Joe Lynn Turner (August 2, 1951), is an American singer, known for his works with hard rock band Rainbow. During his career, Turner fronted pop rock band Fandango, had the short-lived collaboration for Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and Deep Purple. From the mid 1990s, he worked with various musical groups (Mother's Army, Brazen Abbot, Hughes Turner Project, Sunstorm, The Jan Holberg Project), while pursuing a solo career. He is currently the vocalist for Rated X, based on Mother's Army. Their album will be released on May 2014.
Born Joseph Arthur Mark Linquito to an Italian family, in high school, Turner formed the band Ezra, performing original material and cover songs. He played the accordion as a child, grew up with an appreciation for classic R&B and became an accomplished guitarist in his early teens. He was once influenced primarily by such artists as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Free. In 1976, Turner enjoyed his first taste of national success with Fandango, a band described as an eclectic mix of R&B, pop, country, jazz and melodic rock. He sang and played guitar on all of the band's four albums. Fandango toured with numerous artists including The Allman Brothers, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Beach Boys and Billy Joel.
After Fandango split, He received a phone call from British guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. This resulted in an audition and Turner was immediately enlisted in Rainbow. The band, while popular in Europe and Japan, had not reached the same level of success in the US before Turner joined. With his contributions (largely considered more pop oriented), the group was catapulted to a new level of American success. Several tracks from albums with Turner reached the Top 20 on rock radio charts in the early- to mid-80's. "Stone Cold" became Rainbow's first Top 40 hit and the band's videos were played on heavy rotation on MTV. Turner recorded three studio albums with Rainbow: Difficult to Cure, Straight Between the Eyes, and Bent Out of Shape, which featured the single "Street of Dreams". Rainbow disbanded in 1984.
In 1985, after the break-up of Rainbow, Turner released a solo album, Rescue You, produced by Roy Thomas Baker, known for his work with Queen and The Cars. He co-wrote most of the songs with keyboardist Al Greenwood (Foreigner). The first single, "Endlessly," received extensive airplay on radio and MTV. Tours with Night Ranger and Pat Benatar and an acting role in the TV movie Blue Deville followed.
In 1987 Turner also supplied backing vocals to the Michael Bolton album The Hunger. He appeared on the tracks "Hot Love" and "Gina".
In 1988, he joined Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and recorded the album Odyssey. The brief tour that followed the release of the album included a concert in Leningrad which was recorded and then released as Trial by Fire (1989). In 1989 he left the band to join Deep Purple. Turner recorded just one album, Slaves & Masters (1990). The album peaked at No. 87 on the Billboard Charts, and a relatively successful tour followed in 1991, but Turner left the band in late 1992. He has also put out three albums for the progressive rock bandMother's Army, featuring Jeff Watson, Bob Daisley and Carmine Appice.
Turner has been working mainly on his prolific solo career since mid-1990 and has worked with the Finnish rock band Brazen Abbot, led by Bulgarian guitarist Nikolo Kotzev, and with Glenn Hughes under the Hughes Turner Project name. Turner also participated in Nikolo Kotzev's rock opera Nikolo Kotzev's Nostradamus. In 2005 Turner has performed on the Russian studio project Michael Men Project's album Made in Moscow, along with his colleague Glenn Hughes. In 2006, he took on the very musically successful studio project Sunstorm, with bassist Dennis Ward of German rock band Pink Cream 69. Turner was a guest in the Voices of Classic Rock shows. Turner also appeared as a headliner with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson on the Classic Rock Cares charity tour which was organized by long time friend Steve Luongo, who was the drummer/producer of The John Entwistle Band.
On August 4, 2006 Turner gave a special performance of Rainbow songs with the New Japan Philharmonic at the Metropolitan Art Space in Tokyo, Japan. In 2008 he has formed Over the Rainbow, a tribute band composed of former Rainbow musicians, Paul Morris-Keyboardist/94-97, and Blackmore's son Jürgen on guitar.
He was a member of the touring band Big Noize, featuring alongside guitarist Carlos Cavazo, bassist Phil Soussan, and drummer Vinny Appice. Turner recently joined Norwegian group The Jan Holberg Project, which released their studio album Sense of Time in 2011.
In the summer 2012, he and the Legends Voice of Rock did a gig at the Golden Times Festival in Degerfors, Sweden.
In 2013 he sang a few songs as guest role on the Avantasia-album The Mystery of Time, released in March.
March and April of 2013 saw Turner Perform as a Special Guest Artist for the Las Vegas show "Raiding the Rock Vault" at the LVH Hotel and Casino.