In a heartbreaking announcement on her Instagram page, representatives expressed deep sadness as they shared the news of the passing of Tina Turner, the legendary and influential rock and R&B icon.
The iconic singer, known for her dynamic performances and an illustrious career spanning several decades, died at the age of 83. A representative confirmed that Turner passed away peacefully at her residence near Zurich, Switzerland, after battling a prolonged illness.
The Instagram statement honouring the late singer acknowledged her immense impact on the music industry and her ability to captivate millions of fans worldwide with her music.
It described Turner as a dear friend and expressed gratitude for the legacy she leaves behind through her greatest work, which is her music.
Turner’s life was a testament to her perseverance and talent for reinvention. She blessed the world with memorable hits such as “Proud Mary” in 1971 and “What’s Love Got To Do With It” in 1984. Her global tours allowed her to share stages with renowned artists like David Bowie and Mick Jagger.
She even ventured into acting, appearing in a “Mad Max” film. In 2005, Beyoncé performed in honour of Tina Turner, showcasing the profound influence she had on fellow musicians.
Upon hearing the news, Mick Jagger took to Twitter to pay tribute to the icon, describing her as an inspiring, warm, funny, and generous individual who had a significant impact on his life during his early years. Mariah Carey, another powerhouse vocalist, also took to Twitter to express her admiration, referring to Turner as legendary, iconic, and a superstar who embodied those terms and more.
While Turner’s powerful vocals and electrifying stage presence are what many remember her for, her personal life had a quieter side influenced by her upbringing in the segregated South. Born as Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner and her older sister experienced separation from their parents at a young age.
Their parents worked as sharecroppers, leading the children to live with their grandparents. During her teenage years, Turner contemplated pursuing a career in nursing but had a passion for singing in the church choir.
Later on, Turner and her sister immersed themselves in the nightclub scene, where she eventually crossed paths with musician Ike Turner. The pair joined forces, forming the Ike & Tina Turner Revue and eventually getting married in 1962. While their marriage ended in divorce in the late 1970s, Turner kept the darker aspects of their relationship concealed until the 1980s, when she courageously shared stories of the domestic violence she had endured.
In her memoir published in 2018, Turner revealed heart-wrenching details about her marriage, including a suicide attempt. She disclosed the physical abuse inflicted by Ike Turner, recounting how her nose became a target for his punches and how she could still taste the blood when she sang.
In a 1997 interview with Larry King, Turner discussed her unexpected role as a feminist hero due to her willingness to speak out against marital abuse. She explained that sharing her story in the 1980s was not something she had planned but acknowledged that it played a significant role in shaping her life.
Although Turner’s vocals propelled her and Ike to stardom, she revealed that Ike never allowed her much financial independence. He gave her the stage name Tina simply because it rhymed with a TV character’s name at the time.
When she finally left him in 1976, she found herself with only a few pennies and a gas card. The singer relied on food stamps to survive. Despite the mistreatment she endured, she expressed a sense of responsibility for letting him down.
However, Turner embraced the opportunity to pursue her solo career, and her resilience paid off in the early 1980s when she experienced a resounding comeback by shifting from soul to rock. At the age of 44, her song “What’s Love Got To Do With It” from the hit album “Private Dancer” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making her one of the few female artists over 40 to achieve this feat.
The portrayal of Turner’s challenging life moments was captured on the big screen in the 1993 film named after her hit song. Actress Angela Bassett, who played Turner in the film, shared a tribute in which she revealed Turner’s heartfelt response to her performance.
Bassett expressed how Turner appreciated her portrayal, acknowledging that she hadn’t merely imitated her but delved into her own soul to bring forth the essence of Tina Turner for the world to see.
Through her unwavering courage in sharing her story, her commitment to living life on her own terms, and her determination to carve a space for herself and others who resembled her in the rock and roll industry, Tina Turner showed those living in fear what a future filled with love, compassion, and freedom could look like. Angela Bassett aptly summed up Turner’s legacy in her tribute.
In 2013, Turner married her longtime partner, Erwin Bach, who resided with her in Zurich. Turner revealed that she cherished the freedom she found in Switzerland and decided to trade her American citizenship for Swiss citizenship in the late 1980s. In 2013, she officially relinquished her U.S. passport after spending more than two decades abroad.
Throughout her illustrious career, Turner garnered numerous accolades, including eight Grammy Awards out of 21 nominations, two MTV Video Music Awards out of four nominations, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.
Tina Turner always aspired to be a star who actively participated in the action rather than simply prancing around in a frilly dress and singing a song. She once mentioned her desire to drive one of those impressive chariots, akin to the ones featured in the classic Roman epic “Ben Hur.”
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