Top Musicians of The 1970/80s in Tina Turner’s League

Source Th Ghana Report

The world was hit with the news of the passing of the iconic musical figure Tina Turner on May 24, 2023.

Her death has sent a shockwave around the world, especially for music lovers who have been inspired by her story of resilience and strength.

Born Anna Mae Bullock and nicknamed the Queen of  “Rock ‘N’ Roll” Tina was ranked by Rolling Stone among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

After leaving an abusive marriage to her band member and manager, Ike Turner, Tina launched a record-breaking solo career in 1980 with hits like What’s Love Got to Do with It, Private Dancer, and The Best.

Before these she churned out It’s Gonna Work Out Fine, River Deep – Mountain High, Proud Mary, and A Fool in Love as the lead singer for the Ike and Turner Revue.

During her Break Every Rule World Tour in 1988, she set a then-Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience (180,000) for a solo performer.

In memory of the woman whom many have described as powerful, unstoppable, and a real-life survivor, The Ghana Report brings to you some great pop, soul, and reggae musicians from the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Lionel Richie

Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and television personality.

The former Commodores frontman went solo in the 80s and rapidly became one of the decade’s foremost soul balladeers.

Lionel Richie scored dozens of US Top 10 hits and was a mainstay of MTV for several years, thanks to singles such as the Diana Ross duet Endless Love and the classic Dancing On The Ceiling.

All Night Long and Hello are songs that more than earned Richie his place in the world as one of the best.

Lionel Richie sold a whopping 90 million records worldwide in the 80s, making him one of the best-selling soul artists of all time.

At 73, Richie is quite still energetic as he recently rocked the state at a concert at Windsor during the coronation of King Charles in 2023.

  • Diana Ross

Diana Ross is a singer and actress who rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group The Supremes.

They became Motown’s most successful act during the 1960s and one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time and remain the best-charting female group in history with songs like Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love, Come See About Me.

Ross embarked on a successful solo career in music, film, television, and on stage.

She churned out hits like Endless Love, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Why Do Fools Fall in Love.

Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard in 1976.

Since her solo career began in 1970, Ross has released 25 studio albums, numerous singles, and compilations that have sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

  • Michael Jackson

Nicknamed ‘The King of Pop’, Michael Joseph Jackson is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century.

Michael Jackson dominated the 80s with his charisma and flair as a superb songwriter, musician, dancer, and performer.  

Jackson got his start in the 1960s as member of the famed Jackson group.

He achieved even more popularity after splitting from his siblings and going solo, providing the 1980s with some of its most memorable tunes.

Bad, Thriller, Beat It, and Billie Jean was among Jackson’s biggest singles, winning him several honors and breaking industry records.

His music was sometimes accompanied by lavish music videos or short films, which added to the huge attraction of his voice and dance movements.

Jackson popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, which is still known worldwide.

He died in June 2009 but his music and fashion still serve as inspiration for many upcoming artists across many genres.

  • Elton John

British composer, pianist, and singer Sir Elton John, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight sometimes called Rocket Man for his single of the same name, enjoyed a rewarding decade in the 1970S and 1980s.

John released his debut album Empty Sky in 1969, and a year later formed the Elton John Band and released his first hit single, “Your Song”.

John’s critical success was at its peak in the 1970s when he released a streak of chart-topping albums in the US and UK, which began with Honky Château (1972) and culminated with Rock of the Westies (1975).

John continued his success in the 1980s and 1990s, having several hit singles and albums in both decades, and has continued to record new music since then.

He has sold over 300 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He is the most successful solo artist in the history of the US Billboard charts.

In 2018, John began his ongoing farewell tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road, which is scheduled to conclude in 2023.

  • Stevie Wonder

Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.

As a child prodigy, Stevie was a skilled musician at eight years and made his recording debut at age 12 and has not looked back since then.

In 1970, Stevie Wonder turned 20 years old. Having been a professional recording artist signed to Motown in 1961, Stevie was already a veteran of the industry.

During the 1970s, Stevie released a total of eight studio albums with five tracks reaching number 1 and many others making it into the US Top 40.

Number 1 singles during the 1970s include Superstition, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, You Haven’t Done Nothin, I Wish, and Sir Duke.

Between 1970 and 1979, Stevie Wonder took home a total of 12 Grammy Awards, more than half of the 22 he received throughout the course of his career. The superstar lost his sight as a newborn from retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye disorder caused by abnormal blood vessels throughout the retina. Receiving too much oxygen in the incubator likely worsened the condition of the tiny baby, leaving him blind.

  • Bob Marley

Robert Nesta Marley, famously known as Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer/songwriter and widely recognized as a Reggae pioneer.

In 1963, Bob Marley formed the group Bob Marley and the Wailers with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

Between 1970-1979 Bob Marley and the Wailers released 10 studio albums with “Rastaman Vibration” reaching number 8 in the Billboard 200.

In 1994, Bob Marley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2001 was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, all post-humous.

Bob Marley and the Wailers were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001 for “No Woman, No Cry.”

He died in 1981, just a few years after being diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma, but his music is still popular worldwide.

  • Peter Tosh

Winston Hubert McIntosh, professionally known as Peter Tosh, was a Jamaican reggae musician and is considered one of the genre’s most iconic figures.

Tosh was a founding member of the Bob Marley and the Wailers which included Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. He wrote many of the Wailers’ hit songs such as Get Up, Stand Up, 400 Years, and No Sympathy.

He was a gifted multi-instrumentalist who played guitar melodica, recorder, and piano.

As a solo artist, he released hits such as ”Zion Land and Legalize It” which earned him worldwide recognition.

Tosh was killed at the age of 42 in 1987 by a four-man gang that attempted to rob him in his home in Jamaica.

  • Whitney Houston

Nicknamed ‘The Voice’, Whitney Elizabeth Houston is one of the best-selling singers of all time, with famous songs like “Saving All My Love for You,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” and “How Will I Know.”

Her vocal acrobatics and impressive range enriched her radio appeal and informed the style of many other artists in the R&B and pop genres.

She was awarded various accolades for her career highlights over the years, which only multiplied when she entered the movie industry.

Her accolades include six Grammy Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, two Emmy Awards, and 28 Guinness World Records. Houston’s inductions include the Grammy Hall of Fame (twice), the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

In 2023, Rolling Stone named her the second-greatest singer of all time.

Whitney died in February 2012 when she was 48 years.

  • Marvin Gaye

Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. who spelled his surname as Gaye was an American RnB and soul singer/songwriter from Washington DC. By 1970, at the age of 31, Gaye already had 9 years of experience in the music industry.

Between 1970 and 1979, Marvin Gaye released a total of six studio albums including the famous Let’s Get It On which made it to number 2 on the US Billboard 200 album charts.

Marvin Gaye was nominated for six Grammy awards during the 1970s but unfortunately didn’t manage a win. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Sexual Healing, released in 1982 on the album Midnight Love, won him his first two Grammy Awards.

He died in 1984 on the eve of his 45th birthday, when was shot by his father, Marvin Gay Sr. in their home after an argument.

  • Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, also known as “The Queen of Soul” was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist from Detroit, Michigan.

Aretha Franklin is the most charted female in history. Franklin released 10 studio albums between 1970 and 1979, all of which made it into the US Billboard 200.

She had ten R&B Billboard Chart-topper singles with hits like “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do).”

Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She was nominated for a Grammy Award 44 times and won 18 times and was awarded a Grammy Legend Award in 1991 and then the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.

Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76.

  • Kenny Rogers

Kenneth Ray Rogers was an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Rogers was particularly popular with country audiences but also charted more than 120 hit singles across various genres.

Rogers was best known for hits like The Gambler, Lucille, Lady and She Believes in Me. He died on 20th March 2020, in Sandy Springs, Georgia United States.

  • Jimmy Cliff

James Chambers known professionally as Jimmy Cliff, is a Jamaican ska, rocksteady, reggae, and soul musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and actor.

He is the only living reggae musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences.

Cliff is best known among mainstream audiences for songs such as Many Rivers to Cross, You Can Get It If You Really Want, The Harder They Come, Reggae Night, and Hakuna Matata, and his covers of Cat Stevens’s Wild World and Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now from the film Cool Runnings.

He starred in the film The Harder They Come, which helped popularize reggae around the world, and Club Paradise.

Cliff was one of five performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

  • Boney M

Boney M. was a German-Caribbean vocal group that specialized in disco and funk created by German record producer Frank Farian, who was the group’s primary songwriter.

The four original members of the group were Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett from Jamaica, Maizie Williams from Montserrat, and Bobby Farrell from Aruba. The man in the group had in December of 2010, complained of chest pain and shortness of breath after a concert in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was found in his hotel room the next morning, dead from a heart attack at age 61.

The band sold more than 100 million records worldwide and was known for international hits including Daddy Cool, Ma Baker, Belfast, Sunny, Rasputin, Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord, and Rivers of Babylon

  • Jim Reeves

James Travis Reeves was an American country and popular music singer and songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well-known as a practitioner of the Nashville Sound.

Some of his popular songs are Take My Hand, Precious Lord, This World is Not My Home and This is It.

Known as “Gentleman Jim”, his songs continued to chart for years even after his death in a plane crash in 1964.

He was a member of both the Country Music and Texas Country Music Halls of Fame.

  • Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley, aka ‘King of Rock and Roll,’ was an American singer, musician, and actor.

He is the pioneer of rockabilly, a mix between country music and rhythm and blues.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Presley has 117 gold, 67 platinum, and 27 multi-platinum albums, and is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music.

During the 70s, The King released 24 studio singles and 5 live singles.

His most successful of the 70s was the 1972 single Burning Love, which reached number 2 on the US Top 40.

Elvis Presley won 3 post-humous Grammy Awards, one of them being a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1972. In 1986, Elvis Presley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1987, he won the American Music Award of Merit.

Elvis Presley had died at home in 1977 at the age of 42.

  • James Brown

James Joseph Brown was an American musician often described as the originator of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music.

He is referred to by various nicknames such as “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business”, “Godfather of Soul”, “Mr. Dynamite”, and “Soul Brother No. 1”.

In a career that lasted more than 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres. Brown was one of the first 10 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction in New York on January 23, 1986.

Some of his very notable songs are Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good) and It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.

  • Celine Dion

After over 35 years as a performing and recording artist, Celine Dion has become a legend of popular music and one of the most powerful and moving voices in music.

Céline Marie Claudette Dion is a Canadian singer whose music has incorporated genres such as pop, rock, RnB, gospel, and classical music.

She has sealed her place in the world of music with hits such as The Power of Love, Think Twice, Because You Loved Me, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, and My Heart Will Go On.

Her global hit, My Heart Will Go On, which is the soundtrack of the famous Titanic movie topped the charts in 25 countries.

It is the second-best-selling physical single by a woman in music history and one of the best-selling physical singles of all time.

Billboard named her the “Queen of Adult Contemporary” for having the most number-one adult contemporary songs for a female artist.

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