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Tina Turner dies at 83, fans reflect on greatest hits

The "Simply the Best" singer was known for her spirited performances and her legendary comeback.
Tina Turner poses at home for a portrait in December 1984 in Los Angeles, California.
Tina Turner poses at home for a portrait in December 1984 in Los Angeles, California. Aaron Rapoport / Getty Images

Written by Elena Nicolaou and Alex Portee

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She was simply the best.

Tina Turner died in her home in Switzerland at the age of 83, her estate confirmed. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” a spokesperson shared in a statement.

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner was known best under the stage name that she was given in 1960 by her then-partner Ike Turner, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1978. At the time of her death, Turner was married to Erwin Bach.

Known as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, some of her most notable songs include "The Best," "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Proud Mary." Turner was equally known for the power of the comeback: In her 40s, she reinvented herself with 1984's "Private Dancer."

Here, follow TODAY.com's live blog for regular updates, reactions, and more on this breaking story.

331d ago / 1:03 AM UTC

Celebrities react to the death of Tina Turner: ‘You were simply the best’

Tributes and memories of the music legend Tina Turner, who passed away on May 24 at age 83, continue to pour in from those who came to love her for her rousing voice and Herculean presents. Amongst the love and appreciation are memories from celebrities eager to pay their respects to her as well, with memories being shared by Beyoncé, Martha Stewart, Mariah Carey, and more.

331d ago / 12:47 AM UTC

Beyoncé updates the front page of her site with Tina Turner tribute

The lasting impact of Tina Turner lives on in the vitality and accomplishments of the many singers and artists for whom her career undoubtedly paved the way. In an update to her website, Beyoncé boldly honored the singer referred to as the “Queen of Rock’ n’ Roll.” Splashed across the screen of the “Renaissance” singer’s site is an image of her holding hands with Turner as the two take a bow while on stage while performing for the 50th annual Grammy Awards back in 2008.

“My beloved queen. I love you endlessly,” a statement on the page says. “I’m so grateful for your inspiration and all the ways you have paved the way. You are strength and resilience. You are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will forever remain. Thank you for all you have done.”

331d ago / 11:25 PM UTC

Memories of Tina Turner's greatest performances pour in from fans

Tina Turner's name is trending on social platforms as users continue to share their favorite moments from the singer's songs and performances.

On Twitter and Instagram, users have begun to recirculate posts of the singer's best-known hits including “The Best,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and “Proud Mary.” Others on Twitter shared performances from the aftermath of her career including her 1984 music video for the song "Private Dancer" and her 2008 Grammys performance with Beyoncé.

331d ago / 10:50 PM UTC

Oprah calls Tina Turner 'forever goddess' with heartwrenching tribute

Oprah Winfrey is speaking out about the death of her longtime friend Tina Turner who passed away today at the age of 83.

Winfrey penned a post shared on her Instagram about the life and career of the naturalized Swiss singer, actor, and author. With a photo that featured the two women dancing on a stage, the caption spoke to the “magnitude of inner strength that grew” in Turner “throughout her life.”

“I started out as a fan of Tina Turner, then a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country, and then, eventually, we became real friends,” the talk show host and media proprietor wrote in the caption of the post. “She is our forever goddess of rock ‘n’ roll who contained a magnitude of inner strength that grew throughout her life. She was a role model not only for me but for the world. She encouraged a part of me I didn’t know existed.”

Winfrey continued, spotlighting Turner’s strength and survival of domestic abuse, which the singer spoke out about often.

“Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph. I’m grateful for her courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolo’s and a leather miniskirt. She once shared with me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid but excited and curious. Because she had learned how to LIVE surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends. I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best.”

331d ago / 10:37 PM UTC

Tina Turner was the mother to 4 sons, two who died tragically

Tina Turner was an 8-time Grammy award winner, wildly known as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In a 2021 interview with Today.com before her death, the singer counted the birth of sons as among her great accomplishments.

Turner was the biological mother of two sons, Ronnie Turner — whom she shared with ex-husband and former bandmate Ike Turner. She shared her son Craig Turner with musician Raymond Hill. She was also the adoptive mother of Ike's two sons from a former relationship, Ike Jr. and Michael Turner.

“Some of the happiest moments in my life were the birth of my beautiful baby boys, Craig and Ronnie,” the singer told Today.com in the interview.

Both Craig and Ronnie preceded their legendary singer mom in death. Craig, who had been a real estate agent in California, died by apparent suicide in July 2018. Ronnie passed away in December 2022 at the age of 62 from colon cancer.


331d ago / 10:11 PM UTC

Mariah Carey describes Tina Turner as 'survivor' and 'inspiration'

In a heartfelt tribute shared to her Instagram, Mariah Carey spoke to the ways in which the late singer Tina Turner personified words like "legendary" and "diva."

"The words legendary, iconic, diva, and superstar are often overused and yet Tina Turner embodies them all and so many more — an incredible performer, musician and trailblazer," the singer captioned the post. "To me, she will always be a survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere. Her music will continue to inspire generations to come. Rest in Peace, Queen."

331d ago / 9:53 PM UTC

Al Roker posts throwback photo with Tina Turner

Al Roker recalled meeting Tina Turner and her husband in 2008 in an Instagram post.

"We were so honored to meet @tinaturner and her husband, Erwin Bach and blessed to have seen her last concert at Madison Square Garden back in 2008," Roker wrote.

331d ago / 9:21 PM UTC

Tina Turner died after a 'long illness.' Inside her medical history

The statement from Turner's publicist did not confirm precisely how the singer died, instead saying she had a "long illness."

Indeed, she had multiple health struggles which she documented publicly.

In her 2018 memoir titled “My Love Story,” Turner detailed the health problems that befell her following her 2013 marriage to Erwin Bach. “I’ve been on such a wild roller-coaster in the four years since my wedding that even have difficulty keeping my medical catastrophes straight," she wrote.

  • Three months into her marriage, she suffered a stroke three months.
  • Her history of high blood pressure led to kidney problems. In 2017, she received a kidney transplant. Her donor was her husband.
  • In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, delaying her kidney transplant a year.

She also suffered from vertigo and was open about mental health struggles.

331d ago / 8:45 PM UTC

Gayle King: 'Time to celebrate her life'

Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey's best friend, wrote a tribute to Turner on Instagram.

"Who did not love TINA TURNER?! What a honor to get to know her, and love her up close. Simply the best is not cliche when talking about Tina ... Time to grieve & celebrate her life," King wrote.

331d ago / 8:38 PM UTC

Tina Turner on dying: 'I’m curious! I want to know!’

Speaking to Oprah in 2013, the year she married Bach, Turner spoke about this "stage" in her life — and alluded to death being the next one. She said she felt "curious" about death.

"Even when it's time to go and leave to another planet, I'm excited about that because I'm curious to know what it's about. Nobody can tell you because nobody has come back. I'm not excited to die, but I don't regret it when it's time for me. I've done what I came here to do. Now is pleasure. I've got great friends. I have a great man in my life now. I have a great husband and I'm happy," she said.

331d ago / 8:27 PM UTC

Fans remember the moment Tina Turner surprised Oprah Winfrey for her 50th birthday

For Oprah Winfrey's 50th birthday celebration, Tina Turner flew in from Switzerland to surprise her friend with a performance of "Simply the Best."

Winfrey's shock and joy is palpable in the clip, which is going viral on Twitter. As John Travolta alludes to Turner's arrival ("she flew in from Switzerland to tell you that you're 'simply the best'"), Winfrey shoots to her feet. She later joined Turner on stage.

“Y’all remember when John Travolta surprised Oprah on her birthday with Tina Turner?” one shared. “And Oprah just lost her mind? And Tina just gliding down them steps and started performing. I always loved that moment.”

Winfrey's long friendship with Turner, more broadly, was also remembered, with someone suggesting someone "check on Oprah" in a Twitter post. They continued, “She ran around with that Tina Turner wig for a whole season of her talk show.”

In 2011, Oprah followed Turner around the country for her “Wildest Dreams Tour.”

331d ago / 8:15 PM UTC

Magic Johnson: Tina Turner 'created the blueprint'

Basketball legend Magic Johnson paid tribute to another legend in a tweet which included a photo of him with Turner.

"Rest in peace to one of my favorite artists of all time, the legendary queen of rock n’ roll Tina Turner. I’ve seen her many many times and hands down, she gave one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen," he wrote, and continued in a second tweet.

"Tina would have so much energy during her performances and was a true entertainer. She created the blueprint for other great entertainers like Janet Jackson and Beyoncé and her legacy will continue on through all high-energy performing artists. Cookie and I are praying for her husband and all of her friends and family," he wrote in another.

331d ago / 8:04 PM UTC

Mick Jagger shares statement on the passing of his 'wonderful friend'

Tina Turner and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger had a decades long relationship of mutual admiration. Earlier this year, Turner told the Guardian she "always had a crush" on Mick Jagger. They performed together multiple times in the '80s. In 1985, she performed with Jagger at the Live Aid Festival in Philadelphia. During the performance, Jagger tried to rip Turner's skirt off on stage.

Jagger posted a statement to Facebook: "I’m so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer. She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her," he wrote.

331d ago / 7:54 PM UTC

Flowers to be placed on Turner's Walk of Fame star

Flowers will be placed on Turner's star today at 2 pm PT, per a Walk of Fame spokesperson. Turner’s star is located 1750 N. Vine Street in front of the historic Capitol Records building, and was placed there in 1986.

331d ago / 7:43 PM UTC

Bryan Adams remembers meeting Tina Turner

Singer Bryan Adams remembered his own brush with the legend in a Twitter tribute.

"My condolences to Erwin and Tina’s family. I’ll be forever grateful for the time we spent together on tour, in the studio and as friends. Thank you for being the inspiration to millions of people around the world for speaking your truth and giving us the gift of your voice. It’s Only Love and that’s all," Adams wrote.

331d ago / 7:31 PM UTC

George Takei shares tribute: 'A true legend has passed'

George Takei wrote a Twitter tribute weaving in many references to Turner's music.

"A true legend has passed. Tina Turner has died at the age of 83. She was our River Deep and our Mountain High, the Private Dancer in our hearts. She showed us that love really does has everything to do with it, and that we really did need another hero. And she was it. Rest now, Proud Mary. Raise your voice high in the heavens," he wrote.

331d ago / 7:31 PM UTC

White House press secretary reacts

When asked about Turner's death by NBC's Peter Alexander during a press briefing, Karine Jean-Pierre responded with emotion.

"Tina Turner was an icon, a music icon who had many stages and many amazing moments in her career. Very sad to hear the news. I was a huge fan of Tina Turner. As you can see from my reaction, that is the first I’m hearing of it. And it is a massive loss, massive loss to the communities that that loved her and certainly to the music industry, and her music will live will continue to live on very sad. Our hearts go out to her family and her friends on on her on their loss," she said, per NBC News.

331d ago / 7:26 PM UTC

Tina Turner declared dead at 83 in official statement

A statement posted to the singer's Facebook and Instagram read as follows: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. 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."