‘Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ Tina Turner dies

Tina Turner – one of rock’s great vocalists and most charismatic performers – has died aged 83.

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.”

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The US-born star was one of rock’s iconic singers, known for her electric on-stage presence and hits including The Best, Proud Mary, Private Dancer and What’s Love Got to Do With It.

Among the first to pay tribute were Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Bette Midler, Giorgio Armani and Bryan Adams.

“She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer,” said Rolling Stones frontman Jagger.

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“She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”

Midler called her an “absolutely brilliant performer and inspiration to us all”.

Image: Turner’s stage presence and dance moves were legendary
Ike And Tina Turner With The Ikettes in 1976. Pic:AP
Image: Ike And Tina Turner With The Ikettes in 1976. Pic:AP

Turner found fame in the 1960s alongside ex-husband Ike Turner, with the classics River Deep, Mountain High and Nutbush City Limits among their hits.

The domestic abuse Ike subjected her to – and her struggle to break free – was documented in a 1993 film starring Angela Bassett, which won three Oscars.

Turner’s life story was also immortalised in a popular West End show that is still running.

Pic: AP
Image: Turner lived in Switzerland with her husband. Pic: AP

The singer’s popularity waned by the end of the 1970s and her days in the limelight appeared over, with Turner mainly playing the cabaret circuit as a heritage act.

However, her career was dramatically resurrected in 1983 when a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together became a huge hit.

Turner, then in her forties, signed a new contract with Capitol Records which led to the Private Dancer album in 1984.

It went on to sell more than 10 million copies and established her as a mega-star.

Tina Tuner meets the King, then Prince Charles, at a screening of the James Bond film Goldeneye, for which she sang the theme. Pic: AP
Image: Turner sang the theme to 1995 Bond film Goldeneye (pictured at the UK premiere)
Tina Turner performs in a concert in Cologne, Germany in 2009. Pic: AP
Image: At a concert in Cologne, Germany in 2009. Pic: AP

The title track from Private Dancer, as well as What’s Love Got to Do With It, and I Can’t Stand the Rain were among the album’s seven singles.

Her most well-known song – with its distinctive intro, steady build and powerful chorus – is probably The Best.

Released in 1989, part of the Foreign Affair album, it’s actually a cover of a song by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler.

Proud Mary is also an established classic, with Turner performing up-tempo dance moves to its “rolling down the river” refrain well into her seventies at live shows.

Off the back of her comeback, there was also a foray into film alongside Mel Gibson in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

The movie spawned another hit, We Don’t Need Another Hero.

Born Annie Anna Bullock in a segregated Tennessee hospital in November 1939, Turner became a Swiss citizen a decade ago.

Read more:
Simply The Best: Tina Turner in pictures

Tina Turner with her husband Erwin Bach in Zurich, Switzerland in 2011
Image: Turner pictured with her husband Erwin Bach in Zurich, Switzerland

She lived on a sprawling estate on Lake Zurich with her husband and former EMI record executive, Erwin Bach, some 16 years her junior.

In 2018, she revealed he had donated one of his kidneys to help her failing health after she battled back from intestinal cancer and a stroke.

She said things had become so bad she signed up to an assisted suicide group, but that the kidney gave her a new lease of life.

The couple met in 1985, with Turner once telling Oprah Winfrey it was love at first sight when he was sent to pick her up from an airport in Germany.

“He had the prettiest face. You could not miss it,” she said.

“It was like saying, ‘Where did he come from?’ He was really that good looking. My heart went bu-bum. It means that a soul has met. My hands were shaking.”

Source : Sky News