She was part of a group that was loved by musicians and critics but largely ignored by fans. Her husband/manager, while a talented musician himself, was also a drug-addicted control freak who got off on beating up women. She'd been on national TV and played in down and out ramshackle clubs in the boondocks. But one thing was clear: at the dawn of the 80s Tina Turner's career in music was dead in the water and there didn't seem to be a whole lot of people who even noticed.

So, what's a girl to do? Well, Tina called some of those music biz types that were so fond of her earlier work with the "Revue" and got them to produce a new batch of songs with her. Among the people who answered the call were Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck and Terry Bitten along with  Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh of the British band "Heaven 17". The result was "Private Dancer", and album that would catapult Tina above and beyond anything she had known before in terms of popularity and sell over 5 million copies in the US alone. Almost overnight she went from being just another also-ran to having a #1 hit (What's Love Got To Do With It?), headlining sold out concerts all over the world, winning Grammy awards and starring in big budget Hollywood movies (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome).

The whole world fell in love with this graduate of the School of Hard Knocks and that love affair hasn't really waned in the intervening decades. She's gone on to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful female solo live act in history and in 2005, in an event she probably had a hard time imagining in 1981, she was welcomed to the White House as a Kennedy Center Honoree by President Bush. Maybe the sweetest aspect of all her success since Private Dancer though is the knowledge that she finally put that wife-beating cretin of a "husband" so far in the rear-view that almost no one remembers him. She who laughs last...

Tina Turner at the White House as a Kennedy Center Honoree, 2005