Tina Turner has taken the lead in this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame fan vote.

The legendary singer has amassed more than 503,000 votes, pushing around 24,000 ahead of late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, who's in second place. The Go-Go’s are third with 368,000, while Iron Maiden have 354,000 and Foo Fighters have 341,000. The top five out of 16 artists will become part of a single fan ballot vote among those voted by more than 1,000 industry figures.

It’s possible that Turner’s recent documentary pushed her ahead of Kuti, who’d taken an early lead when voting opened. Titled simply Tina, the HBO film explores her history of abuse as she was becoming a star. The creators said it was probably her farewell work.

“I think we definitely got the impression that the interview we did with her is probably the last thing she’s going to do,” codirector Dan Lindsay recently told NME. “Tina worked for 60 years as a performer around the world – she wants to relax and enjoy her retirement.”

He said of the film: “We started to realize that Tina has become a symbol of strength and resilience for a lot of people, but it didn’t seem like anybody had ever really talked to her about how she feels about being that. We wanted to show that her [dealing with being] a survivor is a process that goes on even into her retirement. She’s still struggling with the effects of the trauma she’s suffered in her life. That was what we latched on to.”

In 2020, Turner told Harvard Business Review that she’d spent much of her life “baffled” about the amount of abuse she had to endure. “I hadn’t done anything to deserve it," she noted. "After I began practicing Buddhism, I realized that my hardships could give me a mission – a purpose. I saw that by overcoming my obstacles, I could build indestructible happiness and inspire others to do the same. Then I could see everything that came my way, both the highs and the lows, as an opportunity for self-improvement and for sparking hope in others.”

With 15 days until the Rock Hall public poll closes, a little less than 4.2 million votes have been cast, compared with more than 8 million in 2020 and 3.5 million in 2019. Fans are eligible to vote online once a day until May 7.


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