Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Queen Tina Turner Has Died at The Age of 83 After a “long Illness”

Tina Turner died in her home near Zurich, Switzerland, after a protracted illness, according to her spokesperson. Tina Turner, whose volcanic voice and powerful dance movements earned her the title of Queen of Rock over a 60-year career, has died at the age of 83.

The iconic singer died on Wednesday, May 24 at her home near Zurich, Switzerland, after a protracted illness, her publicist Bernard Doherty revealed in a statement.

“Tina Turner, the “Queen of Rock’n Roll,” died peacefully today at the age of 83 in her home in Küsnacht, near Zurich, Switzerland, after a long illness.” “The world has lost a music legend and a role model with her passing,” the statement said. “A private funeral service will be held for close friends and family.” Please respect her family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

The American-born singer had been residing in Switzerland with her husband, German actor, and music producer Erwin Bach, since 1994, and gained Swiss citizenship in 2013. She had a number of major health issues in recent years, including a stroke, intestinal cancer, and total kidney failure that necessitated an organ transplant.

Turner had one of the longest careers in rock history, scoring Billboard Top 40 hits over four decades and garnering Grammys, a Kennedy Center Honor, and induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Turner was recently the subject of Tina, an HBO documentary on her life.

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Rock 'n' Roll's Queen Tina Turner has died at the age of 83 after a "long illness"

Turner and her then-husband were 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.”

As a solo artist in the 1970s, Turner remade herself as an MTV star, scoring successes with “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “The Best,” and “Private Dancer” and becoming one of the world’s best-selling female artists in the process.

Turner’s childhood was plagued by her turbulent marriage to musical collaborator Ike Turner, who subjected her to terrible physical and psychological abuse. (He passed away in 2007.) Angela Bassett starred in the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do with It, which depicted her survival and terrible escape.

Turner, who was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, began singing in a Baptist church chorus. Her childhood was not happy; at the age of 11, her mother left home to escape her abusive husband. Turner’s father married another woman two years later and departed the state, leaving Turner and her sisters in the care of her grandma.

Turner met her future husband Ike in the late 1950s while he was performing with his band, Kings of Rhythm, on the St. Louis club circuit. He was 25 years old, and Turner was just 17 years old.

“Ike wasn’t conventionally handsome,” she said in her memoir My Love Story, published in 2018. “Actually, he wasn’t particularly attractive — and he certainly wasn’t my type.” I was used to high school males who were clean-cut, athletic, and dressed in denim, so Ike’s processed hair, diamond ring, and slender body made him appear older than he was, despite the fact that he was only 25. “I couldn’t help but think to myself, ‘God, he’s ugly.'”

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Rock 'n' Roll's Queen Tina Turner has died at the age of 83 after a "long illness"

Tina joined the band, and after a relationship with saxophonist Raymond Hill, which resulted in the birth of her first son, Craig, in 1958, her relationship with Ike took a romantic turn. Even after she became pregnant with his child, he never forgot about business. Ike saw an opportunity that had nothing to do with love after the band’s first studio recording with Tina netted him $25,000. “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, both economically and psychologically, so that I could never leave him.”

Ike gave the future diva her famous title around this period, despite her wishes. “Tina” was inspired by a character from a favorite TV show. He also insisted on her using his surname, signifying marriage as well as some level of ownership. He even registered a trademark for the name “Tina Turner.

Their son Ronnie was born in October 1960, and the couple married two years later in Tijuana in a quickie ceremony. Ronnie died in December of complications from colon cancer at the age of 62.

Her marriage to Ike did little to strengthen their relationship, and the pressures of growing celebrity exacerbated the problems. “Our life together was a mockery of a ‘normal’ relationship: defined by abuse and fear, not love, or even affection,” she wrote.

That same year, Ike wrote a new song for his band, “A Fool in Love.” When the planned singer was unable to attend the session, he asked Turner to sing a “guide” vocal for a demo. The outcome was deemed solid enough for release in July of that year, earning them a Top 40 success.

So started a succession of early R&B hits such as “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” (for which they won a Grammy), “I Idolize You,” and “I Can’t Believe What You Say.” When the hits dried up, they toured extensively at Ike’s request, often doing runs of 90 gigs at a time under the Ike & Tina Turner Revue moniker.

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Rock 'n' Roll's Queen Tina Turner has died at the age of 83 after a "long illness"

They kept up the tempo with frequent performances on rock ‘n’ roll television shows such as Hollywood a Go Go, American Bandstand, and Shindig!, as well as concert films such as The Big T.N.T. Show.

Despite the fact that they did not have a hit, their raw energy drew the attention of many famous and powerful fans, including superproducer Phil Spector, who signed them to his label. Their bombastic 1966 single “River Deep — Mountain High” fizzled in the lower reaches of the charts, but it piqued the interest of the Rolling Stones, who hired the Revue to serve as their opening act on their tour that fall, paving the way for more high-profile gigs and television appearances.

By the early 1970s, the married couple had begun producing funked-up covers, including the Beatles’ “Come Together,” Sly Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher,” and, most notably, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” which reached No. 4 in 1971 and became one of Turner’s signature tunes.

As their celebrity grew, so did Ike’s abusive and domineering personality. “There was violence because he was afraid I was going to leave him,” Turner explained in 2018. Ike, ironically, was the one who had extramarital affairs. “Because I didn’t love him in that way… the other women weren’t so bad, but it was the constant, constant ill-treatment.”

Turner famously abandoned her husband in 1976 with nothing except a Mobil card and 36 cents in her pocket after years of agony. She fled while the couple was on tour, staying at the Statler Hilton in Dallas, Texas. “I just took a chance,” she explained back in 2017. “I said, ‘The way out is through the door,’ and I just left the hotel, went out the kitchen way, and down to the freeway while he was sleeping.”

Turner never looked back, despite the enormous risk. “I walked out without anything and had to make it on my own for my family and everyone, so I just went back to work for myself,” she said. “It was very difficult and dangerous because Ike was a violent person who was on drugs and very insecure at the time.” I didn’t have any money. I have nowhere to go.”

From there, she rebuilt her career, performing alone for the first time in decades and battling her soon-to-be ex-husband in court as she sought custody of her children — and her name.

“‘It’s only blood money,’ I told the judge.” “I don’t want anything,” she wrote. “I had one request.” I wanted to keep the name ‘Tina Turner,’ which Ike owned. I left that courthouse with the name Tina Turner and two Jaguars, one from Sammy Davis, Jr. and one from Ike, and that was the end of it. It’s amusing now — no money for food or rent, but two Jaguars! Everything was a tremendous wind against me, given my age, 39, gender, race, and the period we lived in.”

But she returned stronger than ever. In the 1980s, she had songs including “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Private Dancer,” and “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome),” as well as videos on a nascent MTV. MTV gave her a new generation of fans and turned her into a global phenomenon. Her 1984 solo album Private Dancer won four Grammy Awards and went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide.

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Her success extended into the 1990s, when she made two top-selling albums, sang the theme song for the James Bond film GoldenEye, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Aside from the music, it was also a time for introspection. Her memoir, I, Tina, was published, and her experience was adapted for the big screen in What’s Love Got to Do with It.

She announced in 2008 that her Tina! 50th Anniversary Tour would be her final, and she mostly departed from the music profession after that. She began to pay more attention to her personal life, particularly her connection with German actor and music producer Erwin Bach. After decades of dating, the couple married in 2013.

She made one of her final public appearances in 2018, attending the opening of Tina, a London musical based on her life story that covers every difficult moment of her 50-year singing career.

“I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career,” she wrote in the program, “and after more than 50 years of performing, I don’t need a musical or another show.” But I still get cards and messages – I can’t believe how people feel about me on stage and the impact they say I left. People have told me that I gave them hope. It meant so much to people that I felt compelled to pass it on, and I hope this show serves as a reminder of my efforts.”

She was most recently interviewed for an HBO documentary, which will be released in March 2021. “I had an abusive life,” she admitted in the documentary, which included unique footage and interviews with Turner and other key figures in her life. “There’s no other way to tell it.” Buddhism provided an escape route.” “I began to realize that I needed to make a change.” I gained nothing from the divorce. Without money, there is no home. So I just took my name,” she explained.