All Articles Tagged "tina turner"

Laverne Cox Slays Paying Homage To Tina Turner, Beyoncé And Tracey Africa

September 6th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Before she makes her debut as the lead in the latest version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 20, Laverne Cox got glam for Cosmopolitan and slayed her campaign, channeling her idols Tina Turner, Beyoncé and Tracey Africa.

Published in Cosmo’s October 2016 issue, in addition to a fabulous photo shoot, Laverne shared what each iconic woman means to her and her personal journey in life.
On Tina Turner: “Her story is the story of so many black women who’ve endured abuse and come out the other side.”

On Beyoncé: Her work ethic is like nobody else I’ve ever seen. There were so many moments when I was shooting Rocky Horror and I’d be exhausted. My body would be hurting and I’d be like, ‘Beyoncé. Beyoncé does this.’

On Tracey Africa: People think, ‘Oh, this trans revolution is just starting,’ but we’ve been around for a very long time. It’s important to know that there’s been a path blazed for me.”

To read more of Laverne’s tribute to her idols and see all the photos from her shoot, click here.



What It Was Like Being Abused By My Boyfriend For Two Years And Why I Stayed

September 9th, 2015 - By J.C. Osby
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I remember being scarred as a child after watching Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got To Do With It. The entire film was just too much.

From the classic cake scene with Ike Turner backhanding her friend in the middle of a crowded restaurant to the insane studio moment that left everyone cringing, it was too much to handle. Too real for my innocent mind to comprehend being possible, the idea that someone could abuse another human being so viciously without remorse.

I couldn’t watch another Laurence Fishburne film for years. He is a damn good actor, but my mind subconsciously identified him with violence and evil. It wasn’t until his film Akeelah and the Bee came out in 2006 that I was able to separate the actor from the character he’d played all those years ago.

But Ike Turner was real. And all those terrible things I saw on that film as a child, they really happened.

According to Bureau of Justice statistics from 2013, a woman is battered every 15 seconds. Two to four million women are victims of domestic violence each year, with equivalent rates of violence across racial lines.

Twelve years after watching that movie on the floor in my family’s living room, I never envisioned I’d be that girl on the receiving end of an iron fist.

I was crazy in love with a musician. He was fresh out of the Marines. And we were engulfed in everything bohemian and poetic.

Rebellion was spewing out of me; I was too grown for my own good. And at 20 years old I moved out of my mother’s house, embarking on a journey into the city to live with my new boyfriend in the heart of north St. Louis.

Everything was beautiful in the beginning. Between school and work we frequented the best poetry clubs in the city; hanging amongst the spoken word elite and notorious wordsmiths of the streets. We indulged in everything literary. Eating and drinking in stanzas during late night sessions that morphed into full blown transcendent creative functions. Our lives were consumed with words–and one another.

We were in love. And dirt poor. But nobody seemed to care as the only thing that seemed to matter was the strumming of his guitar in the opposite room and me writing more.

But over time his anger revealed itself.

He rose into a jealous rage over the simplest things. Initially, his violent fits were subtle. The first time he pinned me down to the bed with his thick forearm plunged into my throat, I didn’t black out. But over time, I did.

I remember leaving his house that night but returning not long after, beginning a vicious cycle that would continue for the next two years. But for a while, things got better. Life seemingly returned to how it was and we lived in this fantasy world where everything was bliss. But it wasn’t.

Philly-based rapper Kareem Williams, also known as Lefty, recently released a song called “Jodi Ann Arias.” It’s a record about the convicted killer currently serving life in prison for the 2013 murder of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. During the trial, defense attorneys revealed that Arias was physically and verbally abused by Alexander; claiming she’d killed him in self-defense. Williams’s record brings that thought to the forefront, arguing that the media only portrayed one side of the story and that when people are in bad situations and feel unable to get help, terrible things can happen.

After listening to the song, I now wonder how I never reached that point after being physically violated so many times during those years. How was I able to maintain any sense of sanity and not just snap? I realize now that I just went numb.

Over time, the two of us sank into a messy routine. A few peaceful weeks would go by only to be interrupted by chaotic arguments and explosive blows. Small disagreements turned into punches through walls, barely missing my face. Oxygen was taken for granted every time I was pinned down and choked.

I found myself changing. I was losing weight at a rapid pace, and my face began to appear more sunken in and weathered. I was very slow to speak; always walking on eggshells trying to keep the peace, not sure what trigger would send him over the edge next. Each day I adjusted myself to fit my abuser’s environment with hopes of avoiding the chaos.

Every day was a bad dream.

The day Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, in the early hours of it, I caught the bus out to the polling facility. It was my first time being old enough to vote. I was so proud. I returned to the house later that evening, wearing my “I Voted” sticker on my blouse. The day was going well, and I started cooking dinner and cleaning up while I waited for my boyfriend to get home so we could watch the votes come in together. We were about to get our first Black president.

One of the cleaning products was labeled wrong. And when that green towel touched the table, bleach streaks shot up the cloth like lightening. I didn’t think much of it. The towel was old. Besides, we were the only ones who ever used it.

My boyfriend got home not too long afterward. We ate dinner and settled in for the evening. The news was providing immediate updates as polls closed around the country.

I didn’t think to mention the stained towel. After all, it could still be used and wasn’t for decoration. Plus, there were clearly bigger things to focus on. But when he went to the restroom he saw it, and all hell broke loose.

He was screaming about the towel. His eyes were blazing with rage as he yelled about how I didn’t value things and how we already didn’t have much. I didn’t understand. Everything was fine a minute ago. I tried to explain how I was cleaning up and got the products mixed up because the bottle wasn’t labeled. I said that the towel was old, and I would buy another one if necessary. I was falling over myself, saying “I’m sorry” as many times as I could. Anything to calm him down.

But that wasn’t enough, and before I knew it, my hair was caught up in his grasp. I remember begging him to stop, my fingers digging into the carpet and door frame as he drug me through the house. I was screaming at the top of my lungs for him to let me go as he proceeded to drag me down the steps, my legs banging against the banister rails, out into the November cold.

Finally on the porch, he let me go and walked back into the house, slamming and locking the door. My shoes and cell phone were in the house. My teeth chattered loudly in the darkness as I stood outside in my pajamas banging on the glass door panel.

I banged until my hand went straight through the glass. Blood ran down my wrist and forearm as lights began to flicker on in the windows of the surrounding homes. Someone had called the police, doing something I never had the strength to. It was the beginning of my way out.

As I sit here watching the final scene of What’s Love Got to Do With It all these years later, as Tina Turner bolts from that lobby and finally has the courage to run like hell, leaving Ike behind, I find so many parallels in our story. A story I once couldn’t fathom. A learned fear of our abusers kept us bound in a tragic situation. But it was our realization of our self-worth that gave us the strength to walk away.

Whether you’re a man or woman, being abused physically or verbally is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. It wounds the psyche in such a way that it maims its victims of their ability to move forward, leaving them stuck in a state of disarray and contempt.

No matter how much you love someone, the truth of the matter is that love doesn’t hurt. If violence is involved, love has nothing to do with it.

In Honor Of National Nurses Week: Celebs Who Were Nurses

May 7th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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This week is Nurses Week and to honor some of the hardest working men and women in medicine, we take a look at celebrities who started their careers in nursing and other medical professions before becoming famous.

National Nurses Week


Kim Zolciak

For five seasons she was one of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and we watched her go from a single mother of two to become a football wife with four more children. Kim Zolciak credits Nene Leakes and RHOA for changing her life because she met her future husband Kroy Biermann through the show. But before she moved down to Atlanta to begin life anew, Zolciak was actually a nurse. She studied and received her degree from the University of Connecticut.

Get Your Popcorn Ready: The 13 Best Biopics About Women

March 10th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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Over the years Hollywood has paid homage to some of the most influential, and sometimes controversial, women of our time and in honor of Women’s History month, we take a look at some of the best movies about these important figures.

Biopics About Women

The Josephine Baker Story

Dancer/singer Josephine Baker was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture film and become a world famous entertainer. Known for performing the banana dance, Baker would wear the fruit covering her bottom while remaining topless. She was also known for her contributions to the Civil Rights movement. Actress Lynn Whitfield stepped into the shoes of Baker for the 1991 HBO biopic The Josephine Baker Story. Unlike most biographical films, this one dug as deep into Baker’s personal life as her public one. Whitfield took home an Emmy and an NAACP award for her role in the film.

Did They Earn It? Celebs Who Kept Their Ex-Husband’s Last Name After Divorce

December 3rd, 2013 - By Meghan Reid
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Many women choose to keep their ex-husband’s last name after divorce for so many reasons. Some keep it for the sake of their children, some say it’s part of their personal brand, and others say they “earned it.” Whatever the reason, the choice always seems to draw speculation of ill intent, but that makes these women no nevermind. Here are 15 celebs who’ve kept it movin’ with the last name in tow.

Celebs Who Kept Their Ex-Husband's Last Name

Porsha Stewart

Porsha Stewart has decided to keep Kordell Stewart’s last name despite their pending divorce. With all that he put her through you would think she would want no ties to a man who kept her under lock and key. Porsha explained on the Wendy Williams Show why she chose to keep Stewart as her last name: “I’m going to keep Stewart. It’s not his name, it’s my name,” said Porsha. “I was Porsha Williams and I was at one point in my life before I got married. Marriage has taught me so much. I’m a whole ‘nother woman now. So, I’m going to own that last name. It belongs to me.”

“I Earned It”: Should A Woman Keep Her Married Last Name After a Divorce?

November 16th, 2013 - By Brooke Dean
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One of the first questions many of my friends and family had for me once I got married was if I was going to keep my maiden name or take on my husband’s last name. I hadn’t really given it much thought until it came time to apply for and sign my marriage license. At the time, I had to make a decision, so I decided to hyphenate. However, I have yet to officially change my name anywhere other than my marriage license.  To be honest, it probably won’t be high on my priority list until my child is born when I’ll probably want my name to be more in alignment with our family. All of this, along with things I’ve seen or read lately has me jumping the gun a bit and thinking about something else in terms of a union of two people: in the event of a divorce, should a woman keep her married last name?

But for some reason, changing last names and identities is something a lot of women look forward to once they get married. Since I married a little later in life, I was able to concentrate on my career; therefore, I’m known professionally by my maiden name. But if you’re like Tina Turner, some women have established themselves professionally through their husband’s last name, so it’s no wonder they’d want to keep it. Take, for example, Porsha Stewart of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. When Wendy Williams asked her if she’d be keeping her husband’s last name after the divorce, she proclaimed that she “earned” that name and would definitely be keeping it.  While I understand that she “sort of” became famous under the last name Stewart, I also don’t understand why a woman would want to hold on to the name of a man who, in her own words, mistreated and humiliated her. Like I said, unless I’m Tina Turner, I can’t see myself holding on to a name that I associate with pain or abuse.

Most women who hold on to their married last names after divorce don’t see anything wrong with keeping her ex’s last name – even if they divorced under contentious circumstances. My own mother, who has been divorced for the better part of almost 30 years, still goes by the last name Dean. At first she said it was because she wanted to share the same last name as her daughters. Understandable. But my mother also finds it very difficult to be in the same room as my father, so it seems strange to me that she’d want to keep his name. She also said she likes his last name better than her maiden name, she said it just “flowed” better. Okay…to each her own.

Call me crazy, but after having been Brooke Dean for 40 years, I don’t see it being that difficult to go back to if, heaven forbid, my husband and I divorced. Maybe once my son is born, I’ll see things differently, and it may also depend on how long I’ve been married. If you’ve been married for 10 or more years, I can see how his last name is tied to your identity. But if my husband disrespected me, abused me or humiliated me, I know I would hate being associated with him in any way. I even know some women who have held on to their ex-husband’s last name even after they remarried someone else. I find that to be absurd. If you’re newly divorced or now married to someone else, I would assume that you are starting over with a new identity and therefore should have a new name. Again, maybe if children are involved, that complicates things, but my child would just have to understand that I’m not divorcing him, just his father.

Now, none of this is to say that I plan on getting a divorce. Quite the opposite. But I’m sure for those who have gone through a divorce, deciding whether or not to hold on to an ex’s last name is a tough decision. Maybe that’s why I opted to hyphenate, so that I can have a little bit of me left along with embracing him. But it’s the woman’s choice and if she keeps it, that’s her right…yes?

What do you think? Is there some sort of etiquette to consider when deciding on keeping your ex-husband’s last name?

The Oprah Effect: Why Some Women Are Just Not Wife Material – And Why That’s Okay

October 2nd, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Oprah and Stedman

Photo Credit: Karen Cornell/

Recently, I have been seriously thinking about marriage. No, I’m not talking about a wishful trip down the aisle, but the actual idea of marriage.

Since the days of my adolescence, particularly the young adult years, I’ve always wondered if the idea of marriage is even for me. Years ago, during one of our impromptu sister circles in college, I told some of my dorm mates that I have no intentions of getting married. I didn’t know how serious I was about this at the time, but I also knew that as my dorm mates would continuously gush over the whens and wheres of their future husbands and weddings, engagement rings and dresses, I would be thinking about other things–like traveling. Or becoming notable in some way: maybe through writing; perhaps through business. It wasn’t that I didn’t like men (because that’s where minds tend to go whenever a woman doesn’t say something pro-relationship). Some, who knew me back then, might say that I liked men a little too much – and hard – at times. But in the greater scheme of how I envisioned my life, I saw myself as more like a Oprah Winfrey and not a June Cleaver. And quite frankly, I wasn’t quite sure if that was something that most men could get down with – at least the ones I knew.

Although I am now well into my 30s, and no closer to world media domination, the men I know haven’t changed much over the years. And as such, I still carry the same reservations about marriage. Stories like this, or this, or even this one, do not help to assure me that I won’t find myself in a situation where I feel like my spirit would be contained or compromised in some way. I also find myself feeling like I would be in a situation where my partner, unable to contain me, would feel resentment over my unchained spirit and decide to become controlling. Or abusive? Or a tomcat? It does happen – at least based on the many stories I’ve heard from friends and strangers alike, as well as my own personal experiences.

“But that’s your problem. You are looking at submission the wrong way,” a male “friend” once told me. According to him, I was too opinionated and stubborn in my thoughts. I didn’t know how to let go of the reins of control so that a man could do what a man is supposed to do: take control and lead. “Submitting yourself to a man – the right man – allows you to free yourself of the burden of having to be strong all the time. You know, so that you can be happy.”

Except I never saw my independence as a burden. Nor do I believe that squelching my opinions and curtailing my thoughts would make me happier. That sort of behavior never once worked to my favor in my past. In fact, letting other people’s opinions and desires supersede my own wishes and thinking landed me in some peculiar places I hadn’t intended to be in. No. Life, being the best teacher of all, told me that it is best to speak up. And if it doesn’t feel right, don’t force it because odds are that it ain’t right.

On the other hand, having a life partnership with a guy would be nice. So maybe my male “friend” has a point? Maybe I am missing out on lots of undiscovered happiness all because I won’t submit and let go. And maybe all the uncomfortable pain I felt during those times of submitting my spirit needed to happen, like some sort of laborious test or birthing pains, which I need to go through to get to the real happiness…? And then my spirit animal appears through the white noise of Access Hollywood, by way of the New York Post, to vicariously tell my male friend to shut the hell up:

Oprah Winfrey has revealed why she will never, ever marry her longtime partner Stedman — despite Tina Turner demanding she walk down the aisle. Oprah and Tina have been friends for years, with Oprah attending the singer’s wedding back in July. But the talk show queen says she has come to the conclusion that such a union is just not for her. When asked if she would leave earth as a “never-married” woman, Oprah made her feelings very clear. “Yes,” she told Access Hollywood. “Yeah, I think that’s my final answer.”

As to why she doesn’t see herself walking down the aisle, Oprah explains that she couldn’t be a wife because the term holds obligations she doesn’t feel capable of handling:

 “I think it’s acceptable as a relationship, but if I had the title ‘wife,’ I think there would be other expectations for what a wife is and what a wife does. First of all, you’ve got to come home sometimes.

Some many insist that folks like Winfrey and I are too selfish for marriage. Maybe they might contend that we are too insecure or paranoid to take the plunge. And then there is the good argument to be made that perhaps I, in particular, have just gotten spoiled and used to the quiet and breadth of my own space that there is just no room for anyone else. All I know is that I value my freedom and my spirit fights too damn hard against any sort of containment for me to ignore it. So, until I meet a guy who is less interested in dominating me and more interested in loving me as I am, I guess like Winfrey, I will be never married. I guess it’s true that some women just really aren’t wifey material. And quite frankly, with how limited in scope some folks wish to define the roles of a wife, I’m okay with that.

Do You Think She’ll Do It? Tina Turner’s Trying To Convince Oprah To Get Married

September 30th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Oprah is not playing these marriage pressure games. The media mogul recently sat down with Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson and she proved she hasn’t budged on her unmarried woman status. In fact, Oprah said even when her good friend Tina Turner tried to convince her to walk down the aisle with her man of 27 years, Stedman, Oprah politely let her know, no thank you.

Here’s what she told Shaun Robinson when she asked whether she will leave this earth as a never-married woman:

“Yes…That’s my final answer. I think it’s really interesting that you would ask it because I thought about it again at Tina Turner’s wedding because Tina [said], ‘Oprah, you need to do this.’ Well it took [her] until 75 to do it. Now you’re telling me I need to do it. I was just thinking, would things really be different? I don’t think so. I think my final answer is I’m gonna leave this earth as a never married woman, and that’s really okay with me. Stedman would tell you Shaun, if you ever interviewed him, he would tell you [that] had we married, we would not be together.”

When Shaun asked why that is, Oprah replied:

“Because he’s a traditional man and this is a very untraditional relationship. I think it’s acceptable as a relationship, but if I had the title ‘wife,’ hmmmm. I think there would be some other expectations of what a wife is and what a wife does. First of all you gotta come home sometimes.*laughs hysterically* I think it’s time for this interview to end.”

Let me find out Oprah is out in these streets! Lol But seriously, this isn’t the first time Oprah has stated that if she and Stedman were married they wouldn’t last, and after nearly three decades together, they must be doing something right. I wonder if she’ll ever get to the Tina Turner point, though, and decide to make it official. What do you think?

How The Popular Ike Turner Memes Are Funny–And NOT So Funny

September 23rd, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Ike Turner meme

Domestic violence is no laughing matter.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. An estimated 1.3 million women find themselves assaulted by their partners each year. Moreover, almost one-third of female homicide victims reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner. And in 70 to 80 percent of the homicides involving intimate partners, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.

So now that this is established, why do folks laugh at the Ike Turner domestic violence memes?

You might have seen them on Instagram, or on someone’s Fscebook page. It’s the black and white picture of a young Ike Turner, rocking a Sonny Bono bowl cut, with various captions that basically make a joke out of the late musician’s abusive past. For example:

My girl ain’t allowed to read horoscopes. I’m her Past, Present & Future

My girl ain’t allowed to Turn Up, unless she wants to Turn up missing

My b***h ain’t allowed to drink milk. The only strong bones she needs is mines

I trip my b***h everyday because I am the only ni**a she is allowed to fall for

I pushed my girl off the bed while she was sleep – To remind her that the man of her dreams can’t save her.

I would be lying if I said that a few of these memes never tickled my funny bone. The haircut, the vicious side-eye, and the ironic play on words all just works so perfectly–as a joke. And as much as I understand that there is nothing funny about domestic violence, I also know that it is damn near impossible to tell a nice joke these days.

I’ve been reading a science fiction book called Stranger in a Strange Land. In it, the main character, who is a martian from Mars, is trying to “grok,” or understand, humor. It is during a trip to the local zoo where he witnesses monkeys fighting each other in a cage that he first begins to understand what is at the core of why we laugh:

“I’ve found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts-because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting-of course it wasn’t funny; it was tragic. That’s why I had to laugh. I looked at a cage full of monkeys and suddenly I saw all the mean and cruel and utterly unexplainable things I’ve seen and heard and read about – and suddenly it hurt so much I found myself laughing.”

To this day I can’t think of a single joke, prank or gag, which doesn’t demean or humiliate its subject, who is usually the punchline, in some way (If you can think of one, please share it in the comment section below because I am stumped). Even the cleanest of comics (i.e., Sinbad and Bill Cosby) are guilty of light mocking of their families and self-deprecation. Therefore, in comedy, it is hard to draw limitations on what should or should not be funny. With that said though, I don’t think there are enough people, in general, who have a clear understanding of the severity of domestic violence and its impact on our culture to dismiss these memes as just jokes. Not when we still have folks championing the idea that “Rihanna had it coming,” or when we have women tweeting about how Chris Brown could certainly “beat me.

Not to mention that the only time most folks speak in reference to the domestic violence situation involving Ike and Tina Turner is when we are mocking or making light of a particular scene in What’s Love Got to Do With It? In that film, Lawrence Fishburne’s performance of Ike Turner was so over the top that it verges on parody. So at times, its hard to know if we are laughing and mocking the insecurities of Ike Turner (and other abusers like him), or if we just have issues empathizing with the pain of others. I mean, watching monkeys in a cage fight is one thing, because after all, they are monkeys. But we are human beings, and as written, more evolved than that. Right?

Joan Smalls Covers V Magazine As The Iconic Tina Turner

August 30th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: V Magazine

Source: V Magazine

From StyleBlazer 

Two words come to mind when we think of Tina Turner: fierce and fabulous! So who better to take on the larger than life essence of Ms. Turner than the equally awe-inspiring Joan Smalls, the number one supermodel in the world?

We can’t think of anyone better! The spread, shot by Tom Munro and styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, shows Joan donning a blonde cropped wig similar to Turner’s rock star cropped cut and an abundance of gold jewelry that would make Trinidad James jealous.

We’re loving the energy that is radiating through the spread and it looks like Joan was having a blast. Who wouldn’t have fun being able to channel the queen of rock n’ roll? You can catch Joan in the September issue of V Magazine which hits newsstands today!

See the rest of Joan Smals’ editorial spreed at