Tina Turner, the legendary ‘Queen of Rock’, has died at 83

Tina Turner, the groundbreaking “queen of rock ‘n’ roll” who overcame serious personal and professional hurdles to carve out an outstanding six-decade career as a singer and actress, died on Wednesday. She was 83 years old.

The “What’s Love Got to Do With It” singer’s rep confirmed to the Telegraph that she died after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.

Turner’s rep did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment.

The legendary performer first rose to prominence in the 1960s as part of the Ike and Tina Turner revue, which produced chart-topping songs until she quit after years of domestic violence.

After surviving the horrific relationship, Turner later made one of the most dramatic comebacks in music history, achieving international stardom as a solo artist in the ’80s, with hits such as “What’s Love Got to Do With It”.

Also famous for her iconic 1971 version of “Proud Mary” and her role as Aunt Entity in 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” Turner was plagued with health issues in her later years, including a stroke. brain, bowel cancer and kidney failure, which required a transplant.

She bid farewell to her fans in the 2021 documentary “Tina.”

“Some people say the life I’ve lived and the performances I’ve given, the appreciation…I should be proud of that. I am,” Tuner said in the HBO doc.

“But when do you stop being proud?” I mean, when, how do you slowly bow out? Just go away?”

Tina Turner in 2009.
Tina Turner in 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

When she retired to live out her final act out of the spotlight, Turner had already established herself as one of the world’s most iconic singers and influenced a generation of musicians.

She’s won 12 Grammy Awards, sold over 200 million albums, starred in several films, and penned three bestselling memoirs, including one that was adapted into the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” starring Angela Bassett as Turner.

Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in rural Tennessee, Turner began her career as a blues singer in nightclubs at the age of 16.

When she was 11, her mother Zelma ran away, seeking freedom from an abusive relationship with Turner’s father, Floyd, a sharecropper.

Turner said in her 1986 autobiography “I, Tina” that she felt like she “wasn’t wanted” by her mother, whose funeral she skipped in 1999, Page Six reported to the era.

Ike Turner and Tina Turner in 1964.
Ike Turner and Tina Turner in 1964.
Archive of Michael Ochs

She first saw Ike Turner perform with his band Kings of Rhythm in the late 1950s and soon joined the band.

Ike was responsible for refashioning her as Tina Turner, a sultry, gravelly-voiced singer whose stage persona was highlighted by short skirts and stiletto heels. She was introduced to the world in 1960 with the song “A Fool In Love”, which became a hit single.

This success gave birth to the magazine Ike & Tina Turner. The duo married in 1962 and had a son, Ronnie, and Tina adopted two of Ike’s children, Ike Jr. and Michael. She also had a son, Craig, from a previous relationship.

Ike and Tina produced a slew of charts including “I Idolize You” and “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” and toured the country. In 1967, Tina became the first black woman to cover Rolling Stone magazine.

But Ike exercised tight control over Tina, beating and putting her down. She told Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, “I have to do what Ike says.”

By 1969, the couple’s profile had risen after two opening stints for the Rolling Stones, including a tour of the United States.

Ike Turner and Tina Turner married in 1962. They had one son, Ronnie, and Tina adopted two of Ike's children, Ike Jr. and Michael.  She also had a son, Craig, from a previous relationship.
Ike Turner and Tina Turner married in 1962. They had one son, Ronnie, and Tina adopted two of Ike’s children, Ike Jr. and Michael. She also had a son, Craig, from a previous relationship.
Archive of Michael Ochs

They shot to fame with their rousing 1971 cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” which won them a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group.

In 1975, Tina made her big screen debut as The Acid Queen in “Tommy”, a British film based on the 1969 rock opera The Who.

Behind the scenes, however, Tina would later describe how she suffered a cycle of abuse at the hands of cocaine addict Ike.

“He didn’t like that he had to depend on me. And I didn’t want to start a fight because it was always a black eye, a broken nose, a broken lip, a rib,” she told CBS News in 2019.

The couple eventually separated after an altercation in Dallas, during which Tina fought back, she would later say.

Their divorce was finalized in 1978, with Tina citing Ike’s abuse, as well as his frequent infidelities and increasing drug and alcohol use.

After the split, Ike and Tina fell into obscurity for years. Tina would later say that when she left Ike, she only had “36 cents and a gas station credit card”.

But Tina made a dramatic comeback in 1982 with the multiplatinum album “Private Dancer,” which included the hits “Let’s Stay Together” and “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”

The album won four Grammy Awards and eventually sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

By then, in her 40s, the leggy singer became even more renowned for her energetic performances, raspy voice and iconic punk-inspired style.

She returned to the big screen in 1985, alongside Mel Gibson in the post-apocalyptic action movie “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”

A year later, she released “I, Tina,” which would later become the biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” with Laurence Fishburne and Bassett earning Oscar nominations for their respective portrayals of Ike and Tina. .

She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Ike in 1991. He died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007, at which time she said the two had not spoken in 30 years.

“For a long time I hated Ike, I have to say. But then after he died I really realized he was a sick person,” Turner said in the documentary.

Tina Turner takes the stage in 1982.
Tina Turner takes the stage in 1982.
red ferns

“It hurts to have to remember those times, but at some point forgiveness kicks in, forgiving means not having to hold on.”

Turner eventually found love and happiness with German music producer Erwin Bach, whom she met in 1986.

As their relationship blossomed, Turner began to wind down her recording career, producing her last album in 1999, at the age of 59.

She officially retired from performing in 2009 after completing her “Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour,” one of the highest-grossing tours of all time.

“I was just tired of singing and making everyone happy,” she told The New York Times in 2019. “That’s all I had done with my life.”

But while trying to make the world happy, Turner suffered from loneliness and, amid abuse from Ike, tried to escape with an overdose of sleeping pills in 1968.

She also lost her son Craig to suicide in 2018, which she said was her “sadest moment as a mother”.

“He was 59 when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby,” Turner said in the documentary.

Tina Turner with Erwin Bach in November 1989.
Tina Turner with Erwin Bach in November 1989.
Getty Images

Turner and Bach married in 2013 after a 27-year relationship, and Turner renounced his US citizenship and moved to Switzerland to live in a castle there with him. Their nuptials were “the first time I got married, as far as I’m concerned,” Turner said.

In her 2018 autobiography ‘Tina Turner: My Love Story’, she revealed that Bach, who is 16 years her junior, saved her life by giving her a kidney when she needed a transplant two years later. early.

“I could barely believe it back then, and there are times when I still can’t believe it.” she wrote. “When he thought of his future, he thought of me. ‘My future is our future,’ he told me.

Erwin Bach and Tina Turner in April 2018.
Erwin Bach and Tina Turner in April 2018.
Dave Benet/Getty Images

Besides being the subject of a blockbuster movie, Turner’s groundbreaking career and turbulent life has also been transformed into the popular show “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which opened on Broadway in 2019.

She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame solo in 2021.

While promoting her 2018 book, Turner told CBS’ Gayle King that she was “happy” her time on stage was over, to which the anchor said, “People miss you, though, Tina.”

“It’s okay,” Turner replied with a laugh. “They can go watch the videos…enjoy these. But I’m done with that.


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