Joy Drop: Remembering rock 'n' roll legend Tina Turner and her Canadian connection

CBC Sports Senior Contributor Shireen Ahmed's weekly roundup of the things that struck her from the week that was.

CBC Sports' senior contributor Shireen Ahmed on the week's happier moments

Singer Tina Turner blows a kiss to fans.
Singer Tina Turner, seen above in 2012, died at the age of 83 on Wednesday. She leaves behind a tremendous legacy, as well as multiple memorable collaborations with Canada's Bryan Adams. (Ng Han Guan/The Associated Press)

Hello, friends! I am still recovering from the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. My visit to Calgary was punctuated by a day trip to Banff and Lake Louise with my husband, Mark.

The air quality in Calgary was rough because of the wildfires but the skies opened up the day we went and gave us this magnificent theater of geological greatness.

Another version of greatness is basketball star Laeticia Amihere. The first Canadian woman to dunk is an NCAA Champion who was drafted in the WNBA this year and plays for the Atlanta Dream.

I interviewed her last year for my podcast and she is a gem. This piece on her brought me a lot of happiness:

I came across this incredible story of Miss Iris Davis, a British woman who saved over six hundred cats from debris after the London Blitz in 1941.

As you know, I love cats and so I felt compelled to share this lovely furry history with you. 

On a heavier but still joyous note, I wanted to mention the loss of the rock 'n' roll legend Tina Turner. She died at the age of 83 after leaving this incredible imprint on the world, and on music.

I have always been a Tina Turner fan and not just because her life is one of resilience and celebration, but because watching her on stage encouraged me to fall in love with that genre.

Although we know that Black women have contributed greatly to rock 'n' roll, it isn't always where they have been amplified. But Tina Turner owned the stage. She collaborated with the greatest artists of all time and she just completely blew me away with any performance.

The joy she exhibited while singing and dancing and being who she was is something I am grateful to have witnessed.

As a child, I remember when I first saw the It's Only Love video of her phenomenal duet with Canada's Bryan Adams. I was mesmerized. She was so natural and their chemistry was electric. They remained close friends and continued their collaborations as the years went by.

I knew all her songs by heart (I still do). She sang with such intensity and sincerity. I followed her career my whole life and feel tremendously lucky to have been alive in an era where she was gifting us her genius.

I even recall CBC using her song Simply The Best as part of a playoffs montage in 1990 when The Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup.

My brother taped it on our VHS recorder and we watched it a few hundred times. 

She has many famous songs but this particular one transcended art and sports and is still an anthem of greatness — score notwithstanding.

Covers of her songs have also peaked at pivotal moments in Canadian television history including on the award-winning Schitts Creek in two different scenes. 

She will be so, so missed.

I hope your weekend is electric and full of connections with family and friends.


Shireen Ahmed

Senior Contributor

Shireen Ahmed is a multi-platform sports journalist, a TEDx speaker, mentor, and an award-winning sports activist who focuses on the intersections of racism and misogyny in sports. She is an industry expert on Muslim women in sports, and her academic research and contributions have been widely published. She is co-creator and co-host of the “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast team. In addition to being a seasoned investigative reporter, her commentary is featured by media outlets in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia. She holds an MA in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University where she now teaches Sports Journalism and Sports Media. You can find Shireen tweeting or drinking coffee, or tweeting about drinking coffee. She lives with her four children and her cat.

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