In 1999, after deciding to leave her emotionally and psychologically draining role as HIV+ physician assistant Jeanie Boulet on ER, actress Gloria Reuben found herself yearning to reconnect with her first love: music. That’s when she met Tina Turner. Following a show-stopping performance by the iconic singer, Reuben found herself overjoyed as she was escorted to Turner’s dressing room for a meet-and-greet.
As she walked through the door, Reuben heard Turner’s infectious laughter before she saw her. Pure energy and joy exuded from Turner, leaving Reuben elated for the encounter. It was in that meeting where Turner posed a question that would change the trajectory of Reuben’s life forever: “You’re so pretty! Can you sing and dance?” Without hesitation, Reuben said “Yes, I can!” and just like that, she became Turner’s backup singer for the North American and Canadian leg of her 24/7 world tour in 2000.
Reflecting on their first five minutes together, Reuben wonders if Turner saw something in her that reminded her of herself. Both women had overcome personal struggles and found solace in music, using it as a conduit for emotional expression and healing. For Turner, music was a savior that grew her soul stronger and more confident.
Throughout her years honing her craft, Turner became known for her unwavering strength, fortitude, and unbridled talent. Her incredible spirit, support, and belief in Reuben opened a door for her soul to find its way again.
Reuben will always be deeply grateful for the time she spent in Turner’s presence, singing onstage with her. It was a transformative experience that helped her rediscover her love for music and led her down a new path in life. Through Turner’s generosity and support, Reuben was able to overcome past trauma and find a new sense of purpose.
In the end, Tina Turner’s legacy is not only in the music she created, but also in the countless lives she touched through her generosity, strength, and unwavering spirit. Her impact will be felt for generations to come as a shining example of what it means to overcome adversity and stay true to oneself.