Celebrity Buddhist - Tina Turner
One of the living example of how Buddhism can change ones life can be illustrated by the American black singer Tina Turner.
She was born on November 26, 1939, Brownsville, Tennessee, USA with her maiden name as Annie Mae Bullock. She had a lonely difficult childhood, with her parent constantly fighting each other. At 16, her father left her to marry another woman, and while she was still in high scholl, she was "discovered" by the R & B Band leader Ike Turner, who changed her name to Tina. He later made her a well known singer in the 60's. She beared a child named Raymond with the saxophone player of the Band, who left her without any notice.
Tina began to move into Ike's house and the two lived together. As "the Ike and Tina Revue" became well known and popular in America, the two got married in 1962 in Mexico. Tina expected a fantastic marriage, but Ike simply gave her a piece of paper and told her to "sign here". Throughout their relationship, Ike was in complete control of her life, beatting her up if she went out of his wishes. In another word, their marriage was stormy and violent. And for 14 years, she looked happy and wild in front of her audiences, but after the shows, she would return to a home with tears, fights and turbulance. It was her make-up that covered up her bruises when she sang on stage. She reached her lowest point in life .....until a Prince who lived 2,500 ago in India came into her heart and gave her strength and confidence.
In 1974, she met a woman named Valerie Bishop, a new secretary of the Turner Revue. Valerie was a Buddhist, who began to counsel her spiritually. Tina knew nothing about Buddhism before, and, almost immediately, the teachings of the Buddha - that nobody but you yourself is in control of your fate - struck a cord within her. Learning to chant "Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo" turned her anger into strength.
On July 2, 1976, while she and Ike were on a tour in Dallas, she finaly decided to hit back hard and walked out on him, ending a 16 years relationship of unhappiness and brutality. When she left, she only had 36 cents in her pocket, and had to seek refuge at her friend's house. Two years later, at the divorce court, she gave up everything materially, because to her freedom from suffering and happiness is more important than materialistic weath. And, believing in the Buddha's teaching that fate is in her own hands, she worked hard to restablish her singing career in the 80's and 90's. Finally, the seed that she planted was rippened and she won three grammy's awards in a row in 1985. The Tina without Ike was proven to be sucessful once again.
Today, Tina and her boyfriend for more than ten years, record executive Erwin Bach, live happily together in Zurich, Switzerland, and in their estate in the south of France. She plans to spread the words of Dharma after she retired from her singing career.
Some of her hit songs includes "What Love Get To Do With It" (from a movie of the same title), "Proud Mary", James Bond Movie Title Song "Golden Eye", etc.. Her CD's are available readily from your local record store). Alternatively, for more information, visit her own official website at http://www.tina-tuner.com/