CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Rock and soul icon Tina Turner will be remembered as one of the best-selling artists of all time.
The Tennessee native died Wednesday at 83.
One of her most iconic songs was co-written by a pastor in Chattanooga.
Rolling Stone says it is the 197 song out of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time," says Bernie Miller.
Miller is a pastor of a church that he founded 26 years ago, New Covenant Fellowship Church.
In his 20s, Miller went out and bought a piano and taught himself how to play.
"The third song that I ever wrote was, "I Can't Stand the Rain." And it was recorded," says Miller.
At the time of writing the hit song, he was in Memphis working for a radio station there.
Miller says in about 10 minutes the song was written.
"I didn't know anything about the business of music. And so all I wanted to do is write. And so I did and the rest of it came together. And I've written other things on her album," says Miller.
I was dancing off the wall. I couldn't believe it. Yeah, it was such an exciting time.
In 1984 Tina Turner recorded "I Can't Stand the Rain" for her fifth solo album, Private Dancer, and released it as a single in early 1985 in Europe.
After his last stint as a radio announcer, Miller went to New York, where he was hired to be Vice President of A&R.
"He hired me because I had written that song that he loved, and also that I had a background in music as a DJ and also as a songwriter. So that's kind of how I got to be the Vice President of A&R," says Miller.
After Miller wrote "I Can't Stand the Rain", he knew it was different and unique. "It was something different about it, because of the way it was written in the last verse... and all Don Bryant had to do was put the change in there for the bridge. And it was exciting to see it happen. Because it happened so quickly. It was 10 minutes that it took for us to write that," says Miller.
Now artists like Missy Elliot and Adam Lambert are covering the iconic song. It also has been converted to fit different genres of music like disco, country, and R&B.
It's been an exciting time to see how God worked everything out and there's no way you can describe it except for someone greater than yourself was in charge of all this.
Tina Turner signed Miller's platinum album and Miller says Tina was a personable person.
"She doesn't meet a stranger. And when I was talking with her when they gave me the platinum album at a concert in Milwaukee, she signed the record and I was so excited to even meet her. And she was very kind," says Miler.
Along with Tina, Miller was able to work with Michael Jackson and the Jacksons as well as other headlining artists.
Now Miller is using what he learned in the music industry to help in his church.
"It helps me now as a pastor to encapsulate a thought. I'll put it in a line that rhymes that you repeat. And so I know how to use that to get people to remember things that I want them to remember," says Miller.
Tina Turner's family says she died after a long illness at her home in Switzerland.