Music legend Tina Turner dead at 83

Published: 25/5/2023
USA singer Tina Turner waves from a car as she arrives at Adelaide Airport for her concert to be given at the Australian Grand Prix, 06 Nov 1993.
USA singer Tina Turner waves from a car as she arrives at Adelaide Airport for her concert to be given at the Australian Grand Prix, 06 Nov 1993.

US music icon Tina Turner has died. She was 83.

The singer, whose hits included What's Love Got to Do with It, Private Dancer and The Best, had been in ill health for some time.

She was born Anna Mae Bullock in 1939 in Brownsville, Tennessee, close to the town of where she would grow up - Nutbush. Nutbush City Limits would become one of her biggest hits.

Fox News has reported that she died at her home of Küsnacht just south of Zurich, Switzerland.

An Instagram post from the official Tina Turner account confirmed her death on Wednesday afternoon, US time (Thursday morning in Australia).

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner," the statement said.

"With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow.

USA singer Tina Turner waves from a car as she arrives at Adelaide Airport for her concert to be given at the Australian Grand Prix, 06 Nov 1993.
USA singer Tina Turner waves from a car as she arrives at Adelaide Airport for her concert to be given at the Australian Grand Prix, 06 Nov 1993.

"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."

 

A musical dedicated to Tina Turner's life and songs opened in Sydney just days ago.

Through her career she would sell 100 million records and become one of the best selling recording artists of all time. Yet she only had a single US number one chart topper with What's Love Got to Do with It in 1984 when she saw a resurgence in popularity.

At 44, she was the oldest female artist to score a number one hit.

In 2021 she was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Turner would receive 12 Grammy Awards including three Hall of Fame awards and one Lifetime Achievement gong.

She retired from music in 2009 after completing her 50th anniversary tour.

In her later years, Turner suffered from various health issues including kidney disease with her husband, German music executive Erwin Bach, donating to her one of his kidneys. She married Bach, her second husband, in 2013.

USA singer Tina Turner performing at the Australian Grand Prix concert in Adelaide, 07 Nov 1993.
USA singer Tina Turner performing at the Australian Grand Prix concert in Adelaide, 07 Nov 1993.

In her early days, Turner would pick cotton and hone her singing skills at the Nutbush Spring Hill Baptist Church.

Her singing career began as part of her future husband Ike Turner's band Kings of Rhythm. The two later formed the Ike and Tina Turner Revue which would see success during the 1960s and '70s.

Turner came to prominence in the 1960s with songs such as Proud Mary and River Deep, Mountain High, but the band would break up in 1976.

She would later accuse Ike, who died in 2007, of domestic abuse.

"I had an abusive life, there's no other way to tell the story. It's a reality. It's a truth. That's what you've got, so you have to accept it," she said in 2020.

USA singer Tina Turner arrives on the tarmac at the Adelaide Airport for her concert to be given at the Australian Grand Prix, 06 Nov 1993.
USA singer Tina Turner arrives on the tarmac at the Adelaide Airport for her concert to be given at the Australian Grand Prix, 06 Nov 1993.

As a solo singer, her career came storming back in the 1980s with the release of her Private Dancer album which contained a string of hits and would cement her music legend status.

As well as singing, Turner also had a notable acting career including a memorable role opposite Mel Gibson in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985.

In 1993, she came to Australia to perform at the Grand Prix in Adelaide. On stage, she dedicated her song The Best to race winner Ayrton Senna.

Turner had four children: Craig, Ronnie, Ike Jr and Michael. Craig died in 2018 and Ronnie in 2022.

In 2013 Turner, living in Switzerland, became a Swiss citizen after passing a German exam. She also renounced her US citizenship commenting that she felt more comfortable away from America.

"I have left America because my success was in another country and my boyfriend was in another country," she said, reported the New York Post, pointing to the popularity of Private Dancer in the UK as a driving factor. "Basically, Europe has been very supportive of my music."

Originally published as Music legend Tina Turner dead at 83

USA singer Tina Turner gives a press conference at Adelaide Airport, 02 Dec 1984. (Pic by unidentified staff photographer)
USA singer Tina Turner gives a press conference at Adelaide Airport, 02 Dec 1984. (Pic by unidentified staff photographer)

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