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Tina Turner: ‘Queen of rock ‘n’ roll’ dies aged 83 after long illness

Tina Turner: ‘Queen of rock ‘n’ roll’ dies aged 83 after long illness

Legendary singer Tina Turner has died at the age of 83 after a long illness, her publicist has announced.

Turner’s publicist Bernard Doherty announced her passing in a statement to the PA news agency on Wednesday evening.

“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,” he said.

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.

“Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, USA. She became famous in the late 60s as the singer of the band Ike & Tina Turner Revue, but later she became successful worldwide as a solo artist.

“With her music and her inexhaustible vitality, Tina Turner thrilled millions of fans and inspired many artists of subsequent generations.

“Global hits like ‘What’s Love Got To Do With it’, ‘Private Dancer’ and ‘The Best’, more than 180 million albums sold, 12 Grammy Awards and over three decades of sold-out stadium tours around the world are just part of her unique legacy.”

Mr Doherty said a private funeral ceremony would be held for close friends and family.

Turner’s official Instagram account hailed the singer’s “boundless passion for life” and said she had “inspired the stars of tomorrow”.

It posted a black-and-white picture of Turner, with the caption: “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.”

In a career spanning more than 60 years, the American-Swiss singer, who was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, won multiple Grammy Awards and has a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St Louis Walk of Fame.

Her autobiography, I, Tina, was turned into the 1993 film What’s Love Got To Do With It, dramatising the mother-of-two’s famously turbulent relationship with Ike Turner and it also saw Angela Bassett nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Tina in the biopic.

Turner, widely referred to as the Queen of Rock and Roll, wed her long-time German beau, the music executive Erwin Bach, in a Swiss civil ceremony in 2013 and has lived in Switzerland with him since 1994.

It was a second marriage for the music star, who was previously married to musician Ike from 1962 to 1978.

In her 1986 book, the singer narrated a harrowing tale of abuse, including suffering a broken nose during the course of her marriage to Ike.

Ike died in December 2007 and Tina’s spokeswoman at the time was quoted as saying: “Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made.”

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

In autobiography Tina Turner: My Love Story, published in 2018, she revealed that Bach saved her life by donating one of his kidneys.

Her famous track list over the years includes the Bond theme track for 1995’s GoldenEye, with a tune of the same name co-written by Bono and The Edge of U2 fame, and other tracks include We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome), What’s Love Got to Do With It, Private Dancer, Let’s Stay Together and many more.

 (AP)
(AP)

In 2008 she duetted at the Grammys with Beyonce for a rendition of Proud Mary which featured both the powerful singers, in sparkly outfits, mirroring each other’s choreography.

Other notable duets through her career included performing with David Bowie and in 1985 she took to the stage with The Rolling Stones’ Sir Mick Jagger during Live Aid.

Last year, Turner said following her son Ronnie’s death at the age of 62 that he “left the world far too early”.

Her other biological son, Craig Raymond Turner, died aged 59 in 2018.

In 2005 President George W Bush famously described her legs as “the most famous in showbusiness” and it was reported she insured them for hundreds of millions of US dollars.

A musical based on her life, titled Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, opened on London’s West End in 2018.

Her career spanned more than music, with her starring in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome alongside Mel Gibson and she also appeared in 1993’s Last Action Hero.

In 2021 she sold the rights to her back catalogue after reaching an agreement with BMG for an undisclosed sum, signing over her share of her recordings, her music publishing writer’s share and her name, image and likeness, the company said.

Her solo works include 10 studio albums, two live albums, two soundtracks and five compilations, which together have sold more than 100 million records.

Tributes poured in from around the world following news of Turner’s death.

 (AP)
(AP)

Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood shared pictures of Turner online, describing her as “a dear friend to our family”.

“God bless you Tina, the Queen Of Rock And Soul and a dear friend to our family,” he wrote.

“Love and prayers to all of Tina’s family, friends and loved ones.”

Model Naomi Campbell posted on Instagram: “Rest in Peace & Power THE QUEEN , LEGEND, ICON. There will never be another. Cherish my times with you.”

Singer Paloma Faith hailed Turner as being one of her “greatest influences and inspirations”.

Paying tribute to Turner following her death aged 83, Faith wrote on Instagram: “I can’t even begin. Really, I can’t. Tina you were probably one of my greatest influences and inspirations. I grew up with you in the background of my childhood and all through my time learning my craft I always returned to you.

“I am forever grateful I saw you live several times. I am forever in awe of your soul fire and energy. No one comes close.

“Thank you for all the gifts you gave me, and us, as women, to be empowered and stand up for ourselves and be counted by turning our pain into a force of nature. You really were incredible... RIP”.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said Turner’s death is “incredibly sad news” and a massive loss to the communities who loved her and the music industry.