The Daily Mashup: Tina Turner to Tina Fey
Tina Turner is most successful in her career as a singer, termed the most successful female rock artist ever. She’s listed in the Guinness Book of Records for selling more concert tickets than any solo performer in history. You’ve probably heard some of her most famous songs, such as “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “Private Dancer,” “Let’s Stay Together,” and her rendition of “Proud Mary.” She is the winner of eight Grammy awards and has sold around 200 million records worldwide. If Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock n’ Roll, then Tina Fey is the Queen of Comedy. Fey has received eight Emmys, two Golden Globes, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Writers Guild of America Awards for her work. Within the comedy field, she’s considered to be one of the best and she still continues to be a trailblazing woman comedian. She is well known for her work in the Saturday Night Live (SNL) series, being the creator of the critically acclaimed show 30 Rock, and performing as an actress in multiple, wildly successful films.
Here are a few similarities:
Tina Turner and Tina Fey weren’t always named Tina, in fact, they both were born with different names. Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in 1939. It was her husband, Ike Turner, who thought of the name change to “Tina,” because it rhymed with television character “Sheena” from the comic book Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. It’s believed that Ike renamed 21-year-old Anna Mae Bullock because he didn’t want her to run off and make a name for herself. Later, Ike admitted that another reason for the name change was to keep Tina’s former lovers from returning to her. Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey. “Tina” is taken from the latter part of her middle name. Fey changed her name for purely aesthetic reasons.
These famous ladies knew they were destined for stardom from the beginning and started getting interested in their future careers at a very young age. Turner realized she had a talent for singing and became a member of Nutbush’s Spring Hill Baptist Church choir as a child. Barely in her teens, high schooler Turner quickly immersed herself in St. Louis’s R&B scene, spending much of her time at Club Manhattan with her older sister. It was there, in 1956, that she met rock-and-roll pioneer Ike Turner, band member of the Kings of Rhythm. Few women had ever sung with him, but it wasn’t long before Turner was performing with the group, quickly becoming the highlight of their show. Tina Fey was introduced to comedy by her parents at a young age and grew up watching Saturday Night Live, Monty Python, Second City Television, and old Marx Brothers movies. By age 11, she had already read Seventy Years of Great Film Comedians by Joe Franklin for a school project about comedy. As a teenager, she knew she was interested in comedy and, by high school, she was taking drama classes and writing consistently. It was Fey’s 8th grade teacher who encouraged her to be a writer. To People Magazine, Fey said originally, she thought, “I don’t want to be a writer, ’cause then you’re just by yourself in a room all the time. I want to be a star!” After earning a degree in drama from the University of Virginia, she moved to Chicago to start her comedy career at The Second City.
Both women found success while performing on none other than the famously hilarious late-night sketch comedy and variety show, Saturday Night Live (SNL). Tina Turner, in her first solo act ever, performed at The Ritz in NYC in 1981. Rod Stewart noticed her and following that performance, asked her to join him on SNL to perform a duet of his song “Hot Legs.” This performance brought her recognition and the beginning of her fame, and Stewart later hired Turner to open for him on his U.S. tour. In comparison, Tina Fey got her break out role on SNL and is still considered one of the most famous SNL cast members of all time. Fey worked at SNL for nine years before starting her career developing her hit show 30 Rock. In 2015, in Rolling Stone Magazine‘s appraisal of all 141 SNL cast members to date, Fey was ranked as number three in importance, right behind John Belushi and Eddie Murphy. Fey was also SNL‘s first female head writer.
These beautiful women didn’t have to go looking for a husband because they both married to men they worked with. Tina Turner found Ike Turner as a teenager at Club Manhattan. After joining his band, the Kings of Rhythm, and starting their own duo ‘Ike & Tina Turner Revue,’ the couple’s success was picking up pace and they married in 1962. By the mid-1970s, their marriage had fallen apart due to Ike’s cocaine addiction, frequent infidelity, and his physical abuse of Tina. She is currently married to her second husband, German music executive Erwin Bach, whom she met at a record label party in London in 1985. Tina Fey found love two years into her career at The Second City in Chicago with the show’s piano player turned musical director, Jeff Richmond. They are still married and live with their two daughters in NYC.
Turner and Fey aren’t one-trick ponies, for both of them have succeeded in multiple fields. In addition to being a famous singer, Turner has also experienced success in films, including a role in the 1975 rock musical Tommy and a starring role in the 1985 Mel Gibson blockbuster film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, as well as a cameo role in the 1993 film Last Action Hero. Tina is also known as a very good dancer and choreographer. With her success as an entertainer who can act, sing, and dance, Tina Turner is a triple threat. Tina Fey, in addition to being a respected and highly regarded comedian, is an actress, writer, and producer. Along with being a head writer for SNL, Fey was the creator, executive producer, writer, and star of the show 30 Rock. Over the course of the series, the show was nominated for 112 Emmy awards and won 16, in addition to numerous other nominations and wins from other awards shows. Fey has also acted in multiple movies, including the successful teen comedy Mean Girls, which she also wrote. Fey teamed up with her BFF Amy Poehler for Baby Mama, which grossed over $64 million at the box office. Next she costarred with Steve Carrell in the 2010 comedy Date Night and has acted other successful films.
You know you’ve made it when you can write a book about yourself and have it become a bestseller. Both Tina Turner and Tina Fey wrote successful autobiographies. Turner’s book, entitled I, Tina, describes the story of young girl born in Tennessee who rises to fame after meeting Ike Turner. She describes their abusive relationship that ended before she became an international superstar. The book, after being published in 1986, became a worldwide best-seller and led to the film adaption, What’s Love Got to Do with It. Fey’s autobiography, the hilarious Bossypants, gives her life story as to how she became a member of SNL and what she went through to create 30 Rock. Her book topped The New York Times Best Seller list, and stayed there for five straight weeks upon its release in 2011. The book has sold over one million copies in the U.S. and Fey’s narration of the audiobook was Grammy nominated.
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By Molly Mae Force, Cool Girls Reporter. Connect with me on LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/in/mollymaeforce
Look out for my upcoming book: Mashup Madness: History Made Fun Through Past and Present Icons
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