Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, recently became an octogenarian — and she’s celebrating in style.
With the release of her pictorial autobiography, “That’s My Life,” she explores how her sense of swagger and spirituality are reflected through the fashions and artistic expressions that span her decadeslong career.
In addition to her music and her incredible life story, Turner is known for her iconic style, with gowns covered in cascading sequins, bodacious hair, sky-high heels and miniskirts.
In “That’s My Life,” (one of two books out this fall by Turner) the entertainer visually chronicles the clothing, friendships, collaborations, performances and defining moments that demonstrate what she describes as a gradual change in her presence and attitude, as she “became stronger, more confident, happier, loved.”
Alongside images ranging from her shoe collection and the many wigs she personally crafted, to her accolades and a display of her spiritual connection with Buddhist and Chinese artwork, Turner shares quotes from years of celebrity testimonials and personalized birthday notes from the likes of entertainer Beyoncé, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, rock star Mick Jagger and fashion designer Christian Louboutin. As she’s aged, Turner says she especially cherishes receiving birthday greetings and spending the occasion with her husband, music executive Erwin Bach, as she didn’t often celebrate birthdays during her childhood or while touring during the 1960s and the 1970s.
The book also features her special collaborations with German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh, who died last year. Turner’s tribute to Lindbergh includes snapshots of her climbing the Eiffel Tower in heels, and a portrait that zeroes in on a special thumb ring — one of Turner’s most prized possessions — adorning her finger as she enjoys a warm beverage. A replica of the ring recently became available for purchase through the Looping Group Shop.
“That’s My Life” isn’t all glamour and editorial shots, however. Turner sprinkled in candids and even some goofier photos from her personal archive.
“I am true to myself,” she writes. “Pretty is nice, but I don’t mind being a little silly or playful in some shots and serious in others. I love it when a photograph captures my innermost emotions and makes them come to life.”
NBCBLK caught up with Turner about her new book and how the legendary performer’s iconic flair for fashion has long reflected her inner world.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Q: How has fashion played a role during periods of reinvention and evolution in your career?
Turner: When I look back, I can see the story of my life through the clothes I wore. There was always a connection. The opportunity to sing with Ike in the early days was like something out of a fairytale for a teenager whose dream was to perform onstage. I felt so elegant in my gown, like a princess. But that gown was a prison, just like my marriage. I wanted to move, so my skirts got shorter and less constricting because freedom was important to me, onstage and in life.