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By Georgia Slater
November 26, 2020 05:00 AM

When it comes to musical icons, Tina Turner is simply the best!

The famed singer has had a life full of accomplishments — becoming a star in her 20s, a chart-topper in her 40s, touring the world in her 60s and becoming the subject of a musical in her 70s.

This week, SeeHer Story celebrates Tina — on her 81st birthday! — for her dedication to seven decades in show business.

Katie Couric Media and PEOPLE partnered to create the second season of SeeHer Story, a weekly digital video series produced to celebrate various female trailblazers from the past 100 years to today.

Tina was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee into a family of sharecroppers.

She and her sister were raised by her grandmother in St. Louis after her parents divorced when she was young.

Ike And Tina Turner
Credit: David Redfern/Redferns

Despite her difficult upbringing, Tina always had a love  — and talent — for singing.

As a teenager, Tina got involved in the St. Louis R&B scene where she met a young singer named Ike Turner, who was already on the track to stardom.

Soon after Tina convinced Ike to let her sing with his band, the Kings of Rhythm, Ike asked Tina to join his act.

He later asked her to marry him and suggested she change her name from Anna Mae Bullock to Tina Turner.

The couple became a huge success together, releasing hits like "Proud Mary" and "Get Back."

Tina Turner On 'The Ed Sullivan Show'
Credit: Getty
Tina Turner Performs At Wembley Arena In 1985
Credit: Getty

But behind closed doors, Ike and Tina's marriage was far from perfect.

Ike was physically abusive and Tina once said he broke her jaw. He also controlled their finances and trademarked Tina's name, so she had no access to her own income.

Tina eventually found the courage to leave him but struggled to break out as a solo artist.

To her luck, music manager Roger Davies saw her perform at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and knew he had to take her on as a client.

He helped to sign her with Capitol Records, where she released her legendary solo album Private Dancer. The single "What's Love Got to Do with It" won record of the year in 1985.

"I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. And I feel really good," she said in her acceptance speech.

At age 44, Tina became one of the oldest women to ever top the Billboard charts, paving the way for chart-topping women in their 40s including Cher, Sia and Mariah Carey.

Daniel J. Watts, Tina Turner, Adrienne Warren. Singer Tina Turner, center, takes a bow during the curtain call with actors Daniel J. Watts, left, and Adrienne Warren on the opening night of "Tina The Tina Turner Musical"
Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

In April 2018, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, a show written about Tina's life, made its Broadway debut and has since earned 12 Tony nominations.

Now, at 81, the legendary artist is ready to slow down. She lives in Switzerland with husband Erwin Bach and has said "It's a pleasure to retire."

SeeHer Story will be a regular feature in PEOPLE’s print edition and the weekday morning newsletter Wake-Up Call with Katie Couric.

"SeeHer Story celebrates the important contributions of bold women from the past 100 years who have changed our country forever,” said Couric in a statement. “We hope recognizing them and telling their stories will not only give them their due but will also inspire the next generation of leaders.”

She added, “Together with Meredith and PEOPLE, I’m so excited to bring back a second season of stories of women whose names you may know — and put those whose achievements are not as well-known — front and center so we can celebrate them as well.”