The music world has lost an absolute icon, as Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tina Turner has died at the age of 83.
The news was confirmed in a statement posted via her socials that reads, “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”
Her family also issued a statement that read, “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 Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939. She garnered acclaim in the ’50s and ’60s with her husband Ike Turner, first as part of the Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, then as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. “A Fool in Love” was the first charting single in 1960, while the next decade would deliver such classics as “Proud Mary,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Nutbush City Limits” and “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine.” Turner earned raves as one of music’s most dynamic performers.
In 1976, with Turner falling victim to domestic abuse from her husband, she fled a Dallas hotel room after a physical altercation and filed for divorce from Ike Turner later that same month. She started a solo career, making appearances on TV shows later that same year and resumed touring to pay off her debts, but initially struggled on her own to gain any traction as a solo artist.
By 1983, things finally started to turn her way with the album Private Dancer, putting her back into the spotlight. It yielded the hugely successful comeback single “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” along with “Better Be Good to Me,” a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and the title track.
Turner’s story about her struggle and eventual split from Ike Turner would be told in the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do With It, Angela Bassett won the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her portrayal of Turner in the film and also received an Oscar nomination for the role.
From there, Turner’s star shined throughout the ’80s and early ’90s with such standout songs as “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” “Typical Male,” “What You Get Is What You See,” “The Best” and “I Don’t Wanna Fight.”
Turner won 12 Grammy Awards over the course of her music career and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2021, following her previous induction for her work with Ike Turner which happened in 1991. She’s also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and at one point in her career she held the Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience for a solo performer, playing to 180,000 people during a 1988 show.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame issued a statement that read, “We at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are very saddened by the news of Ms. Turner’s passing. Turner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo performer in 2021.” Their In Memoriam post notes, “Two-time Inductee Tina Turner worked hard to reimagine the role of a Black woman in rock & roll — one that was firmly placed front and center. During her time in the duo Ike and Tina Turner (inducted in 1991), her electric onstage presence forever raised the bar for live performance. Their hits ‘River Deep–Mountain High’ and ‘Proud Mary’ endure to this day. But this Queen of Rock & Roll went on to make music history again with her solo career (for which she was inducted again in 2021) and with her bravery in sharing her life story as a book, film, and Broadway musical. There was nothing her deep, robust voice couldn’t do, as displayed on her solo hits like ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’ and ‘Private Dancer.'”
Revisit some of Tina Turner’s best works below.
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