Tina Turner's Second-Hand Emotion

Big hair and a big comeback in this week's GRAMMY winners edition of Forgotten Videos
  • Tina Turner in "What's Love Got To Do With It"
February 03, 2012 -- 3:11 pm PST
GRAMMY.com

Welcome to Forgotten Videos, GRAMMY winners edition. For some, these videos are forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Our aim is to take you on a little trip down memory lane or help you discover new music, GRAMMY-style.

Tina Turner 
"What's Love Got To Do With It"
1984

With Valentine's Day less than two weeks away, some may be asking themselves, "What's love got to do with it?" That question earned soul legend Tina Turner the prestigious Record Of The Year GRAMMY in 1984 for this hit, which propelled the then-45-year-old artist back into stardom in arguably one of the most celebrated comebacks ever.

Prior to the release of 1984's Private Dancer, Turner was in the midst of a somewhat tumultuous career (and personal life), evidenced by her divorce from the late Ike Turner in 1978, with whom she fronted one of the hottest R&B acts to emerge in the '60s, and a dry spell on the Billboard charts as a solo artist. But with Private Dancer Turner went from a proud Mary to a fierce queen. The album, which also features a disco-tinged cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and earned the songstress an Album Of The Year nomination. "What's Love Got To Do With It," which likely still causes females around the world to boycott Valentine's Day in favor of turning this tune up at their Singles Awareness Day parties, shot all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. So with a GRAMMY Award, a Top 10 album and a No. 1 hit, what does love have to do with it?

According to Turner (and songwriters Graham Lyle and Terry Britten), love is just a second-hand emotion. And she makes that clear in this video, as she struts down the city streets in a leather mini skirt, with teased hair and flirt-ready red lipstick and nails to match. As she makes her way through the city, she stops for a quick dance with a variety of men, but never stays too long. Eventually she comes in between a couple she finds dancing in the street, and begs the question, "Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?" We now known Turner was speaking from the point of view of someone who'd been hurt and decided love was just an old fashioned notion. She's ready to take a new direction and this time focus on her own protection.

That focus was enough for Turner, who walked away with five GRAMMY nominations and three wins at the 27th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 26, 1985, including Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for the aforementioned hit and Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for "Better Be Good To Me." "What's Love …" even inspired Brian Gibson's 1993 film of the same name, a biopic centering around Turner's past abusive relationship with Ike Turner and mustering courage to break free.

Turner's GRAMMY success has continued, with eight wins to date, her latest coming in 2007 for Album Of The Year for her contributions to Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters. At the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2008, Turner returned to the GRAMMY stage for a special performance with one of R&B's newer divas, Beyoncé, for a sparkly, soulful performance of "Proud Mary," proving she's still got it and love may still have nothing to do with it.

"There's an expression, 'You'll never get out of this world alive,'" Turner told O, The Oprah Magazine in 2005. "It's true. We won't. Go forward. Do your best with your makeup, hair and clothes."

This year "What's Love …" will be honored with one of The Recording Academy's most prestigious recognitions — an induction into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame.

What does love have to do with it? Got any Forgotten Video recommendations? Leave us a comment. 

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