The American-born singer Tina Turner, who rose to fame after leaving an abusive marriage and a poor agricultural village, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83.
According to her spokesman, she passed away quietly at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, close to Zurich, following a protracted illness.
Turner started her career in the 1950s, during the height of rock 'n' roll, and she later became an MTV sensation.
Turner embodied 1980s fashion in the music video for her number-one single "What's Love Got to Do with It," in which she referred to love as a "second-hand emotion," as she walked around the streets of New York City with her spiky blond hair, a cropped jean jacket, a little skirt, and stiletto heels.
Turner fit in nicely with the 1980s pop scene, which prized electronically created sounds and ridiculed hippie-era idealism. She had a love for musical experimentation and wrote simply phrased songs.
Turner, who was referred to as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll," received six of her eight Grammy nominations in the 1980s. She had twelve singles that reached the Top 40 during that decade, including "Typical Male," "The Best," "Private Dancer," and "Better Be Good to Me." 180,000 people attended her performance in Rio de Janeiro in 1988, which is still one of the biggest concert crowds for a single musician.
Turner had been divorced from musician Ike Turner for ten years by that point.
The celebrity was open about the violence she endured from her ex-husband when they were married and working together on music in the 1960s and 1970s. She detailed several injuries that kept her in the emergency department, including smashed lips, fractured jaws, and damaged eyes.
Singer Janet Jackson described Tina Turner in a Rolling Stone article, which ranked Turner No. 63 among the top 100 performers of all time. "Tina's story is not one of victimhood but one of incredible triumph," Jackson said.
As a result of her transformation, she has become "an elegant powerhouse," according to Jackson.
Turner gave her status as a survivor a fictitious twist in 1985. In the third Mad Max film, "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," she costarred with Mel Gibson as the brutal head of an outpost in a radioactive wasteland.
Even though Turner's most popular songs were composed by others, she brought life to them with a voice that New York Times music critic Jon Pareles called "one of the more peculiar instruments in pop."
"It's three-tiered, with a nasal low register, a yowling, cutting middle range, and a high register so startlingly clear it sounds like a falsetto," Pareles said in a concert review from 1987.
When asked about her role as Turner in the 1993 movie "What's Love Got to Do with It?," actress Angela Bassett stated she was "humbled to have helped show her to the world."
Bassett stated in a statement, "She gave us her full self. "Tina Turner is a gift that will always be'simply the best.'"
The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger expressed his sorrow at Turner's passing, calling her "inspiring, warm, funny, and generous."
Jagger remarked, "She helped me so much when I was young, and I will never forget her.
Bryan Adams, a Canadian musician who collaborated with Turner on the 1985 hit "It's Only Love," lamented Turner's passing, saying "the world just lost one hell of a powerhouse of a woman."
President of the United States Joe Biden referred to Turner as a "once-in-a-generation talent" and said that her "personal strength was remarkable."
"Overcoming adversity and even abuse, she built a career for the ages and a life and legacy that were entirely hers," said Biden in a statement.
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Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in the little village of Nutbush, Tennessee, which she referred to as a "quiet little old community, a one-horse town" in her 1973 song "Nutbush City Limits."
Her mother left the family when the singer was 11 years old, and her father worked as an overseer on a farm, according to the singer's 2018 autobiography, "My Love Story." She relocated to St. Louis as a teenager to be with her mother.
She was 17 years old when Ike Turner invited her to sing on stage at one of his club performances in St. Louis in 1957.
Before the two got married in Tijuana, Mexico, the bandleader gave his protégé the stage name Tina Turner and helped her record the smash song "A Fool in Love," which went on to become a hit.
As the main vocalist in the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Tina used her powerful voice and diligently trained dancing moves. In the 1960s and 1970s, she worked with legendary musicians like The Who and Phil Spector, and in 1967, she was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Ike and Tina Turner switched record labels frequently and credited their financial success in large part to an exhausting travelling schedule. Their version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" became their biggest success.
Turner reportedly retaliated against her husband after he beat her in the car one evening in 1976 during a tour stop in Dallas by leaving him. In 1978, their divorce was legally settled.
Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and were hailed as "one of the most formidable live acts in history." Turner passed away in 2007.
Turner struggled for years to reclaim fame after divorcing her husband, putting out unsuccessful solo albums and singles while performing at business gatherings.
She first met Roger Davies, an Australian music executive who would later become her long-term manager, in 1980. The song "What's Love Got to Do With It?" became her first solo No. 1, and in 1984, her album "Private Dancer" propelled her to the top of the charts.
In the end, "Private Dancer" became Turner's best-selling album and marked the pinnacle of a career in which she amassed record sales of more than 200 million.
Turner began living in Europe for several years in 1988 when she relocated to London after meeting German music entrepreneur Erwin Bach in 1985. She sang the title song for the 1995 James Bond film "GoldenEye," published two studio albums in the 1990s that did well, particularly in Europe, and carried out a successful global tour in 2008 and 2009.
She then left the entertainment industry. She gave up her American citizenship when she married Bach, gaining Swiss citizenship instead.
After retirement, she struggled with a variety of health issues, and in 2018, she experienced a personal tragedy when her eldest son, Craig, committed suicide in Los Angeles at the age of 59. Ronnie, her youngest son, passed away in December 2022.
Years after she retired, her name still draws crowds. The musical theatre production "TINA: The Tina Turner Musical," which stars Adrienne Warren in the lead role and sings the star's biography, debuted in 2018 on London's West End and afterwards moved to Broadway. It is now continuously playing. Additionally, "Tina," an HBO documentary on her life, was released in 2021.
Bach and her adopted two boys from Ike are her only surviving family members.