Evelyn Juanita Currie, a lesser-known yet significant figure in the life of legendary singer Tina Turner, was born on April 13, 1934, in Tennessee. She was the daughter of Percy Lovelace and Zelma Currie, making her the older half-sister of Tina Turner. Although they had different fathers, Evelyn and Tina shared a strong bond and were both raised in Haywood County, Tennessee.
Growing up, Evelyn faced numerous challenges, including their mother’s abandonment and a relatively difficult upbringing. Eventually, she went to live with their grandmother Georgeanna Currie in Brownsville, Tennessee. Tragically, Evelyn passed away in 1954, far too young, due to complications stemming from an automobile accident that also claimed the life of her cousin, Margaret Currie.
The story of Evelyn Juanita Currie serves as an essential backdrop to understanding the life of Tina Turner and the relationships that helped form her indomitable spirit in the face of adversity. Although not as widely recognized as her famous sister, Evelyn’s experiences and connections provide invaluable context and nuance to the narratives that surround her influential family.
Birth and Family
Evelyn Juanita Currie was born on April 13, 1934, in Haywood County, Tennessee, United States. She was the daughter of Zelma Priscilla and Percy Lovelace. Evelyn was best known for being the eldest sister of the iconic singer, Tina Turner. She also had a half-sibling, Ruby Alline Bullock, born to Zelma and Floyd Richard Bullock.
Childhood in Nutbush
Growing up in Nutbush, Tennessee, Evelyn Juanita Currie belonged to a family with deep roots in the Southern musical traditions. She and her sisters were exposed to the rich cultural experiences and challenges faced by Black families living in the South during the time. Despite their modest upbringing in the rural farmlands of Haywood County, these formative years would ultimately shape the destinies of the sisters, especially Tina Turner, who would go on to become a world-renowned artist.
As the eldest sibling, Evelyn played a significant role in her sisters’ lives, offering protection, support, and guidance during their upbringing. Tragically, at the age of 19, she was involved in a fatal car accident that claimed her life, as well as that of her cousin, Margaret Currie, on January 31, 1954. Her untimely passing left a deep impact on Tina Turner and the rest of the family, who had to find ways to cope with the loss and move forward.
Move to St. Louis and Music Career
Evelyn Juanita Currie was born in 1934 in Nutbush, Tennessee to a loving family. She was the daughter of Zelma Priscilla Currie and her biological father, Percy Lovelace, making her Tina Turner’s half-sibling. At a young age, she began to discover her talent as a singer and songwriter. Similar to her half-sisters, Anna Mae Bullock, who would later be known as Tina Turner, Evelyn had a passion for music.
In pursuit of her music career, Evelyn moved to St. Louis, where she started performing in local clubs. Although she never achieved the same level of fame as her sister, she had a unique voice and style. She began recording songs and performing with different music groups in town.
During these years, Evelyn crossed paths with Ike Turner, a talented musician, and bandleader who later formed The Kings of Rhythm and The Ikettes. He helped many artists, including Evelyn and her sister, Anna Mae Bullock, launch their careers. In 1960, Tina Turner’s debut single, “A Fool in Love,” was released, featuring both sisters as background singers, credited as “The Ikettes.”
Marriage and Personal Relationships
Evelyn married a man from Brownsville and together they started their family. Throughout her adult life, Evelyn’s relationships and personal experiences greatly influenced her artistry. Her songs often dealt with themes of love, heartache, and personal growth, which resonated with many of her fans.
Tragically, on April 13, 1954, Evelyn Juanita Currie’s life was cut short at the age of 20 in an automobile accident that also took the life of her cousin, Margaret Currie. Her passing had a profound effect on her family, especially her half-sister, Tina Turner, who saw her as a strong influence and confidante. Despite the devastating loss, Evelyn’s memory lives on through her music and the impact she made on her loved ones.
Evelyn was laid to rest in Valley Village, California, and her memorial can be found on the Find a Grave website, where fans and family members can pay their respects and view photos from her life.
Throughout her career, Evelyn Juanita Currie strived to make a mark in the music industry. Her incredible voice, unique style, and passion for her craft continue to serve as an inspiration for many musicians today.
Evelyn Juanita Currie
Life and Career of Evelyn Juanita Currie
Evelyn Juanita Currie was born on April 13, 1934, in Haywood County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Percy Lovelace and Zelma Priscilla Currie. Despite a lack of information about her educational background, Evelyn is best known for being the older half-sister of famous singer Tina Turner, whose real name is Anna Mae Bullock.
Evelyn had another half-sibling, Ruby Alline Bullock, from her mother’s previous marriage. Unfortunately, Evelyn’s life was cut short at the young age of 19. On January 31, 1954, she passed away from complications related to an automobile accident. This tragic incident also claimed the life of her cousin, Margaret Currie.
Relationship with Tina Turner
Although Evelyn Juanita Currie and Tina Turner had different fathers, they shared a special bond as sisters. Growing up in Haywood County, Tennessee, they faced challenging times together, especially after their mother, Zelma Priscilla Currie, abandoned the family.
Tina Turner’s rise to fame started when she began her career as a singer with her then-husband, Ike Turner Jr. Over time, Tina achieved immense success, earning multiple Grammy Awards and recognition for her powerful performances. Evelyn’s relationship with Tina significantly influenced the legendary singer’s music and personal life.
Throughout the years, Tina has spoken about her close bond with her sisters, including acknowledging them in her documentary and biography. Tina’s devotion to her family has been a driving force in her successful career, and she continues to fondly remember Evelyn Juanita Currie as an important part of her life.
Later Years and Legacy
Evelyn Juanita Currie, born in 1934, was the half-sister of the renowned singer Tina Turner, aka Anna Mae Bullock, and sister of Alline Bullock. She was the daughter of Zelma Priscilla Currie and Percy Lovelace. Sadly, Evelyn’s life was cut short when she passed away on January 31, 1954, at the age of 19, in a tragic automobile accident. The accident also claimed the lives of her cousins, Margaret Currie and Vela Evans.
Evelyn was laid to rest in the Woodlawn M.B. Church Cemetery in Haywood. Her passing had an immense impact on her family, particularly her sister, Tina Turner. Turner pursued her music career with determination, building a name for herself within the music industry. Later, she would achieve great success, winning multiple Grammy Awards and becoming an icon in the world of rock and soul music.
Evelyn’s other sister, Alline Bullock, ventured into the music industry as well. She was a member of the singing group, The Ikettes, alongside her half-sister, Jacquline Bullock. Alline later formed the trio, The Mirettes, together with Jessie Smith and Robbie Montgomery. While The Mirettes didn’t achieve the same level of fame as Turner, they released a number of singles and albums, with “Happy But Lonely” as one of their memorable tracks.
Evelyn Juanita Currie’s legacy can be seen in the impact she left on her family. Her untimely death served as a catalyst for her sisters, Tina Turner and Alline Bullock, who pursued careers in the music industry and brought their passion and talent to the world.
Despite the tragic circumstances, Evelyn Juanita Currie’s name and memory are still preserved through her surviving family members, dedicated biographies, and memorial sites like Find A Grave. This allows those who wish to learn more about her life and connection to her famous sisters to pay their respects and appreciate the influence she had on their lives.