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Tina Turner, 'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll', dies aged 83 in Switzerland

Singer Tina Turner died after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, said her manager

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

BS Web Team New Delhi
Tina Turner, one of rock's greatest vocalists and most magnetic performers, has died at the age of 83.

"Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll,' died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland," her spokesperson said.

"With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model."

The US-born singer was a rock legend, famed for her powerful stage presence and singles such as The Best, Proud Mary, Private Dancer, and What's Love Got to Do With It.

Turner previously battled intestinal cancer and had a stroke, and she revealed in 2018 that her husband donated a kidney to save her life as she contemplated assisted suicide.

Roger Davies, her 30-year manager, described her as a "unique and remarkable force of nature with her strength, incredible energy, and immense talent," and that he would miss her deeply.

Turner rose to stardom in the 1960s alongside ex-husband Ike Turner, with singles including River Deep, Mountain High, and Nutbush City Limits. The domestic abuse by her husband Ike, as well as her fight to get away, was depicted in a 1993 film starring Angela Bassett that won three Oscars.

Turner's life story was also immortalised in a popular West End show that is still running.

Among the first to pay respect 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.

"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 photo of himself with Turner, calling her "untouchable" and a "total legend on record and on stage."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In a statement, former US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama said: "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 honouring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never fade." 

Beyonce also posted a tribute to Turner on her website, calling her the "epitome of power and passion." 

"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."

Turner's fame declined by the end of the 1970s, and her days in the spotlight appeared to be finished, with Turner primarily performing on 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 massive hit. Turner, then in her forties, signed a new contract with Capitol Records, which led to the 1984 album Private Dancer. It went on to sell over 10 million copies, cementing her status as a mega-star.

Private Dancer's title track, 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 distinct opening, 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 another established classic, with Turner performing uptempo dancing steps to its "rolling down the river" chorus at live events well into her late 60s.

Following her comeback, she appeared in 1985's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with Mel Gibson. The film inspired another blockbuster, We Don't Need Another Hero. Turner, born Annie Anna Bullock in a segregated Tennessee hospital in November 1939, became a Swiss citizen a decade ago.

‘Proud Mary’
 
  • 1971: Won first Grammy for Proud Mary
  • 1985: Ventured into movies, notably as Aunty Entity in the Mad Max franchise
  • 1985: What’s Love Got to Do With It?, her signature song,  won three Grammy awards, record of the year, song of the year and, best female pop vocal performance
  • 1991: Inducted into the rock music’s Hall of Fame, along with her ex- husband Ike 
  • 2005: Received a Kennedy Center Honor
  • 2009: Gave her final performance in Sheffield, England
  • 2021: Voted into rock music’s Hall of Fame as solo artist

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: May 25 2023 | 12:54 PM IST

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