The solo music catalog of legendary pop, rock and soul performer Tina Turner still brings in $3.7 million a year in synchs, sales and streaming activity, according to Billboard estimates.

Turner, who died Wednesday at age 83, had not recorded an original new album this century, and had essentially retired from the music world by 2009. However, her catalog continues to bring in millions in revenue, the majority of which is distributed by Warner Music Group.

Most of that $3.7 million annually comes from streams outside of the U.S., which Billboard estimates amounts to around $2 million, with about another $920,000 coming from domestic streams. Her catalog also brings in around $700,000 annually from synchs, Billboard estimates. (All royalties from these grosses go to BMG, who purchased the rights to Turner’s music interests in 2021.)

Turner’s entire recording catalog, which has reportedly sold over 100 million records to date, dates back to the early 1960s, when she and husband Ike Turner performed as a duo act, scoring rock and R&B hits like “A Fool in Love,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” and “Poor Fool.” An early-’70s reinvention saw them hit the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 with a cover of Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” by which point Tina had come to be viewed as one of the great performers and fashion icons of her musical era.

A dissolution to Ike and Tina’s romantic and artist partnership came in 1976, as Tina escaped from her abusive husband and launched a solo career. Her comeback came with 1984’s five-times platinum Private Dancer album, which scored three Hot 100 top 10 hits (including her lone chart-topper, “What’s Love Got to Do With It”) and made her an unlikely fixture of MTV’s early years. Further success followed for the next decade including another platinum-selling album in 1986’s Break Every Rule and a pair of No. 2 Hot 100 hits (“We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” in 1985 and “Typical Male” in 1986). In 1993, she landed her final top 10 hit with the No. 8-peaking “I Don’t Wanna Fight” — from the soundtrack to her own Angela Basset-starring, Oscar-nominated hit biopic, What’s Love Got to Do With It.

Though Turner’s chart success was limited from there, and she officially retired from performing in 2009, she remained a regular presence in pop culture through the 21st century — with her legacy secured by a pair of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions (along with Ike in 1991 and as a solo artist in 2021), a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 2018, and the biographical jukebox musical Tina later that year. In 2020, she also appeared on a global hit via dance producer Kygo’s remix of “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

In 2021, BMG announced that it was becoming “a partner in all of Tina Turner’s music interests,” acquiring the artist’s share of her recordings, as well as her writer’s share of publishing and her neighboring rights. The company called the acquisition the largest in its history, with CEO Hartwig Masuch saying, “We are honored to take on the job of managing Tina Turner’s musical and commercial interests. It is a responsibility we take seriously and will pursue diligently. She is truly and simply, the best.”

Andrew Unterberger
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