Evelyn Juanita Currie was the eldest sister of Tina Turner, the legendary singer and songwriter who is known as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
But unlike her famous sibling, Evelyn Juanita Currie lived a short and tragic life that was largely unknown to the public. Who was she and what happened to her?
In this blog post, we will explore the story of Evelyn Juanita Currie and how she influenced Tina Turner’s career and personal life.
The Early Life of Evelyn Juanita Currie
Evelyn Juanita Currie was born on April 13, 1934, in Tennessee, USA. She was the daughter of Zelma Priscilla and Percy Lovelace, who had an affair while Zelma was married to Floyd Richard Bullock. Zelma and Floyd had two daughters, Ruby Alline and Anna Mae, who later changed her name to Tina Turner. Evelyn Juanita Currie was Tina’s half-sister, but they did not grow up together.
Evelyn Juanita Currie did not have a close relationship with her father, who was abusive and alcoholic. She also did not have much contact with her mother, who abandoned her children and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to work as a nurse. Evelyn Juanita Currie was raised by her grandmother, Georgianna, who was a devout Baptist and a strict disciplinarian. Evelyn Juanita Currie was a shy and quiet girl who loved to read and write.
The Death of Evelyn Juanita Currie
Evelyn Juanita Currie died in a car accident on January 31, 1954, when she was only 19 years old. She was driving with her boyfriend, James Earl Jones, who was also killed in the crash. The details of the accident are not clear, but it is believed that they were hit by a drunk driver who ran a red light. Evelyn Juanita Currie and James Earl Jones were buried in Woodlawn M.B.
Evelyn Juanita Currie’s death was a devastating blow to Tina Turner, who was very close to her sister. Tina Turner considered Evelyn Juanita Currie as the one person who truly understood her and supported her dreams of becoming a singer. Tina Turner was 14 years old when she lost her sister and she never recovered from the grief.
The Legacy of Evelyn Juanita Currie
Evelyn Juanita Currie may not have been a famous or successful person, but she had a lasting impact on Tina Turner’s life and career. Evelyn Juanita Currie was the one who introduced Tina Turner to music and encouraged her to sing. She also gave Tina Turner her first record, a gospel album by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who became Tina Turner’s idol and inspiration. Evelyn Juanita Currie also taught Tina Turner how to write and express herself.
Evelyn Juanita Currie also inspired Tina Turner to overcome the challenges and hardships that she faced in her life. Tina Turner endured domestic violence, divorce, bankruptcy, illness, and betrayal, but she never gave up on her passion and talent. She became one of the most successful and influential artists of all time, selling over 100 million records and winning 12 Grammy Awards.
Evelyn Juanita Currie may have died young, but she lives on in Tina Turner’s memory and music. Tina Turner often dedicated songs and performances to her sister and visited her grave whenever she could. She also wrote a poem for Evelyn Juanita Currie, which she published in her autobiography, I, Tina. The poem reads:
My sister, my friend, the one I love so dearly
The one who shared my hopes, my dreams, my fears
The one who gave me strength, who gave me courage
Who taught me how to live, how to be free
You left me too soon, you left me alone
But you left me a gift, a gift of song
And with this gift, I sing for you, I sing for me
I sing for all the world to hear and see
That you are still with me, you are still here
You are my sister, my friend, the one I love so dearly