Tina Turner, known as the Queen of Rock and Roll for her powerful performances and powerful vocals, died today after a long illness at her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. She was 83 years old.
“With her, the world is losing a musical legend and role model,” UK spokesperson Bernard Doherty said in a statement.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Knotbush, Tennessee, Turner rose to fame in the late 1960s as the singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. After leaving husband Ike Turner after years of physical and emotional abuse, she staged one of the greatest comebacks in pop music history, scoring massive ’80s hits like “What Love Got To Do It,” “Private Dancer,” and “Simply The Best.” ’, which has sold over 180 million albums, 12 Grammy Award winning stadium tours and sold-outs worldwide.
Her life story was told in the 1993 movie What’s Love Got To Do With It, and in the 2019 Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.
Beginning her career as a member of Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm in 1957, Turner made her debut under the name Tina Turner in 1960 with a duet with Ike called “A Fool in Love”. Thus began a series of songs that, although not always high on the charts, would become standards in the singer’s repertoire: “It’s Gonna Do Fine,” “Deep River – Mountain High,” “Notbush City Limits” and, best of all, “Mary proud.”
The Revue broke up in 1976 when Tina Ike left for reasons she detailed in memoirs and interviews. She became an early example for domestic violence survivors, bringing the subject into the public consciousness.
Her breakup with Ike would leave the singer struggling and almost broke until the stellar success of her fifth solo album Private Dancer, released in the US in May 1984, months after its lead single “Let’s Stay Together” made the UK top ten. and hit #26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album’s second single would give Turner the biggest hit of her career. “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, which features her soulful vocals, spent three weeks at No. 1 in the US (and reached No. 3 in the UK). It would take home the Grammys for Record and Song of the Year as well as the award for Female Pop Vocal for Turner.
Her musical comeback would also relaunch her film career that began in 1975 with a one-scene role as Acid Queen in the Who’s Tommy. After her recording success in the 1980s, she was chosen Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Last action hero (1993).
In 1993, the autobiography What’s Love Got To Do With Itbased on her 1986 autobiography I, Tina: The Story of My Life, Angela Bassett starred as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike in the Oscar-nominated performances. The movie was a box office hit, grossing over $60 million worldwide.
A two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and perennial on greatest performers lists, Turner was the recipient of Kennedy Center Awards in 2005. She retired in 2009 after Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tourwhich remains one of the highest-grossing tours of the 2000s, although it re-entered the public spotlight with 2018’s West End hit single. Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Starring Adrienne Warren in a career-making performance. The musical, with Warren reprising her role, moved to Broadway in 2019, but was put on hold the following year with the Covid lockdown; Tina Performances resumed in 2021 and continued into the following year.
A private funeral service is expected for family, close friends and family.
Her spokesperson said no further press inquiries would be answered.
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