Tina Turner, celebrated for her incomparable voice, electrifying stage presence, and resilient spirit, passed away on Wednesday 24 May at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, near Zurich. She was 83. Turner durably marked the music industry.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November , 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, to a poor sharecropping African-American family, Tina Turner overcame numerous obstacles to become one of the most revered performers of all time. Her unwavering determination propelled her from humble beginnings to international stardom.
Turner's career spanned over six decades.
It began in the 1950s when she joined Ike Turner's band, becoming his lead vocalist and later marrying him. Together, they created an explosive fusion of rock 'n' roll and soul. Their collaboration gave birth to numerous hits such as "Proud Mary" and "River Deep – Mountain High."
Ike & Tina Turner sing “Proud Mary” on the Carpentier set.
Despite their professional success, their personal relationship was marred by domestic violence. Tina Turner endured years of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse at the hands of Ike Turner. In her autobiography, I, Tina, published in 1986, she describes the profound impact the abuse had on her confidence, self-esteem, and overall mental health. Tina Turner's resilience ultimately allowed her to break free from the cycle of abuse. Her courage to walk away from the toxic relationship marked a turning point in her life and propelled her towards becoming the global music icon we know and admire today. She divorced from Ike Turner in 1978.
She became a musical icon
Tina embarked on a solo career and in the 1980s, captivated audiences worldwide with her soulful voice, magnetic stage presence, powerhouse performances and chart-topping singles like "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Private Dancer." Her album Private Dancer, released in 1984, became a colossal success, earning multiple Grammy Awards and selling over 20 million copies. At this time, she earned her title of "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" and cemented her status of musical icon.
As news of Tina Turner's passing spread, tributes began pouring in from fans, fellow musicians, and public figures. Social media platforms overflowed with personal anecdotes, and a flood of her unforgettable performances being shared and relived, reflecting the profound impact Turner had on the music industry.
In memory of the rock 'n' roll queen
The legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, had often hosted Turner's sold-out performances. The emblematic of black American music venue gave its marquee over to the star: "In memory of the rock 'n' roll queen, Tina Turner".
Fans of all ages took place in front of the theatre to pay their respects and share memories to the late music legend. The atmosphere was filled with a mix of sadness and celebration as fans reflected on Turner's indomitable spirit and the legacy she leaves behind. On Twitter, former U.S. President Barack Obama reacted : “Tina Turner was raw. She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself—speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain; triumph and tragedy. Today we join fans around the world in honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never fade”.
Retiring from the music industry in 2009, Turner settled in Switzerland and focused on her personal life. She found love and happiness with her longtime partner, German music executive Erwin Bach, whom she married in 2013. Together, they enjoyed a tranquil life, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Tina Turner's contributions to music were recognized by numerous accolades, including multiple Grammy Awards, two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Tina Turner's influence transcended mere music; she became a beacon of hope and a symbol of female empowerment. Turner continues to be an inspiration to countless individuals, proving that one's past does not define their future. Her courage to speak out serves as a reminder that no one should suffer in silence and that there is support available for those affected by domestic abuse.
Tina (2021) Official Trailer | HBO