Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner, dies at 83

Tina Turner, known as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, has died after a long illness at her home in Zurich, Switzerland. She was 83 years old.

Turner has had difficulty with her health in recent years after being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.

Known for her heel stomping, wild hair, and powerful, gritty vocals, Turner sold out stadiums, earned a dozen Grammy awards, and won the hearts of fans around the world in a music career that spanned five decades. 

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” Turner’s publicist, Bernard Doherty, said in a statement. “Tina Turner thrilled millions of fans and inspired many artists of subsequent generations.” A private funeral ceremony will be attended by close family and friends who have asked for privacy.

Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner rose to fame as the singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before launching a solo career that is among the most successful of any female performer in pop music history. Her career paved the way for future generations of Black women in music. 

However, her success was accompanied by personal upheavals and private traumas. Prior to her solo career, Turner experienced years of horrific physical and emotional abuse by her then-husband Ike Turner, who tried to take control of virtually all aspects of her life.

“It was my relationship with Ike that made me most unhappy. At first, I had really been in love with him. Look what he’d done for me. But he was totally unpredictable,” Turner wrote in “I, Tina,” a memoir co-authored by music critic and MTV News correspondent Kurt Loder.

Turner was the first Black artist to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone and was once named “one of the greatest singers of all time.” Turner pulled off one the most triumphant comebacks in modern rock music, recording one chart-topping song after another with songs like “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Private Dancer,” and “The Best.” 

Turner toured around the world and remained a signature musical personality until the late 20th century. Turner announced her retirement in 2009 after wrapping up her 50th-anniversary tour.

“I’ve done enough,” Turner announced to a crowd of 75,000 people at Letzigrund stadium in Zurich that year. “I’ve been performing for 44 years. I really should hang up my dancing shoes.”

Turner’s life story was told in the 1993 hit film What’s Love Got to Do with It and the 2021 Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. 

Tina Turner is survived by two adult sons and her husband, Erwin Bach, whom she started dating in 1986 and eventually married in a Swiss civil ceremony in 2013. 

Along with her Grammys and number one hits, Turner earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement trophy and was a two-time inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – first with Ike Turner (1991), then as a solo artist (2021).

“If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must’ve done something right,” Turner said with a smile in her acceptance speech.


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