Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83 (2023)

Tina Turner, the pioneering rock’n’roll star who became a pop behemoth in the 1980s, has died aged 83 after a long illness.

She had suffered ill health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.

Simply the best: Tina Turner – a life in picturesRead more

Turner affirmed and amplified Black women’s formative stake in rock’n’roll, defining that era of music to the extent that Mick Jagger admitted to taking inspiration from her high-kicking, energetic live performances for his stage persona.

After two decades of working with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, she struck out alone and – after a few false starts – became one of the defining pop icons of the 1980s with the album Private Dancer. Her life was chronicled in three memoirs, a biopic, a jukebox musical, and in 2021, the acclaimed documentary film, Tina.

In a statement on Wednesday night, her publicist Bernard Doherty 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.”

In 2018, scholar Daphne A Brooks wrote for the Guardian: “Turner’s musical character has always been a charged combination of mystery as well as light, melancholy mixed with a ferocious vitality that often flirted with danger.”

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November 1939 and raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she recalled picking cotton with her family as a child. She sang in the tiny town’s church choir, and as a teenager talked – or rather, sang – her way into Ike’s band in St Louis: he had declined her request to join until he heard her seize the microphone during a Kings of Rhythm performance for a rendition of BB King’s You Know I Love You.

After her vocal talents became apparent, Ike gave her the name Tina Turner – and trademarked it in case she left him and he wanted to replace her in his act. He quickly became abusive: when Turner tried to leave the group early on after having got a sense of his mercurial character, he hit her with a wooden shoe stretcher.

Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83 (1)

“My relationship with Ike was doomed the day he figured out I was going to be his moneymaker,” Turner wrote in her 2018 autobiography My Love Story. “He needed to control me, economically and psychologically, so I could never leave him.”

She made her recorded debut under the name with the Ike and Tina Turner single A Fool in Love in July 1960, which broke the US Top 30 and started a run of respectable chart success. But it was their live performances that made them a sensation. Ike toured the Ike and Tina Turner Revue aggressively on the Chitlin’ Circuit – including in front of desegregated audiences, such was their commercial power. In 1964, they signed to Warner Bros imprint Loma Records, which released their first album to chart: Live! The Ike & Tina Turner Show.

In the second half of the 60s, the duo were courted by many of rock’s biggest names. Phil Spector produced the 1966 single River Deep – Mountain High; they supported the Rolling Stones in the UK and later the US, and stars including David Bowie, Sly Stone, Cher, Elvis Presley and Elton John came to their Las Vegas residency.

Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83 (2)

They were a chart-making, Grammy-winning force in the 1970s – a run that came to an end when Turner left Ike, who had been consistently violent and unfaithful, in 1976. Her last single with Ike was Baby, Get It On, though the song made it onto her second solo album, Acid Queen, a reference to the character she played in the 1975 film adaptation of the Who’s rock opera Tommy.

In the divorce, finalised in 1978, Turner came away with just two cars and the rights to her stage name. “Ike fought a little bit because he knew what I would do with it,” she said in the documentary Tina.

Turner, who had already released two solo records, continued pursuing a solo career, though it would take until she released her fifth album, 1984’s Private Dancer, for her to supplant the old image of the shimmying rock’n’roller – and escape premature relegation to the oldies circuit – with one of a powerful, mullet-sporting, leather-clad pop icon.

Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83 (3)

In the documentary Tina, she described Private Dancer as her debut. “I don’t consider it a comeback,” she said. “Tina had never arrived.”

Turner credited Buddhism and particularly the practice of chanting with positively affecting her life in the 1980s. Outside music, she starred in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome opposite Mel Gibson in 1985. She published her first memoir, the global bestseller I, Tina, in 1986, which was later adapted in to the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do With It? starring Angela Bassett as Turner. In 1995, she sang the theme tune to the James Bond film GoldenEye.

Turner announced her retirement in 2000, a year after releasing her final solo album, Twenty Four Seven, though she would return to the stage in 2008, performing at the Grammy awards with Beyoncé, and for a final tour to mark 50 years of her career.

That was conclusively the end. “I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy,” she told the New York Times in 2019. “That’s all I’d ever done in my life.”

Turner collaborated on the musical Tina with Phyllida Lloyd, which premiered in 2018 and won Laurence Olivier and Tony awards for its respective West End and Broadway runs. “This musical is not about my stardom,” Turner said of the production. “It is about the journey I took to get there. Each night I want audiences to take away from the theatre that you can turn poison into medicine.”

Tina Turner’s 20 greatest songs – ranked!Read more

Turner often said she did not relate to the “invincible” persona that others put on her. “I don’t necessarily want to be a ‘strong’ person,” she told the New York Times. “I had a terrible life. I just kept going. You just keep going, and you hope that something will come.”

In 2020, a remix of her 1984 hit What’s Love Got to Do With It? by the Norwegian producer Kygo made Turner the first artist to have a UK Top 40 hit in seven consecutive decades. In 2021, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, 30 years after Ike and Tina Turner’s induction.

Turner is survived by her second husband, German music executive Erwin Bach. They married in July 2013 after 27 years together and lived in Switzerland. In 2013, Turner renounced her US citizenship to become a Swiss citizen.

Her first child, Craig Raymond Turner, died in July 2018. Last year, Turner said that following her other son Ronnie’s death at the age of 62 that he “left the world far too early”. She is survived by two of Ike Turner’s sons, Ike Turner Jr and Michael Turner, whom she adopted.

In 2020, Turner told the Guardian that despite having some serious health problems, the last 10 years of her life had embodied her ideal vision of happiness.

“True and lasting happiness comes from having an unshakeable, hopeful spirit that can shine, no matter what,” she said. “That’s what I’ve achieved, and it is my greatest wish to help others become truly happy as well.”

FAQs

Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83? ›

May 24, 2023, at 2:39 p.m. (Reuters) -Tina Turner, the American-born singer who left a hardscrabble farming community and abusive relationship to become one of the top recording artists of all time, died on Wednesday at the age of 83.

How old is Tina Turner and is she still alive? ›

Tina Turner, the earthshaking singer whose rasping vocals, sexual magnetism and explosive energy made her an unforgettable live performer and one of the most successful recording artists of all time, died on Wednesday at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, near Zurich. She was 83.

What age did Tina Turner stop performing? ›

She made it through a hardscrabble childhood in rural Tennessee to become a dynamo of '60s R&B in a duo with Ike, whose horrific abuse she survived to reinvent herself as one of the biggest solo acts of the '80s; she toured the world until she was almost 70, then retired in 2009 without going back on it like virtually ...

Why did Tina Turner pass away? ›

She was 83 and, in recent years, she had a stroke, kidney disease and other ailments. Bernard Doherty, her longtime publicist, confirmed the death but did not provide an immediate cause. Ms. Turner, who grew up as Anna Mae Bullock in rural Nutbush, Tenn., was living in St.

When did Tina Turner last perform? ›

Fans have recalled music legend Tina Turner's final concert, which took place at Sheffield Arena on 5 May 2009. The singer, who died on Wednesday aged 83, performed the gig as part of her 50th anniversary tour before retiring.

How old was Tina Turner when she met her last husband? ›

The couple first met in 1985

Bach, then a 30-year-old German music executive, was tasked with picking up Turner, a 47-year-old superstar, from the airport.

How old is Tina Turner husband now? ›

Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, found her king when she met her future second husband Erwin Bach at an airport nearly 40 years ago. The music legend — who died at age 83 on Wednesday after a "long illness," her rep confirmed — opened up about her romance with Bach, now 67, in her 2021 HBO documentary Tina.

Has Tina Turner retired from singing? ›

She formally retired in 2009, after her “Tina! 50th Anniversary” tour. “I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy,” she recalled to The New York Times.

Has Tina Turner stopped singing? ›

Turner announced her retirement in 2000, a year after releasing her final solo album, Twenty Four Seven, though she would return to the stage in 2008, performing at the Grammy awards with Beyoncé, and for a final tour to mark 50 years of her career. That was conclusively the end.

How old was Tina Turner when she did what's love got to do with it? ›

For one, she was already middle-aged by that point — at 44, practically a full generation older than the 25-year-old Madonna and MJ — and for another, she'd been out of the limelight for the better part of a decade, having broken free of abusive on-stage and romantic partner Ike Turner, but failing to that point to ...

Why is Tina Turner on dialysis? ›

Chronic kidney failure is known as a "silent killer," because "symptoms do not become noticeable until 80 percent of renal tissue is lost," Turner continued. "As it happened to me, hypertension is one of the most frequent causes of kidney failure." She eventually started dialysis.

Did Tina Turner leave her husband? ›

Tina left her husband and manager Ike Turner in 1976 after he repeatedly punched her while traveling from the Dallas airport to their hotel during their tour.

Where is Tina Turner now? ›

She was 83. Turner died Wednesday at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.

How many times did Tina Turner marry? ›

Turner, who was born Anna Mae Bullock, died Wednesday at the age of 83. The iconic singer, who was inducted as a solo artist into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, was married twice. Tina Turner performs in a concert in Cologne, Germany on Jan. 14, 2009.

Will Tina Turner tour again? ›

Tina Turner to Retire From Touring - ABC News.

Has Tina Turner had a stroke? ›

The queen of rock 'n' roll died peacefully in her home in Switzerland on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. In the years leading up to her death, the star had been open about the health problems she faced, including intestinal cancer in 2016, a kidney transplant in 2017 and a stroke in 2013.

What ethnicity is Tina Turner? ›

Legendary American musician Tina Turner, one of the most successful recording artists of all time, passed away on Wednesday, aged 83. She leaves behind a legacy full of pioneering moments, first as an African-American woman rock-and-roll artist in the 1960s and '70s, and later as a massive pop success in the '80s.

Did Tina Turner have any children? ›

Raymond Craig Turner
Ike Turner Jr

How old was Tina Turner when she had her son? ›

The rock icon was only 18 when she had Craig in 1958 with her partner, Raymond Hill, who was a saxophonist with Ike Turner's band Kings of Rhythm. Craig was later adopted by Ike after he and Turner married in 1962.

What religion is Tina Turner? ›

While Tina Turner is heralded as an R&B and rock icon, her Buddhist faith was the soul that drove her eventful life and career. She often credited the religion with helping her find the strength to leave her abusive relationship with Ike Turner in 1976.

How many babies did Tina Turner have? ›

Did Tina Turner have children? The 'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll' had two biological children. She had her first son, named Raymond Craig, with Kings of Rhythm saxophonist Raymond Hill.

Is Tina Turner in a relationship? ›

After 27 years of being in a relationship, Turner and Bach got married in 2013. The nuptials took place at their estate in Switzerland with over 200 friends and family members in attendance.

Does Tina Turner have a raspy voice? ›

Her raspy voice and electric stage moves influenced many performers. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: The queen of rock 'n' roll with a voice and stage presence all her own - who else could we be talking about but Tina Turner?

What was Tina Turner's biggest hit? ›

By this time, Turner had begun work on a full album, Private Dancer, which was released in May 1984 and became a worldwide hit. It spawned a string of hit singles, including "What's Love Got to Do with It", which still stands as Turner's biggest hit, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.

Who is the new Tina Turner actress? ›

New production shots have been released for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, featuring new principals Elesha Paul Moses and Caleb Roberts. Since 29 June, Moses has been sharing the titular role with continuing cast member Aisha Jawando, with Roberts assuming the role of Ike Turner.

Is Tina Turner musical still showing? ›

'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' tickets now available through February 2024. This news is simply the best! Tina: The Tina Turner Musical has extended its booking window, with tickets now available through 11 February 2024.

How old was Tina Turner when she moved with her mom? ›

Her mother left the family when Turner was 10, as did her father three years later. “I'm a strong person, because I had dealt with problems when my mother and father separated and I went from relative to relative and had problems in school,” she told The Times in 1998.

What is the life expectancy of someone who stops dialysis? ›

This varies from person to person. People who stop dialysis may live anywhere from one week to several weeks, depending on the amount of kidney function they have left and their overall medical condition.

What is the longest a person can live on dialysis? ›

Today, someone can be on dialysis for many years. Many patients lead long, active, and fulfilling lives for 5, 10, 20 or more years. The length of time depends on many things such as age, gender, other health problems, and how well you follow your treatment plan.

Why is Tina Turner wearing a wig? ›

Tina has been wearing wigs since the early '60s, when a hair salon over-bleached her chemically straightened black locks and turned them brittle.

What did Tina Turner think of what's love got to do with it? ›

The artist was wary about the fact that the single fit more into the pop genre instead of her typical R&B and rock and roll, even going so far as to call the song “terrible,” according to the 2021 HBO Documentary Tina.

How long was Tina married to Ike Turner? ›

Tina and Ike Turner were married between 1962 and 1976.

How many sons does Tina Turner have left? ›

Turner, whose death at 83 was announced May 24, mourned two of her sons before she died.

How rich is Tina Turner now? ›

Tina Turner's net worth

Tina was one of the best-selling recording artists of all time so her $250 million fortune is not surprising.

How many biological kids did Tina Turner have? ›

The singer shared one biological son with her musical partner and husband, Ike Turner. Tina and Ike's only biological son together, Ronnie Turner, was born on October 27, 1960.

Where does Tina Turner leaves? ›

Switzerland was the place Turner, who relinquished her U.S. citizenship in 2013, eventually called home. “With Tina Turner's death, the world has lost an icon,” Swiss President Alain Berset tweeted Wednesday following the star's death at the age of 83.

Where did Tina Turner live last? ›

Turner died Tuesday, after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, according to her manager. She was 83.

How long will Tina Turner be on Broadway? ›

Performances ended on Aug. 14, 2022.

Does Tina Turner have any children? ›

Raymond Craig Turner
Ike Turner Jr

How many children did Tina Turner lose? ›

Tina Turner's children: A look at the iconic singer's family... and heartbreak after deaths of two late sons. Tina Turner has passed away at the age of 83, after a lengthy battle with a long, unspecified illness.

How many times has Tina Turner been married? ›

The late "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" was married twice in her lifetime. Legendary singer Tina Turner has died at age 83.

Who inherited Ike Turner's estate? ›

Who inherited Ike Turner's estate? Ike Turner reportedly didn't have a will at the time of his death. As a result, his children, not his wives or partners, inherited his estate.

Does Tina Turner have a husband? ›

Tina Turner, who died at age 83 after a long illness, had hypertension, or high blood pressure, which affected her kidneys and required a lifesaving kidney donation from her husband, Erwin Bach, in 2017. Turner once penned an essay for the Show Your Kidneys Love campaign, which spreads awareness about kidney disease.

How many biological kids did Ike Turner have? ›

The singer shared one biological son with her musical partner and husband, Ike Turner. Tina and Ike's only biological son together, Ronnie Turner, was born on October 27, 1960.

Did Ike and Tina Turner have a child? ›

Ronnie Turner
Michael Turner
Mia Turner
Twanna Turner Melby
Linda Trippeter

How many wives did Ike Turner have? ›

On top of being married to Tina Turner for many years, Ike Turner walked down the aisle several other times. In fact, at one time in the past, Ike claimed that he'd been married a total of fourteen times which is an absolutely mind-blowing fact if that is the truth.

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