Tina Turner, the unstoppable singer and stage actress who teamed up with husband Ike Turner for a dynamic streak of hit records and live shows in the 1960s and ’70s and survived their horrible marriage to make it big in midlife with What’s Love Got. to Do With It, she has died at the age of 83.
Turner died Tuesday after a long illness at his home in Küsnacht, near Zurich, Switzerland, his manager said. She became a Swiss citizen a decade ago.
“She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer,” tweeted Mick Jagger, whom Turner helped shape his own dynamic stage presence. She “she was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me a lot when she was young and I will never forget her”.
Few stars have traveled as far (she was born Anna Mae Bullock in a segregated Tennessee hospital and spent her last years in a 260,000-square-foot estate on Lake Zurich) and surpassed so much. Physically battered, emotionally devastated and financially ruined by her 20-year relationship with Ike Turner, she became a superstar in her own right at age 40, at a time when most of her peers were on the wane, and she was still one of the main concert attractions for Years Later.
With fans ranging from Jagger to Beyoncé to Mariah Carey, Turner was one of the world’s most popular artists, known for a core of pop, rock and rhythm and blues favorites: Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits, River Deep, Mountain High. and The hits he had in the ’80s, including What’s Love Got to Do with It, We Don’t Need Another Hero and a cover of Al Green, Let’s Stay Together.
His trademarks included a snarling contralto that could burn or explode, his bold smile and strong cheekbones, his palette of wigs, and the fast-paced, muscular legs he had no qualms about showing off. She has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, won 12 Grammy Awards, was voted with Ike into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 (and alone in 2021), and was honored at the Kennedy Center in 2005, with Beyonce and Oprah. Winfrey among those who praise her. Her life became the basis of a movie, a Broadway musical, and an HBO documentary in 2021 that called for her public farewell to her.
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