On Wednesday, the family of Tina Turner released the following statement: “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 Küsnacht,” With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
Turner’s iconic voice and dance moves vaulted her to a storied 60-year career.
She was listed on Rolling Stone’s list of The Immortals – The Greatest Artists of All Time. Turner is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and she is also represented in the Grammy Hall of Fame by two of her recordings: “River Deep – Mountain High” (1999) and “Proud Mary” (2003). Turner has won eight Grammy Awards.
Born Anna Mae Bullock, on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner’s parents, Floyd and Zelma Bullock were poor sharecroppers who split up and left Turner and her sister to be raised by their grandmother. When her grandmother died in the early 1950s, Turner moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to be with her mother.
Barely in her teens, Turner quickly immersed herself in St. Louis’s R&B scene, spending much of her time at Club Manhattan. It was there, in 1956, that she met rock-and-roll pioneer Ike Turner, who often played at the club with the Kings of Rhythm. Soon Turner was performing with the group, and she quickly became the highlight of their show.
Tina Turner began performing with musician Ike Turner in the 1950s. They became known as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, achieving popular acclaim for their live performances and recordings like the top 5 hit “Proud Mary,” until Tina left in the 1970s after years of domestic abuse.
Following a slow start to her solo career, Turner achieved massive success with her 1984 album Private Dancer. She went on to deliver more chart-topping albums and hit singles and was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. The revered singer later became involved in the spiritual Beyond project and married longtime boyfriend Erwin Bach in July 2013.
In April 2013, Turner became a Swiss citizen and renounced her American citizenship.
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 used homeopathic remedies to treat her high blood pressure but caused kidney failure. Her chances of receiving a kidney were low, and she was urged to start dialysis. Turner wanted to commit assisted suicide, but her husband donated his kidney in April 2017.
Turner died on May 23, 2023, at the age of 83 in her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland after battling a long illness.
In the program for the musical Tina, which is based on her life, Turner wrote: “I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career, and after more than 50 years of performing I don’t need a musical, I don’t need another show. But I get so many cards and letters — I still can’t believe how people feel about me on stage and the legacy they say I left.”