The people responding to this thread are SO immature.
    I love BOTH Tina and Beyonce. I hate seeing old people disparage young talent simply because they don’t connect with it. Grow up.

  13. Pingback: The Vogue interview: “I need to re-invent myself” | The Tina Turner Blog

  14. ahhhh i love tina turner and beonce i think tina should love beonce for taking after her it shows that she is doing somthing right instead of being a dummy and not taking care of herself.

  15. Pedro

    Guess Beyonce can be thanksfull toward Tina Turner. She paved the way for several generations of female performer!

  16. Laura

    What a great person and artist Tina is. I didn’t knew so much about her carrer or achievements, I just know that she is a great, huge, magnificent singer. I am 32 years old and I know who Tina Turner is….this is a result of Tina’s great talent to modify music history.

  17. Pingback: 10 times Tina Turner showed the world that age is just a number | The Tina Turner Blog

  18. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANYONE LIKE TINA TURNER NOT BEYONCE R ANYONE TINA IS A CLASSIC LUV HER

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  20. Pingback: 10 Things to Know About The Tina Turner Museum | The Tina Turner Blog

  21. Pingback: Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It? Grammy Awards – 1985 | The Tina Turner Blog

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