Soulful diva Tina Turner, who had a lengthy run of '60s and '70s R&B hits and struck major pop stardom in the '80s, died on Wednesday in Switzerland, reports 'Variety'. She was 83.
"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. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model," her representative said in a statement to 'Variety'.
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
More than a decade after her crossover hit 'Proud Mary' with husband Ike, Tina Turner ascended to the pinnacle of pop fame with the 1984 Capitol Records album 'Private Dancer'. The collection, which spawned a trio of top-10 pop hits, sold five million copies and garnered four Grammy Awards, adds 'Variety'. Though she never matched that breakthrough solo success, she recorded and toured profitably until her retirement in 2000.
Raw-voiced, leggy, peripatetic and provocative onstage, writes 'Variety', the magnetic Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock in the farming community Nutbush, Tennessee, segued effortlessly into big screen roles.
She appeared as the Acid Queen in Ken Russell's 1975 adaptation of the Who's rock opera 'Tommy' and as villainess Aunty Entity in George Miller's action sequel 'Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome'. She sang the title song, penned by Bono and the Edge of U2, for the 1995 James Bond pic 'GoldenEye'.
The winner of eight Grammys, Turner was a 1991 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and was recognised at the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors for her career achievements, adds Variety.
Turner was still in her teens when she began recording with future husband Ike Turner; their tumultuous partnership produced 15 years of popular singles, culminating in the 1971 crossover smash 'Proud Mary'.
In 1976, the vocalist fled her abusive marriage and she detailed her violence-scarred relationship in the 1986 bestseller 'I, Tina', which served as the basis for the 1993 biopic 'What's Love Got to Do With It', notes 'Variety'.
In 1993, according to 'Variety', Turner scored her final U.S. top 10 hit with 'I Don't Wanna Fight', a song recorded for the top-20 soundtrack of the biopic 'What's Love Got to Do With It'. Director Brian Gibson's feature starred Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, who both received Oscar nods for their work as Ike and Tina.
Even more than Turner's autobiography, upon which it was loosely based, the film focused further attention on the issues of spousal abuse and domestic violence. Ike Turner, who maintained in interviews as well as in his autobiography that the charges of abuse were exaggerated, died from an apparent cocaine overdose in December 2007.
Mick Jagger, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross and more, from Barack Obama to Beyonce to Viola Davis, 'Variety' adds, lauded Turner as a revolutionary performer and music legend for her contributions to the R&B, rock and pop landscapes, and as a courageous woman for reclaiming her freedom in the face of domestic violence.
Beyonce updated her website with a post dedicated to Turner, whom she called the "epitome of power and passion". The featured image was taken on the stage of the 2008 Grammys when the duo delivered an unforgettable duet of Turner's 'Proud Mary', according to 'Variety'.
"My beloved Queen. I love you endlessly. I'm so grateful for your inspiration, and all the ways you have paved the way. You are strength and resilience. You are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will forever remain. Thank you for all you have done."
Oprah shared a lengthy remembrance on Instagram recalling the moment she transformed from Turner's "groupie" to her friend, says 'Variety'.
"She was a role model not only for me but for the world. She encouraged a part of me I didn't know existed," Oprah said. "Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph."
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama spoke about her power as an entertainer.
Tina Turner was raw. She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself—speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain; triumph and tragedy. Today we join fans around the world in honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never… pic.twitter.com/qXl2quZz1c— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 24, 2023
Shocked. Saddened. Sending condolences to Tina Turner’s family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/FGlQfjxaGh— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) May 24, 2023
Viola Davis, according to 'Variety', called Turner "Brilliant" and "A Survivor", going on to describe the singer as "Our first symbol of excellence and unbridled ownership of sexuality!! You were my childhood."
Music legend Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones tweeted a very personal tribute, remembering how she helped him when he was young.
Jagger said: "I'm so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer. She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her."
Gloria Gaynor, adds 'Variety', credited Turner for having "paved the way for so many women in rock music, black and white," and said she did so "with great dignity & success what very few would even have dared to do in her time and in that genre of music."
Tina would have so much energy during her performances and was a true entertainer. She created the blueprint for other great entertainers like Janet Jackson and Beyoncé and her legacy will continue on through all high-energy performing artists. Cookie and I are praying for her… pic.twitter.com/tFpWfj8clC— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 24, 2023
A devotee of Buddhist chanting since the early 1970s who never abandoned the Baptist faith of her youth, Turner released 'Beyond', a collaborative album of Buddhist and Christian music and chanting, in 2012.
In 2013 -- the same year she relinquished her American citizenship and took up residency in Switzerland -- Turner married German music exec Irwin Bach, her companion of 27 years, according to 'Variety'.
She suffered a number of ailments in her later years, but the most severe of these seems to have been kidney disease.
On World Kidney Day this past March, notes 'Variety', Turner posted on Instagram: "My kidneys are victims of my not realising that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine. I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication. For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion."