Tina Turner: The Legendary Icon Dies at 83

Tina Turner, who is considered the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, has died at the age of 83 in Switzerland.

Singer Tina Turner, who is dubbed the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and known for her songs “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “Proud Mary” died at 83 in Switzerland.

Tina’s publicist Bernard Doherty confirmed the news of her death to several publications. “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.”

Doherty also said that a private funeral will be held for family and friends and requested privacy for her family.

Tina has been based in Switzerland with her husband, German producer, and actor Erwin Bach, and has since become a Swiss citizen. She has retired from performing except for a few appearances.

Her rise to fame has been an open book. From overcoming an abusive relationship to mourning the death of her two kids, Tina Turner has battled several challenges.

Overcoming an abusive relationship

Prior to meeting Erwin Bach, Tina was in a relationship with Ike Turner, whom she toured with in the early 60s and 70s with his band. Tina met Ike Turner when he saw her sing during a Kings Rhythm performance. Back then, she was known by her real name, Ann Me Bullock.

Tina wrote in her 2018 biography My Love Story that Ike was very abusive towards her. “My relationship with Ike was doomed the day he figured out I was going to be his moneymaker.”

“He needed to control me, economically and psychologically, so I could never leave him.”

Tina and Ike would eventually divorce. In a 2017 interview on the Jonathan Ross Show, she recalled how she finally mustered the courage to leave him.

“I just took a chance, I said, ‘The way out is through the door’ and while he was on one of his sleeping times, I just left the hotel, went out the kitchen way, and down to the freeway.”

Despite the bitter battle she and Ike had, Tina would move on to go on tour for her albums in between being a mother to four kids.

Her 1984 album Private Dancer later skyrocketted her career in the music scene.

Tina Turner’s career

The album Private Dancer became a big hit for Tina, leading her to several opportunities. Aside from doing music, Tina also did a movie with Mel Gibson in 1985, wrote her first book I, Tina in 1986, and sing the theme song for the James Bond movie GoldenEye in 1995, starring Pierce Brosnan. Before divorcing Ike Turner, Tina also appeared in the movie adaptation of Tommy, where she played the role of the Acid Queen.

Tina’s life story would be shown in the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It in 1993. The movie starred Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, becoming a massive hit.

Tina announced in 2008 that her 50th anniversary Tour would be her last, saying she would like to focus on her life with Erwin, who she married in 2013.

Although she has retired from performing, Tina made several appearances every now and then, including a performance with Beyonce at the Grammys in 2008, and interviews for a 2021 documentary called Tina and a musical based on her life.

Tina was also immortalized as a Barbie doll in 2022. Moreover, she was inducted formally into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2021.

Tina Turner on her kids

Although her turmoil relationship with Ike was always in the headlines, Tina made sure to shield her kids away from the spotlight as much as she can. She and Ike have one son, Ronnie, and adopted two of Ike’s kids, Ike Jr. and Michael, from his previous relationship. She had another son as well, Craig, from her relationship with Raymond Hill. Ike Turner later adopted Craig.

Tina’s sons Ronnie and Craig would be the first to leave her with Craig dying in 2018 and Ronnie dying in 2022.

Before his death, Craig shared in the Tina documentary aired in 2021 about life with his mom.

“She really took to raising us personally because basically, that was her happiness to a certain extent,” he said. He would later die due to suicide.

Tina paid tribute to Craig in 2018, tweeting: “My saddest moment as a mother. On Thursday, July 19, 2018, I said my final goodbye to my son, Craig Raymond Turner, when I gathered with family and friends to scatter his ashes off the coast of California. He was 59 when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby.”

Tina Turner
Photo Source: TinaTurner

Her other biological son Ronnie also had issues. In a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone, Tina recalled his troubles in California.

Ronnie would eventually get his life back on track and marry French singer Afida Turner. In 2022, Ronnie died of colon cancer.

Tina mourned the death of her son in an Instagram post, writing: “Ronnie, you left the world far too early. In sorrow, I close my eyes and think of you, my beloved son.”

Tributes for Tina

Following the news of her death, several celebrities took to social media to pay tribute.

In her tribute to Tina, Angela Bassett wrote: “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.”

“Her final words to me – for me – were, ‘You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world.’ I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days. I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world. So on today, while we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be ‘simply the best.’ Angels sing thee to thy rest…Queen.”

Former US president Barack Obama tweeted: “Tina Turner was raw. She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself—speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain; triumph and tragedy. Today we join fans around the world in honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never fade.”

Tina Turner
Photo Source: Barack Obama

Mick Jagger also paid tribute to a dear friend.

Mick Jagger and Tina Turner
Photo Source: Mick Jagger

Beyonce paid tribute to Tina through her a statement on her website. Other tributes included Elton John, Oprah, Ciara, Dione Warwick, Diana Ross, and the Rock and Roll Fame.

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