She Was Simply The Best: Tina Turner Dies At 83
Tina Turner, the rock pioneer who had a second career as a pop star, died Wednesday at her home in Switzerland. She was 83.
"With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow," read a statement on her official Facebook page. "Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly."
A rep for the iconic singer confirmed the sad news. "Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll' has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland," said Bernard Doherty. "With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model."
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and boundless passion for life, she enchanted fans worldwide and inspired future stars. We say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us her greatest work; her music. Tina, we will miss you dearly. pic.twitter.com/8SihpxMe14— TinaTurner (@tinaturner) May 24, 2023
The nature of Turner's illness was not disclosed buti, in March, she opened up about her battle with hypertension and kidney failure.
"She was an absolutely brilliant performer and inspiration to us all," tweeted Bette Midler. "May flights of angels sing her to her rest, but if I know Tina, she is singing lead."
Rita Wilson, on Instagram, shared: "This woman elevated it all. Talent. Joy. Grace. Class. What a legend in every way. Her music lives on. Her lessons live on. Her example lives on."
Turner’s life story is well known, thanks in part to the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It. Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, she sang in her family’s church choir before becoming part of Ike Turner’s band. Ike changed her name to Tina Turner and quickly became abusive.
“He needed to control me, economically and psychologically, so I could never leave him,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir My Love Story. In their 1978 divorce, she was left with only two cars and the rights to her stage name.
Their long list of records included "River Deep, Mountain High" and their cover of CCR's "Proud Mary."
So deeply sad to hear about Tina Turner's passing… I loved her version of Proud Mary! It was different and fantastic. I was also so happy because she chose my song and it was her breakthrough record. pic.twitter.com/pH1Qt8u25Y— John Fogerty (@John_Fogerty) May 24, 2023
Turner released four albums on her own but it was not until Private Dancer – released 39 years ago this month – that the world took notice. In the documentary Tina (available on Crave), she described Private Dancer as her debut, not her comeback. In addition to the title track, the album spawned hits like “Better Be Good To Me,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “Let’s Stay Together.”
Her 1989 album Foreign Affair featured Turner’s cover of Bonnie Tyler’s “The Best,” which became one of her signature hits. She collaborated with Canada's Bryan Adams for "It's Only Love" in 1985.
Turner starred in the 1985 flick Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (for which she recorded “We Don’t Need Another Hero”) and she performed the theme to the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye.
Turner's last studio album was 1999’s Twenty Four Seven. She stepped out of the spotlight following her 50th anniversary tour in 2009. "I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy," she told the New York Times in 2019. "That's all I'd ever done in my life."
Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as half of Ike & Tina Turner and as a solo artist. She earned eight Grammys and three American Music Awards.
Turner's final Canadian performances were in Montreal and Toronto in December 2008. She emerged in 2019 for the Broadway opening of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (which is coming to Toronto).
In 2021, Turner sold the rights to her music catalogue, name, image and likeness for a reported $50 million U.S.
She is survived by her second husband, music executive Erwin Bach, and two adopted sons, Ike Turner Jr. and Michael Turner.
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