‘Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ Tina Turner dies
Tina Turner – one of rock’s great vocalists and most charismatic performers – has died aged 83.
Her spokesperson said: “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.”
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The US-born star was one of rock’s iconic singers, known for her electric stage presence and hits including The Best, Proud Mary, Private Dancer and What’s Love Got to Do With It.
Among the first to pay tribute were Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Elton John, Diana Ross, Bette Midler and Giorgio Armani.
“She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer,” said Rolling Stones frontman Jagger.
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“She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”
Sir Elton posted a picture of himself with Turner and said she was “untouchable” and a “total legend on record and on stage”.
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Turner previously had intestinal cancer and a stroke, revealing in 2018 that her husband had donated a kidney to save her life as she contemplated assisted suicide.
Her manager of 30 years, Roger Davies, called her “a unique and remarkable force of nature with her strength, incredible energy and immense talent” and said he would miss her deeply.
Turner found fame in the 1960s alongside ex-husband Ike Turner, with the classics River Deep, Mountain High and Nutbush City Limits among their hits.
The domestic abuse Ike subjected her to – and her struggle to break free – was documented in a 1993 film starring Angela Bassett, which won three Oscars.
Turner’s life story was also immortalised in a popular West End show that is still running.
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The singer’s popularity waned by the end of the 1970s and her days in the limelight appeared over, with Turner mainly playing the cabaret circuit as a heritage act.
However, her career was dramatically resurrected in 1983 when a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together became a huge hit.
Turner, then in her forties, signed a new contract with Capitol Records which led to the Private Dancer album in 1984.
It went on to sell more than 10 million copies and established her as a mega-star.
The title track from Private Dancer, as well as What’s Love Got to Do With It, and I Can’t Stand the Rain were among the album’s seven singles.
Her most well-known song – with its distinctive intro, steady build and powerful chorus – is probably The Best.
Released in 1989, part of the Foreign Affair album, it’s actually a cover of a song by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler.
Proud Mary is also an established classic, with Turner performing up-tempo dance moves to its “rolling down the river” refrain well into her seventies at live shows.
Tina Turner’s most streamed songs in UK
- 1. The Best
- 2. What’s Love Got To Do With It?
- 3. Proud Mary
- 4. What’s Love Got To Do With It? (with Kygo)
- 5. River Deep Mountain High (with Ike Turner)
- 6. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
- 7. Nutbush City Limits (with Ike Turner)
- 8. Private Dancer
- 9. It’s Only Love (with Bryan Adams)
- 10. Proud Mary (with Ike Turner)
Off the back of her comeback, there was also a foray into film alongside Mel Gibson in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
The movie spawned another hit, We Don’t Need Another Hero.
Born Annie Anna Bullock in a segregated Tennessee hospital in November 1939, Turner became a Swiss citizen a decade ago.
Simply The Best: Tina Turner in pictures
She lived on a sprawling estate on Lake Zurich with her husband and former EMI record executive, Erwin Bach, some 16 years her junior.
The couple met in 1985, with Turner once telling Oprah Winfrey it was love at first sight when he was sent to pick her up from an airport in Germany.
“He had the prettiest face. You could not miss it,” she said.
“It was like saying, ‘Where did he come from?’ He was really that good looking. My heart went bu-bum. It means that a soul has met. My hands were shaking.”
Turner had four children, two of them she adopted from Ike’s first marriage.
Her eldest son, Craig Raymond Turner, who she had when she was 18, died in an apparent suicidefive years ago.
The singer said that scattering his ashes in the sea off California was her “saddest moment as a mother”.
She wrote on Twitter: “He was fifty-nine when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby.”
Tragedy struck again in 2022 when her second son Ronnie died of cancer.