Tina Turner, the iconic singer and influential force in music history, has died. She was 83.
Turner’s death was confirmed in a statement to the media that 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.”
Turner’s historic career spanned over five decades, beginning in the 1960s with Ike Turner. As Ike & Tina Turner, the duo was responsible for many iconic songs. Among them were “A Fool In Love,” “River Deep – Mountain High,” “Nutbush City Limits,” “I Idolize You,” “Poor Fool,” “It’s Gonne Work Out Fine” and, of course, their classic cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary.”
Of course, the marriage of Ike & Tina Turner was fraught with horrific abuse, which was explored in her 1986 autobiography I, Tina: My Life Story. The book, of course, was adapted into the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do with It, which starred Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.
Ike & Tina Turner would eventually divorce in 1978. The divorce resulted in great financial strain for Tina, but she was allowed to keep her stage name. In the years that followed, Turner struggled to build her career back up again and took small gigs and other bookings to make ends meet.
However, in the early ’80s and in the face of sexism and ageism, Turner’s solo career exploded thanks to the 1984 album Private Dancer. The album went on to sell 12 million copies worldwide and had three top-ten hits: “Private Dancer,” “Better Be Good to Me” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” Private Dancer won four Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”
After Private Dancer, Tina’s star status was set, and she continued to churn out hits in the following years. Among them were “The Best,” “Typical Male,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome),” “What You Get Is What You See,” “I Don’t Wanna Fight,” “Missing You” and “When the Heartache Is Over.”
In addition to the film What’s Love Got to Do With It, Turner’s life and career has also been immortalized on stage with Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. The production opened on London’s West End in 2018 before opening on Broadway in 2019. Additionally, HBO released a documentary in 2021 titled Tina. Shortly after the documentary’s release, Turner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. She was previously inducted into the Rock Hall as a member of Ike & Tina Turner in 1991.
Turner has earned countless honors over the course of her legendary career including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honors.