Tina Turner Fans Put 16 Singles on ITunes Top 100 But the Money Goes to the Songwriters, Not Her Estate
Tina Turner is getting a big send off from fans. They’ve put 16 of her singles on the iTunes Top 100 since her death. Also, eight of her albums are in the iTunes Top 100.
But Tina will not get much money from the singles sales or the radio play coming along with this resurgence. That’s because she didn’t write any of her songs.
Tina was interpreter of songs, like Celine Dion or Barbra Streisand. She was a spectacular performer, and made her real money from concerts. The money she made from record sales really came when the songs were first hits. But when sales slide away, the money in perpetuity comes from song publishing.
Tina’s enormous hits like “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “Simply the Best” had their own authors. “Proud Mary” belongs to John Fogerty. “I Can’t Stand the Rain” is a classic written by Ann Peebles and her husband Don Bryant. Willie Mitchell and Al Green wrote “Let’s Stay Together.” And so on.
Because the National Association of Broadcasters lobby is blocking Congress from passing a performance royalty, radio stations don’t pay the singers or musicians. So singers like Tina, Linda Ronstadt, most of Motown and Stax, Gladys Knight, and so on have to keep touring to make money. This is why Diana Ross, for example, can’t just stay home eating bon bons as she approaches 80.
So by all means, give Tina her due. But she deserves far more.