Music legend Tina Turner leaves the world at 83
Tina Turner, the legendary rock ‘n’ roll singer who found massive success in middle age after leaving behind a secluded farming community and abusive relationship, died on May 24 at the age of 83. She emerged as the defining pop artist of the 80s and the name behind hits like ‘The Best’ and ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’.
Her publicist Bernard Doherty said in a statement on Wednesday night: “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.”
Her death was mourned by US President Joe Biden, who termed her a ‘once-in-a-generation talent that changed American music forever’. The Obamas remembered her as someone who sang through ‘joy and pain’. Mick Jagger said she inspired him and remembered her as ‘warm, funny and generous’. Beyonce also lauded her musical legacy and said she sang with ‘passion and power’.
Actor Angela Bassett, who played Turner in a 1993 movie, talked of the abusive relationship with her husband Ike Turner that Tina Turner overcame to chart her own path: “How do we say farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world? Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion and freedom should look like. While we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self and Tina Turner is a gift that will always be ‘simply the best’.”
Born Anna Mae Bullock in a segregated Tennessee community, Tina Turner ended years of physical, emotional and financial abuse by her husband Ike and emerged as a phenomenon on her own in her 40s, when most artists are ending their innings at the top. She came up with hits including ‘Let’s Stay Together’, ‘Private Dancer’, ‘Steamy Windows’ and James Bond theme ‘Golden Eye’ during that phase and was a top concert artist. She was among the first women to openly speak about domestic abuse, emerging as a story of strength.
In her career, she emerged as a top recording artist, won 12 Grammys, was voted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ twice, was honoured at the Kennedy Center in 2005 and sold over 150 million records.