The legendary singer died Wednesday, May 24 after a long illness at her home near Zurich in Switzerland, her publicist Bernard Doherty confirmed in a 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 near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” the statement read. “There will be a private funeral ceremony attended by close friends and family. Please respect the privacy of her family at this difficult time.”
Since 1994 the American-born singer had been living in Switzerland with her husband, German actor and music producer Erwin Bach, earning her Swiss citizenship in 2013. In recent years she battled a number of serious health problems, including a stroke, intestinal cancer and total kidney failure that required an organ transplant.
Boasting one of the longest careers in rock history, Turner scored Billboard Top 40 hits across four decades, earning her Grammys, a Kennedy Center Honor, and entry into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Most recently, Turner was the focal point of an HBO documentary on her life titled Tina.
Turner’s incendiary singing, glittery stage-wear and seemingly inexhaustible energy as the frontwoman for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue made her and her then-husband one of the most electrifying acts of the 1960s, serving up high octane covers of “Proud Mary,” “Come Together,” and “I Want to Take You Higher.”
Striking out on her own as a solo artist in the ’70s, Turner reinvented herself as a star of the MTV age, notching hits with “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “The Best,” and “Private Dancer” — becoming one of the highest-selling female artists on the planet in the process.
Turner’s early years were marred by her tumultuous marriage to musical partner Ike Turner, who subjected her to brutal acts of physical and psychological abuse. (He died in 2007.) Her survival and harrowing escape was dramatized in the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do with It starring Angela Bassett.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939 in the town of Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner began singing in a Baptist church choir. Her childhood was not a happy one; at the age of 11 her mother left home in an effort to flee her abusive husband. Two years later, when Turner was a teen, her father married another woman and left the state, leaving Turner and her sisters in the care of her grandmother.
Turner would meet her future husband Ike in the late 1950s, when he was performing on the St. Louis club circuit with his band, Kings of Rhythm. He was 25 years old, and Turner was just 17.
“Ike wasn’t conventionally handsome,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir My Love Story. “Actually, he wasn’t handsome at all — and he certainly wasn’t my type. I was used to high school boys who were clean-cut, athletic, and dressed in denim, so Ike’s processed hair, diamond ring, and skinny body looked old to me, even though he was only 25. I couldn’t help thinking, ‘God, he’s ugly.’”
Tina became a member of the band, and after a relationship with the sax player, Raymond Hill — which resulted in the birth of her first son, Craig, in 1958 — her association with Ike took a romantic turn. Even when she became pregnant with his child, business was never far from his mind. After the band’s first studio recording with Tina netted Ike $25,000, he sensed an opportunity that had nothing to do with love. “My relationship with Ike was doomed the day he figured out I was going to be his money-maker,” Tina later wrote. “He needed to control me, economically and psychologically, so I could never leave him.”
Around this time, Ike gave the future superstar her famous moniker — against her wishes. “Tina” was inspired by a character in a favorite television show. He also insisted she take his surname, implying both marriage and a certain degree of ownership. In fact, he even trademarked the name “Tina Turner.”
Read the complete article posted on People here.