Los Angeles — The legendary triple threat singer-dancer-actress Tina Turner died at the age of 83 on Wednesday from a culmination of multiple illnesses. She is unanimously known as the ‘’Queen of Rock of Roll.” Her electrifying dance moves, killer legs, and thunderous stage presence throughout the decades is the definition of a performer.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in rural Nutbush, Tennessee in 1939 under the Jim Crow period, she had a tumultuous childhood and lived in poverty. She found solace through gospel music and began singing in her church’s choir. Her influenced many of our favorite modern performers and artists today and her contemporaries as she rose in the 60s and 70s, shaking and shimming up the charts while breaking the racial divide in mainstream radio.
Turner later soared like a Phoenix as she took ownership of her image and music after leaving her partnership with ex-husband musician Ike Turner in 1976, whom she divorced after experiencing years of domestic violence. With 36 cents to her name, she left to embark on starting a new era for herself which led to breakthrough success defeating ageism in the industry at age 44 by dominating the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her first number #1 solo hit, ‘’What’s Love Got to Do with It’’ from her multi-platinum and best-selling fifth studio album, “Private Dancer.” Turner won three Grammy Awards for the single including Record of the Year. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” is also the title of the 1994 biographical film of Tina Turner which starred Angela Bassett whose performance as Turner was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. At the end of her life, Turner ranked up a total of 12 Grammy Awards, including 3 Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, and in 2018 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Her legacy currently lives on through many artists paying homage to the vocal powerhouse. During the Renaissance World Tour, Beyoncé said in Paris, France, ‘’"If you’re a fan of mine, you’re a fan of Tina Turner. Because I wouldn’t be on this stage without Tina Turner." "So I want you guys to just scream so she can feel your love." Beyonce later performed ‘’River Deep Mountain High’’ in London on May 29.
Other artists who flourished in recent years, such as Lizzo, also on tour performed a tribute to her, singing ‘’Proud Mary.’’
Chloe Bailey posted a video of Turner dancing on her Instagram story the day of Turner’s death, saying ‘’RIP TINA TURNER. My heart is broken. You’ve inspired me so much.’’
Academy Award winning actress-singer Ariana DeBose posted a video of Turner performing ‘’Steel Claw,’’ DeBose said, ‘’The definition of resilience, power, and strength. Thank you for your example.’’ China Anne McClain who rose to fame on Disney shared a clip of her performing “Proud Mary” years old on the game show, Sing Your Face Off. ‘’Before I did this performance at 14 yrs old, I studied Tina Turner for days and gained an IMMENSE amount of respect for her during that process. RIP to the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll & much more,” McClain said.
Turner was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, being one of three women to be inducted twice. In 2019, a Broadway musical called “Tina,” based on her life opened. She is one of the best selling artists of all time, with 200 million records sold throughout her entire discography and the most tickets sold for a solo performer in a farewell tour.
In 2021, Turner released her HBO documentary, “Tina,” which is the definitive version of how her life played out, she says near the end that even though she succeeded, that the bad outweighed the good. In her final years, she shared her life with husband German music producer Erwin Bach for nearly 40 years, living in Küsnacht, Switzerland. Turner deemed her union to Bach as her “one true marriage.”
With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” her family says. I implore you all to listen to her discography which I can only describe as versatile and inspirational, and to view the “Tina” documentary on Max. She was your favorite artist’s favorite artist. Rest In Power, Queen.
Zipporah “Zipp” Pruitt, (she/her) is an L.A. homegrown journalist, who covers entertainment and culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @zippzapps.
Edited by Nykeya Woods