Music world mourns Tina Turner

Tributes are flowing for singer Tina Turner, a multi-Grammy award winner known for hits including Nutbush City Limits, What’s Love Got to Do with It and Simply the Best, who has died aged 83.

May 25, 2023, updated May 25, 2023
Photo:EPA/Caroline Brehman

Photo:EPA/Caroline Brehman

The US-born singer came from humble beginnings in the state of Tennessee to reach global super-stardom.

She was admired for overcoming her abusive 16-year marriage with performing partner Ike Turner to find solo-career success in her mid-40s.

She had rose to fame as a duo with Ike in the 1960s and ’70s.

Hits like River Deep – Mountain High and Nutbush City Limits stormed the charts in several countries.

As Turner revealed much later, the marriage was torture for her, with Ike beating and bullying her.

She eventually fled from him at the age of 37 and gave up all financial claims to the music they jointly created in order to get through the divorce quickly and launch the next chapter of her career.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Turner won eight Grammy Awards and has a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St Louis Walk of Fame.

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, Mick Jagger and Jimmy Barnes.

At the age of 45, she shone in the spotlight with the album Private Dancer, her solo breakthrough in 1984.

From then on she filled stadiums and music stages all over the world.

Throughout the 1980s and ’90s the “Queen of Rock and Roll” thrilled audiences with her powerful voice, daring costumes, sexy dance routines and boundless energy.

She landed numerous hits, from What’s Love Got To Do With It? and Proud Mary to We Don’t Need Another Hero and Simply the Best to name a few.

After a farewell tour in 2009, she retired into private life and later became a Swiss citizen.

With her German partner Erwin Bach, a record company manager who was 16 years her junior, she had lived on Lake Zurich since the 1990s.

They married in 2013 at a lavish wedding at their lakeside villa.

In 2021 she was inducted into the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must have done something right,” she joked at the ceremony via video link from Switzerland.

Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock to a sharecropper family on November 26, 1939, had suffered from colon cancer and kidney failure.

Her husband donated one of his kidneys to her in 2017.

Mick Jagger, who duetted with her on stage during Live Aid in 1985, wrote on Instagram: “I’m so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer.

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

Rolling Stones’ guitarist Wood described 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 tweeted, adding: “Love and prayers to all of Tina’s family, friends and loved ones #tinaturner@tinaturner.”

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Elton John said Turner was a “total legend on record and on stage”.

“We have lost one of the word’s most exciting and electric performers,” he wrote, sharing a picture of the pair together on Instagram.

“A total legend on record and on stage. She was untouchable. Condolences to Erwin and her family. The saddest news.”

Also paying tribute to the late star were actresses Angela Bassett and Viola Davis.

In a lengthy statement shared with US outlets, Bassett said Turner had given the world “more than we could ever have asked”.

The actress starred as Turner in the 1993 film What’s Love Got To Do With It, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best actress.

“I am honoured to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world,” Bassett said in her statement to US media.

“So on today, while we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked.

“She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be “simply the best.”

US singer and actress Bette Midler said Turner would be performing “lead” vocals for the “flights of angels sing(ing) her to her rest”.

Middler wrote on Twitter: “Our beloved #TinaTurner has died.

“From #Nutbush to the top, she was an absolutely brilliant performer and inspiration to us all.

“May flights of angels sing her to her rest, but if I know Tina, she is singing lead.”

Diana Ross added she was “shocked” and “saddened” by the news of Turner’s death.

Bryan Adams, who collaborated with Turner on the 1985 song It’s Only Love, said she was “one hell of a powerhouse woman”.

“RIP @tinaturner. The world just lost one hell of a powerhouse woman,” he said.

“I’ll be forever grateful for the time we spent together on tour, in the studio and as friends.

“Thank you for being the inspiration to millions of people around the world for speaking your truth and giving us the gift of your incredible voice.

“My condolences to her husband Erwin and Tina’s family. It’s Only Love … and that’s all.”

Australia’s Roger Davies, her manager of 30 years, called Turner a “force of nature”  and added that it was a “privilege and an honour” to be her friend.

-with AAP

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