Renowned singer Tina Turner, celebrated for her soulful classics and popular hits such as “The Best” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” passed away at the age of 83.
In the past years, Turner faced various health challenges, battling cancer, enduring a stroke, and experiencing kidney failure.
During the 1960s, she soared to stardom alongside her husband Ike, captivating audiences with remarkable tunes like “Proud Mary” and “River Deep, Mountain High.”
After divorcing her abusive partner in 1978, Turner embarked on a solo journey and achieved even greater triumph in the 1980s as a solo artist.
Renowned for her electrifying stage presence and commanding voice, Tina Turner earned the title of the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Her performances were a fusion of raw sensuality and boundless energy, captivating audiences around the world. With her distinctive husky vocals, she left an indelible mark on the music industry.
Tina Turner’s extraordinary talent and impact were recognized with numerous accolades. She claimed a remarkable eight Grammy Awards and achieved solo induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, following her initial induction alongside Ike in 1991.
The Hall of Fame commended her solo induction, acknowledging her groundbreaking influence as she shattered the boundaries of what was once deemed possible for a Black woman on stage. She emerged as a force to be reckoned with—a powerhouse who defied limitations and embodied a multifaceted persona.
Her trailblazing artistry continues to inspire a new generation of stars. Esteemed artists such as Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Janelle Monae, and Rihanna have all been influenced by her profound legacy.
Hailing from Tennessee, she was born into a family of sharecroppers. Initially recognized as a backup vocalist for her husband’s band, The Kings of Rhythm, her talents soon propelled her to become the lead singer. Together, they achieved commercial success with notable tracks like “Fool in Love” and “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” which secured spots on the early 1960s charts in the United States.
Among their repertoire of hits was “Nutbush City Limits” in 1973, an ode to the small town that served as Tina’s birthplace. However, the toll of Ike’s physical and emotional abuse began to surface.
In a display of his domineering nature, he unilaterally altered her name from Anna Mae Bullock to Tina Turner, a decision made without her consent and a glaring example of his controlling behavior.
In her memoir, titled “My Love Story” and published in 2018, she bravely recounted the traumatic experiences endured throughout her relationship. She expressed the depths of her anguish by likening her intimate encounters with the late musician to “a kind of rape.”
In poignant detail, she revealed the extent of the physical abuse she endured, recounting how he repeatedly targeted her nose, turning it into a punching bag. The violence inflicted upon her was so severe that she could taste the metallic flavor of blood trickling down her throat while she sang.
Having managed to break free from her abuser, she embarked on a journey of personal and professional rebirth. This resilient spirit led her to achieve unparalleled success as one of the most prominent pop and rock icons of the 1980s and 1990s. Her repertoire of hits included remarkable tracks like “Let’s Stay Together,” “Steamy Windows,” “Private Dancer,” the James Bond theme “GoldenEye,” “I Don’t Wanna Fight,” and a captivating duet with Rod Stewart titled “It Takes Two.”
Her talent also extended to the silver screen, where she showcased her acting skills in the 1985 film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” which featured another of her chart-topping hits, “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” Additionally, she made a memorable appearance in The Who’s 1975 rock opera “Tommy,” portraying the role of the Acid Queen.
She discovered true happiness when she found love in the arms of her second husband, Erwin Bac, a German music executive. Their romantic journey began in the mid-1980s, eventually culminating in their marriage in 2013.
Settling down in Switzerland, they embraced their new home and Tina Turner even obtained Swiss citizenship. In a remarkable display of devotion, Erwin Bac selflessly donated one of his kidneys to her in 2017 upon discovering her battle with kidney failure, solidifying their bond.
However, amidst her newfound joy, she also endured heart-wrenching tragedies. In 2018, she suffered the devastating loss of her eldest son, Craig, who tragically took his own life. Craig’s father was Raymond Hill, a former bandmate of Tina Turner.
Adding to her sorrow, another son named Ronnie, whose father was Ike Turner, passed away in 2022. Alongside her biological children, Tina also opened her heart to two adopted sons, Ike Jr. and Michael, who were Ike’s children from a previous relationship.
Tina Turner’s extraordinary life story became the inspiration for the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” in which Angela Bassett portrayed the iconic star, earning an Oscar nomination for her remarkable performance. Additionally, a highly successful stage musical aptly titled “Tina: The Musical” captivated audiences with its portrayal of her life. Her indomitable spirit and journey were further explored in the HBO documentary “Tina” released in 2021.
During an interview with Marie Claire South Africa in 2018, Turner expressed her perspective on life, stating, “People may perceive my life as challenging, but I believe it has been a magnificent journey. As you grow older, you come to realize that it’s not about what happened to you but rather how you choose to confront it.”