The Passing of a True Legend: The Death of Tina Turner

by Rev. George Haigler, III

On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Rock Icon and the “Queen and Rock and Roll” Tina Turner died peacefully in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, after a long illness, as reported by her representative.

She was 83 years old.

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939 in Nutbush, Tennessee. She would rise to fame as half of the singing duo Ike and Tina Turner. But, after years in their tumultuous and abusive relationship and marriage, she would later divorce and embark upon a very successful solo career and become on one of the most successful female singers in US History. Tina Turner headlined a Concert in 1988 in Rio de Janeiro which drew 180,000 people which is to this day one of the largest concert audience for a single performer in Modern Rock History.

She won six of her 8 Grammy Awards in the 1980’s and her hits ranked in the Top Ten, or were number one hits, with such chart-topping hits as: “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, “Private Dancer”, “The Best”,

“Typical Male”, “Better Be Good To Me”, “Two People” and “I Can’t Stand The Rain”, to name a few. Her life story was depicted in the critically acclaimed Movie, “What’s Love Got to Do With It”?! This 1993 Movie earned an Oscar Nomination for Angela Bassett, who said: “She gave us her whole self. Tina Turner is a gift that will always be ‘simply the best’.

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones said he was saddened by Turner’s death, calling her, ‘inspiring, warm, funny and generous’. “She helped me with so much when I was young and I will never forget her”.

US President Joe Biden described Turner as a “once-in-a-generation talent” and said her “personal strength was remarkable”.

“Overcoming adversity, and even abuse, she built a career for the ages and a life and legacy that were entirely hers”, Biden said in a statement.

“Tina’s story is not one of victimhood but one of incredible triumph”, singer Janet Jackson wrote about Turner, in a Rolling Stone issue that placed Turner at No. 63 on a list of Top 100 Artists of all time. “She’s transformed herself into an international sensation-an elegant powerhouse”, Jackson said.

In 2021, Tina Turner’s story was brought to Broadway in “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”, which brought her story to a larger audience and spread her legend and fame even further.

Fashionista. Elegant Lady. Soul Singer Non-Pareil. Living Legend and Icon. The World has lost a precious jewel and a Shining Star! But, she will be remembered for the sweet soul that she was. She shared her gifts and talents with the world and we all were mesmerized by it, enthralled and fell in love with her, head over heels. Tina Turner. Queen of Rock and Roll. Rest well and job well done. What a life. Bravo.

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