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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


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

7d 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.

7d 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.”

7d ago / 12:33 AM UTC

On Princess Diana singing to Tina Turner at the top of her lungs

As celebrities and prominent figures reflect on the life and career of Tina Turner, one memory of the singer shared by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, in 2021 remains a sweet anecdote.

In 2021, the Duke of Cambridge spoke about deeply intimate memories he formed with his mother, Princess Diana, in an episode of “Time to Walk” by Apple Fitness+. Opening up about how their mother would comfort him and his brother Prince Harry when it came time to return to school, the royal revealed that Diana would play Turner’s 1988 hit “The Best.”

“One of the songs I massively remember and has stuck with me all this time, and I to this day still quite enjoy secretly, is Tina Turner’s ‘The Best,’” the prince recalled during the episode, according to The Sunday Times. “Sitting in the back seat, singing away, it felt like a real family moment.”

“We’d even get the policeman in the car: he’d occasionally be singing along as well,” William said. “We’d be singing and listening to the music right the way up to the gates at school where they dropped you off.”

7d 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.

7d 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.”

7d 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 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 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.

7d 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."

7d ago / 10:03 PM UTC

Martha Stewart Honors Tina Turner With Photo On Instagram

Reacting to the news of Tina Turner's death, Martha Stewart shared two tribute posts on her Instagram page.

"We loved Tina Turner," she captioned her first post, which featured an image of Stewart and the legendary singer smiling alongside each other while in a bed. "Goddess, Performer, Wonder Woman! We will miss her so much!!!!!!!!!"

Stewart shared the photo in a separate post shared to her Instagram Story, writing over the image "Lovely Tina Turner. Rest now in peace. We will miss you!!!!!!!"

7d 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.

7d ago / 9:44 PM UTC

Turner's daughter in law writes a tribute

Tina Turner was preceded in death by her two biological sons, Ronnie and Craig.

Ronnie Turner in December 2022 at the age of 62. He died from complications of metastatic colon carcinoma, according to a report by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner

His widow, French singer Afida Turner, wrote a message to Turner on Instagram. “Rest in peace mother in law. With Ronnie and Craig,” she wrote.

7d 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.

7d 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.

7d 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.

7d 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.”

7d ago / 8:24 PM UTC

For Turner, 'age was a number'

In her book "Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good," published in 2020, Turner spoke about her philosophy on aging.

“I really do believe that age is just a number, and I have never let age stand in my way. Not at 42, when people said that I was too old to be a rock star. And not now, in my eighties, when the book I dreamed of writing for decades is finally in your hands. I’ve passed 80, but I have not ‘arrived,’ because I still challenge myself to grow, to step out of my comfort zone, to improve my life, and to be of service to others.”

7d ago / 8:17 PM UTC

Ciara calls Tina Turner an 'inspiration'

"Heaven has gained an angel. Rest in Paradise Tina Turner. Thank you for the inspiration you gave us all," Ciara wrote in a tweet.

7d 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.

7d 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.

7d ago / 7:57 PM UTC

The 3 words Tina Turner used to describe her life

Two years before her death, Turner spoke to for an interview timed to her documentary, "Tina."

When asked to summarize her life in three words, she responded via email: "Hope. Resilience. Victory."

She also remarked on some of the happiest moments of her life: "The birth of my beautiful baby boys, Craig and Ronnie, and marrying my partner and soul mate, Erwin Bach."

"As for my music, achieving No. 1 with my song “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and receiving multiple Grammy Awards were thrilling moments, and performing for my fans always felt so great, like I was flying. One of my early career goals was to become the first Black woman to fill stadiums around the world. At the time, it seemed impossible. But I never gave up, and I’m so happy I made that dream come true," she continued.

7d 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.

7d ago / 7:49 PM UTC

Angela Bassett, who played Turner in a biopic, shares Turner's final words for her

Angela Bassett, who played Turner in the biopic of her life, "What's Love Got to Do with It," paid tribute to the "Queen."

“How do we say farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world? Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like," she said.

Bassett also shared Turner's final words with 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. I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world. So on today, while we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that that will always be 'simply the best.' Angels, sing thee to thy rest … Queen.”

7d ago / 7:47 PM UTC

'A farm girl who stood in the fields dreaming': What Tina Turner had to say about her journey

Turner was as well known for her characteristic voice and performances as she was for her insights about her life — how she got to where she did, and what she overcame to get there. Turner was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship with Ike Turner, which she detailed in her 1987 memoir, "I, Tina."

Following her comeback with the album "Private Dancer," Turner reflected on her journey from Tennessee to stardom in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1986. She said she admired first ladies growing up — but was worlds away from them.

You sing with those emotions because you’ve had pain in your heart.”

Tina Turner

“My taste was high,” she said. “So when it came to role models, I looked at presidents’ wives. Of course, you’re talking about a farm girl who stood in the fields, dreaming, years ago, wishing she was that kind of person. But if I had been that kind of person, do you think I could sing with the emotions I do? You sing with those emotions because you’ve had pain in your heart.”

7d 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.

7d ago / 7:34 PM UTC

Inside her 38-year-long relationship with Erwin Bach

Turner met Erwin Bach, a German music executive, at an airport in 1985. Bach, then 30, was assigned to pick up Turner, 47, from the airport. Speaking to Oprah Winfrey on "Oprah’s Next Chapter," Turner described the moment as “love at first sight.”

“He had the prettiest face. You could not miss it. It was like saying, ‘Where did he come from?’ He was really that good looking. My heart went bu-bum. It means that a soul has met. My hands were shaking," she told Winfrey.

Bach visited Turner in the U.S. and they became a couple. In 1995, When she was 57, Turner moved to Switzerland and formally relinquished her U.S. citizenship in 2013. The couple got married that same year, 27 years after meeting. “There comes a time in life where you must put things in place,” Turner told Winfrey months after the ceremony.

In the 2021 documentary about her life, Bach described their connection. “It’s love. It’s something we both have for each other. I always refer to it as an electrical charge. I still have it. Even though when I left her two hours ago, I still have that feeling. It’s in my heart. I feel very warm about this.”

7d 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.

7d 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.

7d ago / 7:30 PM UTC

She described her 2021 documentary as her 'goodbye'

At 82, Turner opened up about her life in an extensive documentary which premiered on HBO in 2021.

In the documentary, Turner's husband Erwin Bach said it was her way of saying goodbye, along with her biographical musical.

“She said I’m going to America, I’m going to say goodbye to my American fans, and I’m going to wrap it up. I think this documentary and this play — this is it. This is a closure,” he said.

7d 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."