Tina Turner’s Journey into Faith

Tina TurnerThe night before a show in New Zealand in November of 1993, Tina Turner had a rollicking party with her band and dancers. The men in the band dressed in drag and serenaded Tina, lip-syncing to her own songs; everyone drank and ate into the wee hours of the morning. You can imagine what happened the next day: she woke up in no shape to perform. To top it off, there was a severe rainstorm, and the show was outdoors. “There was no question of my cancelling that show,” she writes. “My fans had paid to see me perform, made sacrifices to get tickets, traveled to the venue, and were willing to stand in the rain without shelter.” Instead, Turner, a practitioner of Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism, began chanting the signature mantra of Nichiren Buddhism—Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (known as the daimoku)—in order to “turn poison into medicine.”
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