In Memoriam: Tina Turner

Tina Turner
(November 26 1939-May 24, 2023)

Tina Turner embodied a formidable presence, commanding attention both on stage and screen. Beyond the spotlight, she ascended from humble rural origins in post-Depression Nutbush, Tennessee, to achieve global superstardom. She embraced Buddhism and obtained Swiss citizenship in 2013, establishing her residence there in 1994. She passed away in her home after a long battle of several illnesses, including cancer.

Tina performing a concert in Cologne, Germany Jan. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz)

Turner rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the vocalist of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Her departure from her husband Ike Turner in 1976, following a prolonged period of physical and emotional mistreatment, led to one of the most remarkable comebacks in pop music history in the 1980s. She achieved monumental success with chart-topping hits including “What’s Love Got To Do With It“, “Private Dancer“, and “The Best”, amassing an estimated 180 million albums sold worldwide, securing 12 Grammy Awards, and embarking on sold-out stadium tours across the globe. She also collaborated with and performed with artists such as David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and opening for The Rolling Stones.

Her influence as a musical trailblazer extended into the realm of television, where she became a fixture on MTV. This marked a significant milestone during an era when the music video channel was predominantly dominated by white artists.

Ian Dickson/Redferns/Getty Images

A two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a consistent presence on lists celebrating the greatest performers, Tina Turner was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 2005. Following her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour in 2009, one of the highest-grossing tours of the 2000s, she retired. However, she returned to the public eye with the 2018 West End musical sensation Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, featuring Adrienne Warren in a performance that propelled her career.

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