For the very first episode of Play it Back, we talk with writer Katie Shepherd about the power of Tina Turner’s monster hit from 1984 – and how it strengthened the relationship with her mother as she fought a life-threatening illness.
About Katie Shepherd
Katie grew up in the Piedmont of North Carolina where she worked as a high school English teacher before moving to England for her graduate studies. She currently lives in Brooklyn and spends her days either at McNally Jackson’s Good for the Study or Narativ Media. She also co-produces and hosts a podcast about women in literature called Our Unwritten Books and is developing her own collection of short stories. Katie is interested in the function of memory and in storytelling for personal understanding.
Five Facts About “What’s Love Got To Do With It”:
- There’s no doubt that the third single from Turner’s fifth solo album (Private Dancer) made her a true pop icon. Although it’s
her one and only #1 hit
- , this was Turner’s powerful comeback song after leaving her husband, Ike Turner.
- While ‘What’s Love…” fits Turner’s persona and resilience quite well, the
song was initially offered to
- a bevy of musicians who turned it down – including
won three Grammys
- for this song in 1985: Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Record of the Year – the latter of which she was up against Chicago, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, and Huey Lewis and the News.
- The song title was used for the
- loosely based on Turner’s life. Angela Bassett portrays the Queen of Rock & Roll’s rise to fame, and her troubled, violent relationship with Ike (played by Laurence Fishburne).
- shows Turner walking down the streets of New York City, strutting her stuff, dancing with strangers, and coming across a dope sidewalk chalkboard drawing of herself.
Pamela Springsteen (daughter of BRUUUUUUCE) makes an appearance
- as a street dancer (at 2:43).