The world is mourning the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll. Tina Turner died on May 24 at the age of 83, as her representative first confirmed to Sky News, stating she died “after a long illness” at her home near Zurich, Switzerland. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Turner’s death was then announced on her Instagram page, with a statement paying tribute to her musical legacy. “With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” the post reads. “Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”
Turner’s career is one of rock music’s most memorable stories. After two decades of working with her ex-husband, which spawned iconic ’70s hits like “Proud Mary” and “River Deep, Mountain High,” she chartered her own path on her 1984 album Private Dancer and remained a defining artist of the ’80s and beyond, with Billboard calling it “one of the greatest comebacks in music history.” Turner won 12 Grammys across her career, was inducted in the Rock and Rall Hall of Fame twice, and was the first female artist to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. Her life was chronicled with three memoirs, an acclaimed Broadway jukebox musical, and the 2021 documentary Tina.
Turner had experienced health struggles in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and suffering kidney failure that led to a transplant the following year. She is survived by husband Erwin Bach and two children, Ike Turner Jr. and Michael Turner, who she adopted after marrying ex-husband Ike Turner. Her eldest son Craig died at 59 years old in 2018, while another son Ronnie died at 62 in December 2022.
Celebrities are quickly taking to social media to pay tribute to the legendary singer. Schitt’s Creek creator and star Dan Levy shared the popular clip of his onscreen love interest, played by Noah Reid, performing Turner’s 1989 classic “The Best” as an ode to his lover. “The ultimate inspiration,” he wrote. “The Best. #RIPTinaTurner.”
Angela Bassett, who received her first Oscar nomination for playing Turner in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It, wrote an emotional note on Instagram, where she revealed the last words that the singer had said to her. “Her final words to me – for me – were, ‘You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world.’ I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days,” she said. “I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world.”
Former President Barack Obama paid tribute on his Twitter, calling her “a star whose light will never fade.” Ciara shared two vintage photos of Turner on Twitter, writing “thank you for the inspiration you gave us all,” while actor George Takei wrote, “She was our River Deep and our Mountain High, the Private Dancer in our hearts.” Fellow rock icon Mick Jagger also remembered his “wonderful friend” on Twitter. “She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous,” he wrote. “She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”
Fans are also mourning the rock icon on Twitter, noting her immeasurable accomplishments and impact across the music industry and remembering their favorite performances.
More to come…