Tina Turner, one of the most admired performers in the history of music, has died, according to multiple reports. Turner, who was known as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” was 83 years old.
In a statement, her spokesperson said: “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 Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.”
“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
“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.”
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Turner sold 200 million albums and won eight Grammy Awards, she rose to fame in the 1960s as the centerpiece of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, a St. Louis blues band.
Ike and Tina Turner bounced between record labels, owing much of their commercial success to a relentless touring schedule. Their biggest hit was a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary.”
Turner left her husband one night in 1976 on a tour stop in Dallas, after he pummelled her during a car ride and she struck back, according to her memoir. Their divorce was finalized in 1978.
The superstar was forthcoming about the abuse she suffered from her former husband during their marital and musical partnership in the 1960s and 1970s. She described bruised eyes, busted lips, a broken jaw and other injuries that repeatedly sent her to the emergency room.
“Do you realize you’re a feminist hero?” Larry King asked her in 1997. “I’m beginning to,” she said.
“Tina’s story is not one of victimhood but one of incredible triumph,” singer Janet Jackson wrote about Turner, in a Rolling Stone issue that placed Turner at No. 63 on a list of the top 100 artists of all time.
“She’s transformed herself into an international sensation – an elegant powerhouse,” Jackson said.
After leaving her husband, Turner spent years struggling to regain the limelight, releasing solo albums and singles that flopped and gigging at corporate conferences.
In 1980, she met a new manager Roger Davies, an Australian music executive who went on to manage her for three decades. That led to a solo no.1 – “What’s Love Got to Do With It” – and then in 1984 her album “Private Dancer” landed her at the top of the charts.
“Private Dancer” went on to become Turner’s biggest album, the capstone of a career that saw her sell more than 200 million records in total.
Turner had iconic roles as the Acid Queen in The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1975) and as the ruthless Aunty Entity in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). On television, she was a fixture on variety shows, on MTV and in commercials, most notably as the face (and legs) of a $20 million campaign for Hanes hosiery, which hired her at 56 to energize the brand.
In 1985 Turner met German music executive Erwin Bach who became her long-term partner and in 1988 she moved to London, beginning a decades-long residency in Europe. She released two studio albums in the 1990s that sold well, especially in Europe, recorded the theme song for 1995 Bond movie “GoldenEye,” and staged a successful world tour in 2008 and 2009.
After that, she retired from show business. She married Bach, relinquishing her U.S. citizenship and becoming a citizen of Switzerland.
Credit: Reuters, Insider, BBC, Hollywood Reporter, Sky News