After multiple renditions of Tina Turner’s life story, HBO finally took it to its hand to release a documentary called Tina in March 2021. Over the 2 hr film, Tina walks away from her abusive relationship, reinvents herself, and becomes one of the greatest musicians in rock and roll history. But there was “an invisible pillar to Tina’s career,” who many of us don’t know about. Her name is Rhonda Graam.
Keep reading this Rhonda Graam wiki to learn everything about Tina Turner’s friend/assistant.
Rhonda Graam Tina Turner, Documentary
Rhonda Graam was a huge Tina Turner fan back in the ’60s when Tina and her husband Ike Turner were still performing together. She was then eventually hired by Tina in November 1964 after the musician and Ike got divorced. Over the documentary, Rhonda’s contribution to Tina’s success is highlighted.
After years of working together, Rhonda and Tina grew to have a strong relationship and even became friends outside of work. They were so close that Tina asked Rhonda to become her maid of honor when she married Erwin Bach in 2013.
In an interview, Rhonda talked about her bond with Tina,
“It was more like family to me. I mean, her mother used to call me her other daughter. We were that close and still is.”
Furthermore, their friendship was even immortalized and brought to the stage in TINA, The Musical.
Overall, Rhonda was always there, a backbone of Tina whenever she was working. She was a devoted assistant and a faithful confidant who saw and knew everything. Without Rhonda, Tina might not have become the star she is today.
Rhonda Graam Cause Of Death
Tina lost her long-time friend and personal assistant, Rhonda Graam on January 15, 2021. She shared the sad news via Twitter,
“I am heartbroken. Rhonda was my dear friend and confidant. She believed in me before anyone else did and I will sorely miss her kind heart, humor, and wise counsel. I will forever cherish her friendship. Rest in Peace.”
Rhonda Graam’s Cause of death wasn’t revealed even months after she passed away.
How Old Was She At The Time Of Her Death?
Rhonda Graam was 77 years old when she left this world. Her friend, Tina Turner was 81 years of age then.
How Tall Was She?
Rhonda Graam stood tall at a height of above 5 feet and 6 inches (167 cm) and weighed under 55 kg (121 lbs). She was a little over 2 inches taller than Tina.
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Rhonda Graam Hometown, Education, Family
Rhonda Graam hails from Indiana, Indianapolis. However, she didn’t spend much time in her hometown as her family moved to Reseda, LA, California.
For education, she then joined Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens, CA, and graduated in 1962. Later, she attended LA Pierce Jr. College in Woodland Hills, CA, to study interior design.
But, a twist of fate, rather than pursuing what Rhonda learned for years in college, she went on to be hired by Tina Turner as a tour manager, personal assistant, and overall, a helping hand.
Was She On Social Media?
Yes, Rhonda Graam was present over Facebook @rhonda.graam.5, although she never really used it. Her account had eight friends before 2021.
Not a fan of social media, Rhonda never used Instagram or Twitter.
Rhonda Graam Net Worth
Rhonda Graam’s net worth was above $1 million at the time of her death (in 2021). Likewise, Tina Turner flaunted a net worth of $ 50 million then.
First hired as an assistant, Rhonda even worked as Tina’s road manager from 1976 to 1983. Once, Tina slowed down, Rhonda was then officially named her personal assistant. Helping grow the part of the Chitlin Circuit, Rhonda was one of the first white women, who worked in the then man’s world, as a road manager, for a black group.
According to Rhonda, she was the “jack of all trades” for the group — “booked the shows, did all the travel arrangements, clocked the door, and did whatever had to be done.”
Apart from just doing “everything”, Rhonda also helped Tina write music. The songs, Doo Wah Ditty (Got To Get Ta), and B-side to the Up In Heah vinyl released in 1972, were credited to Rhonda’s help.
As for her salary, Rhonda was paid one the higher ends of an average personal assistant, i.e. around $26 an hour.
Rhonda Graam Husband, Kids
Rhonda Graam never had a husband or kids. She shared,
“It’s a sad thing! when you’re on the road that much, you don’t have time for a long-lasting relationship.”
Although she sacrificed her love life “a little bit”, Rhonda didn’t regret it. She enjoyed traveling and doing what she was doing.
Also, Rhonda mentioned that she shared Tina’s kid “in a sense”. She added,
“Well, it was even more like rent a kid for me! When it got time — it’s okay you can go home now.”
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Last modified: March 29, 2021