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The Religious Affiliation of Singer
Tina Turner

From: Julia Milton, "Famous women who happen to be Buddhist... or, famous Buddhists who happen to be women" webpage, last amended on 1 January 2001, on "Women Active in Buddhism (WAiB)" website (http://members.tripod.com/~Lhamo/13famou.htm; viewed 18 August 2005):
The extraordinary American pop singer Tina Turner (Anna Mae Bullock) [] is possibly the most famous Buddhist woman in the west. She is a long-time student of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) [http://www.sgi-usa.org/]. The story of her life, and how she derived enough strength from her meditation practice to be able to leave an abusive relationship, is told in the film What's Love Got To Do With It [http://www.mrshowbiz.com/reviews/moviereviews/movies/28538.html]. Celebsite [http://www.celebsite.com/people/tinaturner/content/bio.html] also has a short biography of the performer.
Tina Turner is one of 14 celebrity Buddhists assessed in Armstrong's article "Celebrities who are Buddhists... with an assessment of the degree Buddhism is a part of each of their careers." Tina Turner was ranked 11th highest on the list in terms of the proportion of web hits (google.com: 0.5%) and current news article hits (news.google.com: 0.3%) mentioning her which also contain either the word "Buddhism" or "Buddhist." From: Tom Armstrong, "Celebrities who are Buddhists... with an assessment of the degree Buddhism is a part of each of their careers", 8 March 2005 in Zen Unbound Emagazine (http://www.zenunbound.com/celebbuds.html; viewed 18 August 2005):
Let us then look at the Tinseltown moths that flitter around the white light of Buddhism. From a googling of websites that come up on a search of "Buddhist, celebrities," we found lists enabling us to amass the thirteen prime Buddhist celebrities on the chart at right. Some are cited as Buddhist leaders: Richard Gere is often in the company of the Dalai Lama and has a foundation in his name to aid Tibet and other most worthy causes; Tina Turner, if you believe Tricycle [a Buddhist magazine] writer Jeff Wilson, has helped to bring the dharma to the South...

Tina Turner is strangely, oddly cited as a Buddhist leader -- but, in fact, this is pretty much solely because of the film of her life, "What's Love Got to Do with It?," and, perhaps, telling something of the specifics of her practice during a segment of "60 Minutes." The core of her celebrity -- her music -- and her religious life are not closely intertwined. And news reports to the contrary, she is not a Buddhist leader, though many may have converted to Buddhism after seeing the popular film of her life, starring Angela Bassett.

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Webpage created 18 August 2005. Last modified 14 September 2005.
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