Tina Turner Has Died at Age 83 | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Tina Turner Has Died at Age 83

R.I.P. The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll

May 24, 2023 Bookmark and Share

Legendary singer Tina Turner has died at age 83. Known as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Turner passed away at her home in Switzerland after fighting an undisclosed illness.

A statement on Turner’s official Instagram page announced the news today: “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.”

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Turner’s family wrote: “Tina Turner, the ‘Queen of Rock & 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.”

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939 in Brownsville, Tennessee and grew up in Nutbush, Tennessee. Her musical career began in 1957 when she convinced Ike Turner to let her join his band The Kings of Rhythm. The two eventually married and had hits as Ike and Tina Turner, including with 1996’s Phil Spector-produced “River Deep – Mountain High,” their 1971 cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” and 1973’s semi-autobiographical “Nutbush City Limits.” Ike and Tina’s relationship was volatile to say the least, due to Ike’s cocaine addiction and his physical abuse of Tina. Tina filed for divorce in 1976 and it was finalized in 1978, leaving her deeply in debt and with an uncertain career path.

In 1983 Turner had a major comeback with the album Private Dancer, which made it to #3 on the Billboard 200 chart (and #2 in the UK) and was fives times platinum in America. The album sold 10 million copies worldwide, making it her biggest album, and was fueled by the hit singles “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and title track “Private Dancer.” In 1985 she contributed to the USA for Africa benefit song “We Are the World,” performed at Live Aid with Mick Jagger, and acted opposite Mel Gibson in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, for which she also sang the hit songs “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” and “One of the Living.” 1989’s Foreign Affair sold six million copies worldwide and included the massive hit song “The Best.”

1993 saw the release of the biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It, with Angela Bassett starring as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne playing Ike Turner (both were nominated for Oscars for their roles). Bassett issued a statement on Instagram account today about Tina’s passing, in part writing “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.”

In 1995 Tina sang the title song to Pierce Brosnan’s first James Bond film, Goldeneye.

Beyond Mad Max, Turner also acted in 1975’s Tommy (directed by Ken Russell and based on The Who’s rock opera album) and 1993’s Last Action Hero (an action movie satire starring Arnold Schwarzenegger). Turner also released several memoirs, starting with 1986’s I, Tina, co-written with MTV news correspondent Kurt Loder. She won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, once in 1991 with Ike and Tina Turner and again in 2021 as a solo artist. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, a musical based on her life, opened in 2018.

Turner had two biological sons, both of whom passed away before her (Craig by apparent suicide in 2018 and Ronnie was lost to colon cancer in 2022), and had also adopted Ike’s two sons. In 2013 she became a Swiss citizen and thus relinquished her American citizenship.

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