Singer, dancer, actress and author Tina Turner “died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness,” her publicist said on Wednesday. She spent her last days at her home in Kusnacht near Zurich.
“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” the publicist added.
Turner had a long and storied career, accompanied by a turbulent personal life. Born Anna Mae Bullock in the US state of Tennessee in 1939, she started performing with Ike Turner in 1957. By 1960, she debuted under the stage name Tina Turner, with a hit duet ‘A Fool in Love.’
The duo married in 1962 and sang their way to fame and fortune with hits such as ‘Proud Mary’, until a bitter break-up in 1976 revealed Ike’s heavy drug use and physical abuse of his wife. Tina Turner spent the next six years performing at cabaret shows and doing TV gigs, until she recorded ‘Private Dancer’ in 1983.
In 1984, ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’ became the number-one hit on the Billboard 100. She took on a supporting role in the movie ‘Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome’ in 1985, achieving success as an actress. A cover of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘The Best’ on her 1989 album ‘Foreign Affairs’ became far better known than the original, and is often mistakenly called ‘Simply the Best.’
Turner recorded the title song for the 1995 James Bond film ‘Goldeneye.’ She announced her retirement from touring in 2000, but came back in 2008 for a 50th-anniversary tour and a greatest hits album.
Tina Turner was the first female artist and the first black artist to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, in November 1967. She also made the magazine’s list of 100 greatest artists of all time.
She received 12 Grammy awards, including four honorary ones, and is the only female artist with a Grammy in the pop, rock, and R&B categories. She made the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame both as a solo artist and part of the duet with Ike. Turner also received the French Legion of Honor and a honorary doctorate from the University of Bern in Switzerland.
In 2013, Turner applied for Swiss citizenship and relinquished her American passport. She also married her long-time companion Erwin Bach, a German music executive she first met in 1986. Bach donated a kidney to her when Turner’s own kidneys failed in 2017, due to high blood pressure and her battle with cancer.
Tina Turner had two biological sons, Raymond Craig (1958-2018) and Ronald “Ronnie” Turner (1960-2022). She is survived by two grandchildren from Ronald’s marriage to French singer Afida Messai.