In 1984, Tina Turner launched one of the greatest comebacks in music history. The leggy diva strutted her way back onto the charts after weathering a tumultuous split from her former musical partner and abusive husband, Ike Turner (who died in 2007).
The duo, which notched 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits from 1960 to 1975, divorced in 1978. Though Turner released four solo albums between 1974 and 1979, it was 1984’s Private Dancer that brought her back, and in a big way. By July 1985, the album, by the then-45-year-old Turner, had spawned five consecutive top 40 hits on the Hot 100, including the No. 1 “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” after an almost 10-year absence from the chart. Her hot streak that year encompassed three Grammy Awards (including record of the year) and co-starring in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, in which she played the ruthless ruler Aunty Entity opposite Mel Gibson’s title character.
Turner recorded two new songs from the film’s soundtrack, including “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome).” Written and produced by the same team behind “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” the single was released June 19 on Capitol Records, and debuted on the Hot 100 dated July 6. It peaked at No. 2 on Sept. 14 and earned Golden Globe and Grammy nominations, for, respectively, best original song and best female pop vocal performance.
Thirty years later, a new Mad Max film, Mad Max: Fury Road, is playing in theaters. On June 30, the now-retired Turner released a 30th-anniversary edition of Private Dancer that includes “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” as a bonus track.
A version of this story appeared in the Billboard magazine dated June 27.