Tina Turner, resilient star who sang ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘What’s Love Received to Do With It,’ dies


For Oprah Winfrey, bearing witness to considered one of Tina Turner’s frenetic, high-octane performances was nothing wanting a religious expertise.

“Every electrifying swing of her miniskirt, each slide of her 3-inch Manolos throughout the stage, sends a message: I’m right here. I’ve triumphed. I can’t be damaged,” Winfrey stated.

A powerhouse singer able to squeezing each attainable emotion out of songs reminiscent of “Proud Mary,” “River Deep, Mountain Excessive” and “What’s Love Received to Do With It,” Turner died Wednesday at her dwelling in Küsnacht, close to Zurich.

Turner’s demise was introduced in a press release from her supervisor, Bernard Doherty, who stated she died following a protracted sickness. She was 83.

“Even after the numerous awards, the 180 million album gross sales, the record-breaking excursions, and unforgettable appearing roles, Tina can be remembered most by the sheer pleasure of her music,” Max Lousada, chief government of recorded music for Warner Music Group, stated in a press release. “So highly effective is her extraordinary, common attraction that there isn’t a doubt she is going to proceed to affect generations to come back. She stands because the epitome of creative self-empowerment.”

The Grammy-winning vocalist overcame an abusive marriage and many years of adversity earlier than being totally embraced as a rock ’n’ roll authentic who exuded a uncooked sensuality together with her commanding but soulful voice, million-dollar legs and iconic hair.

Although she ignited her personal blazing legacy within the recording studio and live performance halls world wide, Turner’s private {and professional} historical past are inextricably linked to that of her late ex-husband, Ike Turner. Her transformation right into a famous person ultimately eclipsed the revered and reviled Ike, who was a extremely regarded expertise scout, guitarist, pianist and document producer lengthy earlier than he found Tina when she was simply 18.

“One night when the drummer gave my sister the mic, I took it,” she recalled in 2005. “I may do B.B. King songs with all of the emotion. Ike stated, ‘Woman, I didn’t know you may sing,’ and I used to be so completely happy, as a result of he was greater than life. That’s after I knew I needed to be an entertainer.”

Born Anna Mae Bullock, she modified her identify to Tina at Ike’s behest and allowed him to form her live-wire stage persona — renaming his band the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. They had been married in 1962, two years after the beginning of their son Ronald.

The duo rose to fame with their first single, “A Idiot in Love,” which reached No. 2 on the R&B charts in 1960. They scored quite a few hits within the years to comply with, together with “Poor Idiot,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Nice,” “Proud Mary,” “I Wish to Take You Larger,” “Nutbush Metropolis Limits” and “River Deep, Mountain Excessive.”

Tina Turner’s dynamic stage presence turned as memorable because the duo’s information and took the act far past the R&B scene in 1969 after they opened for the Rolling Stones on the rock band’s North American tour, together with her typically singing duets with Mick Jagger.

When the couple’s tumultuous relationship got here to an finish — Turner stated she walked out on Ike within the Nineteen Seventies following a vicious limo dispute in Dallas and years of home abuse allegations — she launched her solo profession however hung onto her husband’s identify.

She filed for divorce in 1974 and their marriage formally ended 4 years later. Ike Turner died in 2007 from a cocaine overdose at 76, however their fractured historical past continued to make headlines even after his demise.

Although brimming with confidence, Turner adopted the weak persona of a survivor as she poured her struggles and hardships into her music. Her performances had been typically so energetic that the media referred to her as “TNTina.”

Her profession stalled within the aftermath of her divorce, however she mounted a surprising comeback in 1984 with the album “Personal Dancer,” which bought greater than 10 million copies and scored 4 Grammy Awards.

Two years later, she launched “Break Each Rule” and printed her bestselling memoir, “I, Tina,” which detailed the years of violence she stated she endured with Ike. Their stormy relationship drew consideration once more in 1993 when her memoir was tailored for the display within the movie “What’s Love Received to Do With It?” The biopic starred Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, each of whom earned Oscar nominations for his or her portrayals of the risky duo. A jukebox musical about Turner’s life premiered in London’s West Finish in 2018, then moved to Broadway, and the singer was featured in the stirring 2021 documentary “Tina.”

“How do we are saying farewell to a lady who owned her ache and trauma and used it as a way to assist change the world?” Bassett stated in a press release to The Instances.

“By way of her braveness in telling her story, her dedication to remain the course in her life, regardless of the sacrifice, and her dedication to carve out an area in rock and roll for herself and for others who appear to be her, Tina Turner confirmed others who lived in concern what a good looking future stuffed with love, compassion, and freedom ought to appear to be.”

When requested if she was shocked by the peaks and valleys of her life, Turner stated no: “I’m not shocked, as a result of I’ve at all times needed this. And I received’t cease till I get that respect,” she informed Rolling Stone in 1986. “I could not ever get it fully, as a result of my life has been too laborious thus far. However I’ve gotten a style of what that respect might be like, and I prefer it.”

Turner was born in Nutbush, Tenn., in 1939, and her father led a crew of sharecroppers and was a deacon on the church the household attended. She recalled that, although her mother and father had little formal schooling, they appeared stuffed with widespread sense. Her mother and father additionally fought regularly. Her mom left the household when Turner was 10, as did her father three years later.

“I’m a powerful individual, as a result of I had handled issues when my mom and father separated and I went from relative to relative and had issues in class,” she informed The Instances in 1998. “It was powerful all the best way, so my pores and skin was already toughened to the life and striving to get by. I didn’t dwell on it, I simply stored going.”

Turner stated she was stung by the racism she encountered as a youth and later as a performer.

“I’m seemed down upon as a result of I’m Black,” she informed The Instances. “It’s without end. It’s like a curse on you.”

Turner typically lived together with her paternal grandmother and labored as a babysitter for a white household whom she would later credit score for pushing her to get a great schooling. She moved to St. Louis when she was 16 to be together with her mom and started singing in expertise exhibits. It was at one of many exhibits that she got here throughout Ike Turner’s R&B band, Kings of Rhythm. She began courting saxophonist Raymond Hill and the 2 had a toddler, Craig, when she was 18.

She had deliberate to go to nursing faculty, however when the Kings of Rhythm misplaced their lead singer, Ike requested her to affix the band, renaming it the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.

Ike’s reinvention of her picture made her a intercourse image, catalyzed by one explicit tune: her smoky cowl of Otis Redding and Jerry Butler’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Lengthy.”

With the assistance of producer Phil Spector, the band crossed over to pop in 1966 with the landmark document “River Deep, Mountain Excessive,” constructed round her hovering vocals and Spector’s symphonic “wall of sound.” Although it solely reached No. 88 on the Billboard charts, it got here to be thought to be one of many defining singles of the Nineteen Sixties and was inducted into each the Grammy Corridor of Fame and the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame. Tina and Ike Turner had been inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame in 1991.

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Tina Turner and Mick Jagger in Philadelphia in 1985.

(Rusty Kennedy / Related Press)

Tina Turner was inducted as a solo artist in 2021, making her considered one of solely three ladies within the establishment’s historical past to be inducted twice. (Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and singer-songwriter Carole King are the others.)

Within the late Nineteen Sixties the Rolling Stones invited Ike and Tina Turner to affix their U.Ok. tour and added them to the American leg of their world tour in 1969, their performances captured within the 1970 movie “Gimme Shelter.” That surprising success and the sheer dimension of the crowds prompted Ike to have Tina document covers of rock songs, together with the Beatles’ “Come Collectively” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” which turned their first U.S. high 10 hit and their first million-selling single. It additionally earned Turner the primary of her eight Grammy awards.

“She’s one of many first ladies performers I labored with who has the identical aggressive factor that I’ve bought,” Jagger informed Rolling Stone in 1995. “A number of ladies performers are fairly static — or actually had been within the ’60s. They did their finest, however they weren’t like Tina. She was like a feminine model of Little Richard and would reply to the viewers — actually exit and seize them.”

Paying tribute to Turner, Jagger tweeted that she was “inspiring, heat, humorous and beneficiant. She helped me a lot after I was younger and I’ll always remember her.”

Turner stated Ike was extra like a sibling at first, fun-loving and carefree. However the longer they lived collectively, she stated, the extra abusive he turned, hitting her and forcing her to have intercourse with him. He “acted as if that was a traditional a part of the connection,” she stated.

“It was a completely sad scenario I used to be in, however I used to be too far gone,” she informed Rolling Stone. “It’s laborious to clarify. This man was beating me — I at all times had a black eye or one thing, and he had ladies in all places, and he wouldn’t give me any cash — and but, I didn’t go away. I felt sorry for him.”

She stated she tried suicide by overdosing on Valium, uncertain how else to flee the connection.

In July 1974, Ike began a struggle by slapping the again of her head, based on Turner’s memoir. When the 2 emerged from the limousine, they each had been bloodied and bruised. She stated it was the primary time she fought again.

“I took every part God gave me with no consideration: Tina, my household, my profession,” Ike Turner informed The Instances years later when he was launched after 18 months in jail for probation and drug-related violations.

After the limo altercation, whereas Ike was sleeping, Turner walked out with simply 36 cents in her pocket. With the assistance of associates, she moved to Los Angeles and started life anew, although she struggled to regain momentum, typically working in Las Vegas showrooms and showing on sport exhibits reminiscent of “Hollywood Squares.”

What would change into a outstanding second act started in 1984 together with her solo album “Personal Dancer,” which spawned the hits “What’s Love Received to Do With It” and “Higher Be Good to Me.” She continued to carry out and document till 1999, when she launched “Twenty 4 Seven,” her tenth and ultimate solo album.

She had a number of outstanding roles in movies, notably because the Acid Queen within the movie model of the Who’s rock opera “Tommy” and showing alongside Mel Gibson in “Mad Max Past Thunderdome.” She turned down Steven Spielberg’s provide to solid her in “The Shade Purple,” saying the storyline was “too near what I simply stepped out of,” the Guardian reported.

When her 1986 autobiography, “I, Tina,” turned a nationwide bestseller and the next movie “What’s Love Received to Do With It?” a success, Turner stated she was startled that her story of survival was inspiring to so many.

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Tina Turner in Amsterdam in 1971.

(Gijsbert Hanekroot / Redferns)

“I had no concept that it could do what it did by way of inspiring loads of ladies — and really what it did to loads of males,” she stated. “It had an impression on lots of people, and I’m completely happy about that, as a result of it’s virtually like poison turned to medication in some sort of approach.”

After greater than 4 many years of regular touring, Turner introduced her retirement in 2000 however was again on the street earlier than lengthy. She retired for good in 2009. She obtained a Kennedy Middle Honor in 2005 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

“So long as you’re wholesome and also you’re in good condition, folks will at all times come to see you so long as you may have one thing to supply by way of expertise,” she stated of performing in her later years. “I hope I’m not stomping round on the stage at 80. But when I’m and it provides nice assist to ladies to say they’ll nonetheless do it, then why not?”

In 2013, she relinquished her U.S. passport and have become a Swiss citizen, citing an ancestral connection to the nation. She married her longtime music supervisor Erwin Bach in a civil ceremony in Zurich. The couple had lived in a waterfront property in Zurich since 1995. Turner bought her music catalog to the German music company BMG for a reported $50 million in 2021.

“Together with her music and her boundless ardour for all times, she enchanted thousands and thousands of followers world wide and impressed the celebrities of tomorrow,” a publish on her official Instagram account stated Wednesday. “Right now we are saying goodbye to a pricey good friend who leaves us all her biggest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her household. Tina, we are going to miss you dearly.”

Turner is survived by Bach. Her son Ronnie Turner died of problems associated to late-stage most cancers and heart problems, in 2022. Her son Craig Turner died by suicide in 2018.


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