Tina Turner, the earthshaking singer whose rasping vocals, sexual magnetism, and explosive energy made her an unforgettable live performer and one of the most successful recording artists of all time, died on Wednesday at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, near Zurich. She was 83.
She had suffered ill health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.
Starting with her performances with her ex-husband Ike, Turner injected an uninhibited, volcanic stage presence into pop. Even with choreographed backup singers — both with Ike and during her own career — Turner never seemed reined in. Her influence on rock, R&B, and soul singing and performance was also immeasurable. Her delivery influenced everyone from Mick Jagger to Mary J. Blige, and her high-energy stage presence (topped with an array of gravity-defying wigs) was passed down to Janet Jackson and Beyoncé. Turner’s message — one that resounded with generations of women — was that she could hold her own onstage against any man.
In a statement on Wednesday night, her publicist Bernard Doherty said: “Tina Turner, the ‘Queen of Rock’n Roll’ has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
“Private Dancer” by Tina Turner
My first memory of Tina Turner is the “Private Dancer” video always playing on a VHS tape in the lounge of CCAA in Belém, where I was learning my first English lessons.
Many years later, Tina Turner got connected to another very strong memory of mine (and of many other Brazilians): after the 1993 Australian F1 GP, Airton Senna attended a show of Turner’s where the latter claimed to be a huge fan of the Brazilian driver.
Senna was in attendance with his then-girlfriend Adriane Galisteu, and what happened next, left him in awe. Tina Turner sang ‘The Best’ for Ayrton Senna. A few weeks later, he died in a car accident in Imola.
R.I.P. Tina Turner