In 1986, Tina Turner in collaboration with Kurt Loder published the ‘interview like’ top selling biography, I Tina.
Back then, the world discovered the multiple struggles that young Anna Mae faced during her early life followed by the epic relationship with guitar genius Ike Turner (1931-2007).
While the journalists and the general audience were amazed by the resilience and strength of the forty-seven singer, few understood that beyond Tina’s success, there was a very strict, mental, physical training; A new way of thinking according to the rules of the Lotus Sutra. That is one of several forms of practicing Buddhism inspired by the life of monk Nichiren (13th century). And that is the path that Baptist Tina Turner followed since the mid-seventies, faithfully mixing it with the Lord prayers.
While promoting her biography and years later Disney’s movie biopic “What’s Love Got To Do With it?”, the question had to be asked: Would Tina be willing to write a book about her journey with Buddhism, would she tell how it could also help us overcome our daily problems, how to get to the point where you feel physically and mentally balanced?
The fans waited patiently and even if she probably had many occasion to jump on an opportunity to make money of her faith, she proved she wasn’t the Commercial Buddhist type (you know who you are).
But, finally, a part of the answer arrived in Zurich during the fall of 2009. At seventy years old and after an eight months long farewell tour, Turner teamed with good friends Regula Curti and Tibetan singer Dechen Shak Dagsay on what would become the first “Beyond” album. A new turn in Tina’s career since she actually doesn’t sing on the album. And she doesn’t need to. Her deep low voice can make your hair raises when she recites one of those powerful daimoku that transformed her. That is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
A mesmerizing chant that interfere within yourself and the universe, transcended by Tina powerful vocals. Also appearing on a few tracks in addition to the haunting Christians and Tibetan vocals by Curti & Shak-Dagsay, Turner delivers a spiritual message, explaining the listeners how to enter the journey into Buddhism and giving the directions of what the next album(s) would sound:
“We need a repeated discipline, a genuine training to let go our old habits of mind and to find and sustain a new way of seeing. Go beyond the right and the wrong. Prayers clears the head and bring back peace to the Soul”.
2011. If there is one thing Tina Turner likes, it is a no schedule life, far away from the spotlight, the obligations, the paparazzi, the fans… So that what she did after this first Beyond album. Hiding. Maybe an Armani show from time to time or a fancy gala just to show the world she still looked marvelous but that was it. Until the fall of 2011 and “Children Beyond”. During the press conference in Zurich, Regula Curti described the new album as a “pharmacy of prayers”. A message of peace focusing for once on what religions have in commons instead of the contrary. Singing old Jewish prayers, heartful gospel and even rapping, another part of the puzzle that made Tina the Powerful Buddhist she became would be revealed in a big way. If the album mainly contains prayers, mantra and traditional songs sung by children, Turner once again appears on a few tracks with a voice that transcend time. Because yes, she can still deliver a song that only a true surviving soul could deliver in the right way. And if one proof was needed, then peace mantra Sarvesham Svastir Bhavatu would be it. And while the first ‘Beyond’ album got a bit of attention and success in Switzerland and Germany, “Sarvesham” mantra would find its way to the world thanks to Youtube. Reaching nearly 10 million views and growing, one could say that it became Tina’s latest hit since her last studio album Twenty Four Seven back in 1999.
Now after a 2 years hiatus since the promotion of Children Beyond, Swiss singer Tina Turner will turn 75 in November. While fans are eager to listen to proper new Tina Turner recordings, a new Beyond album is expected for the month of June entitled “Beyond, Love Within.” The three singers will be joined by Sawani Shende. According to Regula Curti herself, we can expect some great gospels by Tina. Back to the roots? No more mantras? No one can tell for the moment but beyond that we are all looking forward to discover the new chapter of this new “ I,Tina.”