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Monday, July 15, 2024

Rhonda Graam – Tina Turner’s Professional Assistant [Updated]

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Rhonda Graam was the assistant of Tina Turner. Yes, the very same Tina Turner who is widely known as ‘Queen of Rock n Roll’ in music industry.

People would have dismissed Rhonda Graam as just another assistant to Tina Turner, where the latter could have easily replaced the former at a whim. Except that, Tina did no such thing. This could only mean one thing; Rhonda must have been one of the best associate a star can get.

It was more than that though. Streaming service HBO Max recently released a documentary on the life of Tina Turner. It covered everything about the sensational singer’s profile, including her singing career and personal relationships with other people. It was after watching the documentary, did people came to know about Rhonda Graam.

This article aims to tell everything about her.

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Rhonda Graam Bio

Rhonda Graam roots belong from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her time spent there was limited before her family relocated to Reseda, Los Angles, California.

Not much is known about Rhonda’s family or her personal details such as birthdate. However, we know this much that, Rhonda did her high schooling from Grover Cleveland, in Ridgewood, Queens, CA. After that, she went to study interior design at LA Pierce Jr. College in Woodland hills.

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Rhonda Graam Career

Rhonda Graam was a huge fan of Tina Turner’s songs back in 1960s. Tina at that time was doing concerts alongside her former husband Ike Turner. After four years (1964), Rhonda was offered the position to be the assistant for the Turners.

It was like a dream come true; to be around those people whom you have been admiring from afar. Rhonda couldn’t have asked for anything better. And so instead of pursuing the path in which she majored in, Graam packed her bags to serve the Turners.

Rhonda was initially hired as an associate for the aforementioned couple. She aided in writing songs like ‘Doo Wah Ditty (got to get ta)’ and B-side to the 1972 vinyl lease ‘Up in Heah’ for Ike and Tina musical portfolio. In addition to this, she was attributed for recording the sound of a motorcycle too, which could be heard distinctly at the beginning of the song ‘Chopper’.

Then Tina and Ike marriage came to an end in 1978, because Ike was found consuming and addicted to cocaine.

Despite the split, Rhonda continued working. The only change was; she was now working for one Turner.

Rhonda at first was working as Tina’s road manager. Booking performances, managing the means of transportation and planning schedules ahead were many of her responsibilities enlisted in the job description.

Seeing Rhonda working for Tina was deemed odd by people mainly because the former was of white ethnicity while the latter was black. Racism back then was still at large. Most of the black people were working for white people. Here it was the other way around.

Then there was this other thing too; Rhonda was among the few women to work as a road manager, a position which at that time was still male dominated. It was a rarity indeed.

Rhonda worked as the road manager from 1976 to 1983. It was when the Queen of rock n roll decided to slow it down, did Rhonda’s role was again reassigned. She became personal assistant to the singer. And continued working until 2009, when Tina finally took the retirement.

Friendship with Tina Turner

Working for someone for so many years, there are bound to be attachments. It happened in the case of Rhonda and Tina as well. Despite having the relation that of an employer and employee, Rhonda and Tina became fast friends.

Such close friends they were, that when Tina was marrying Erwin Bach in 2013, she asked Rhonda to be her maid of honor in her wedding. Rhonda happily obliged.

Rhonda was later asked in one of her interviews that just how close she and Tina were? She was quoted as saying;

“It felt more like home to me. I mean, her mother used to refer to me as her ‘other daughter’. We were and still are that close”

Rhonda and Tina friendship was commemorated by bringing it to life on stage in TINA, the musical.

To sum it up, Rhonda wasn’t just an assistant to Tina. She was her confidante, her pillar, her backup. Someone who wouldn’t give up on her no matter what happens.

Rhonda Graam Net Worth

An exact amount can’t be confirmed when it comes to Net worth of Rhonda Graam. However, it had been estimated that it’s roughly close to $1 million. Not hard to believe, when she had been working for the icon for a very long time.

Personal Life of Rhonda Gramm

Rhonda Graam never got married. Neither she had any children.

Rhonda later was found lamenting over this, stating that it was indeed a terrible thing but it can’t be helped. Relationship are hard to form when you are on the road all the time, she cited.

However, she did mention that she kind of looked after Tina’s kid whenever she had the chance. Not a complete glimpse to motherhood, but at least Rhonda got to experience it through her boss’ kid.

Rhonda doesn’t have any regrets when it comes to not having a soulmate. She stated that she had a blast while travelling, doing the job she loves.

How did Rhonda Graam die?

Rhonda Graam died on 15 January 2021. The cause of her death is still unclear to this day.

The news of her death was announced by Tina Turner on her twitter account;
“I’m brokenhearted. Rhonda was a close friend and confidante of mine. She believed in me before anyone else and I will miss her kind heart, sense of humor and wise advice. I will treasure our friendship for the rest of my life. May you rest in peace”

Friendship is such a fickle thing to begin with. For some, it doesn’t last long. For others, it transcends time. Rhonda Graam and Tina Turner bond belonged to the second category.

Facts about Rhonda Graam

1) Rhonda Graam’s height was 5 feet 6 inches. Her weight was 54 kg.
2) At the time of her death, she was 77 years old.
3) Rhonda Graam had a facebook account, but she rarely used it.

Kate Brown
Kate Brown
I am a writer and journalist based in New York. Since the start of my career, I have been in Content Marketing and have proven record by featuring businesses, products and technology on various news outlets like Forbes, entrepreneur.com, magzica.com, inc.com, businessinsider.com

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