Legendary singer Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock) has died at the age of 83. Tina was an American-born and naturalized Swiss singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and author. Widely referred to as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, she rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before launching a successful career as a solo performer.
Turner began her career with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm in 1957. Under the name Little Ann, she appeared on her first record, “Boxtop”, in 1958. In 1960, she debuted as Tina Turner with the hit duet single “A Fool in Love”. The duo Ike & Tina Turner became “one of the most formidable live acts in history”. They released hits such as “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, “River Deep – Mountain High”, “Proud Mary”, and “Nutbush City Limits”, before disbanding in 1976.
In the 1980s, Turner launched “one of the greatest comebacks in music history”. Her 1984 multi-platinum album Private Dancer contained the hit song “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became her first and only number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100. Aged 44, she was the oldest female solo artist to top the Hot 100. Her chart success continued with “Better Be Good to Me”, “Private Dancer”, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”, “Typical Male”, “The Best”, “I Don’t Wanna Fight”, and “GoldenEye”. During her Break Every Rule World Tour in 1988, she set a then-Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience (180,000) for a solo performer.
Turner also acted in the films Tommy (1975) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). In 1993, What’s Love Got to Do with It, a biographical film adapted from her autobiography I, Tina: My Life Story, was released. In 2009, Turner retired after completing her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour, which is the 15th-highest-grossing tour of the 2000s. In 2018, she became the subject of the jukebox musical Tina. Having sold over 100 million records worldwide, Turner is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. She received 12 Grammy Awards, which include eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
She was the first black artist and first woman to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone ranked her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Turner had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. She was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Ike Turner in 1991 and as a solo artist in 2021. She was also a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and Women of the Year award.
Tina as in a very abusive relationship with her then husband Ike Turner but it was only in 1976 that she fled with only 36 cents and a Mobil credit card in her pocket to a Ramada Inn. After the divorce was finalized she struggled financially to support herself and her kids. Things got better for her in the 1980s when she toured steadily and then her big comeback smash of 1984 with Private Dancer. Later in life she converted to Buddhism and began living at Château Algonquin in Küsnacht on the shore of Lake Zurich in 1994. She had met German music executive Erwin Bach in 1994 and despite he was 16 years her junior, they began a relationship. In July 2013, after a 27-year romantic relationship, they married in a civil ceremony on the banks of Lake Zurich in Küsnacht, Switzerland.
Turner revealed in her 2018 memoir My Love Story that she had suffered multiple life-threatening illnesses. In 2013, three weeks after her wedding to Erwin Bach, she suffered a stroke and had to learn to walk again. In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. Turner opted for homeopathic remedies to treat her high blood pressure. Her hypertension resulted in damage to her kidneys and eventual kidney failure. Her chances of receiving a kidney were low, and she was urged to start dialysis. In 2013, three weeks after her wedding to Erwin Bach, she suffered a stroke and had to learn to walk again. In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. Turner opted for homeopathic remedies to treat her high blood pressure. Her hypertension resulted in damage to her kidneys and eventual kidney failure. Her chances of receiving a kidney were low, and she was urged to start dialysis. On May 24, 2023, Turner died at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, aged 83, following a long illness, including cancer, strokes, and kidney failure in her final years.