Soulful diva Tina Turner, who had a lengthy run of ’60s and ’70s R&B hits and struck major pop stardom in the ’80s, died on Wednesday in Switzerland, reports ‘Variety’. She was 83.
“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,” her representative said in a statement to ‘Variety’.
More than a decade after her crossover hit ‘Proud Mary’ with husband Ike, Tina Turner ascended to the pinnacle of pop fame with the 1984 Capitol Records album ‘Private Dancer’. The collection, which spawned a trio of top-10 pop hits, sold five million copies and garnered four Grammy Awards, adds ‘Variety’. Though she never matched that breakthrough solo success, she recorded and toured profitably until her retirement in 2000.
Raw-voiced, leggy, peripatetic and provocative onstage, writes ‘Variety’, the magnetic Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock in the farming community Nutbush, Tennessee, segued effortlessly into big screen roles.
She appeared as the Acid Queen in Ken Russell’s 1975 adaptation of the Who’s rock opera ‘Tommy’ and as villainess Aunty Entity in George Miller’s action sequel ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’. She sang the title song, penned by Bono and the Edge of U2, for the 1995 James Bond pic ‘GoldenEye’.
The winner of eight Grammys, Turner was a 1991 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and was recognised at the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors for her career achievements, adds Variety.
Turner was still in her teens when she began recording with future husband Ike Turner; their tumultuous partnership produced 15 years of popular singles, culminating in the 1971 crossover smash ‘Proud Mary’.
In 1976, the vocalist fled her abusive marriage and she detailed her violence-scarred relationship in the 1986 bestseller ‘I, Tina’, which served as the basis for the 1993 biopic ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’, notes ‘Variety’.
In 1993, according to ‘Variety’, Turner scored her final U.S. top 10 hit with ‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’, a song recorded for the top-20 soundtrack of the biopic ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’. Director Brian Gibson’s feature starred Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, who both received Oscar nods for their work as Ike and Tina.
Even more than Turner’s autobiography, upon which it was loosely based, the film focused further attention on the issues of spousal abuse and domestic violence. Ike Turner, who maintained in interviews as well as in his autobiography that the charges of abuse were exaggerated, died from an apparent cocaine overdose in December 2007.
A devotee of Buddhist chanting since the early 1970s who never abandoned the Baptist faith of her youth, Turner released ‘Beyond’, a collaborative album of Buddhist and Christian music and chanting, in 2012.
In 2013 — the same year she relinquished her American citizenship and took up residency in Switzerland — Turner married German music exec Irwin Bach, her companion of 27 years, according to ‘Variety’.
She suffered a number of ailments in her later years, but the most severe of these seems to have been kidney disease.
On World Kidney Day this past March, notes ‘Variety’, Turner posted on Instagram: “My kidneys are victims of my not realising that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine. I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication. For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion.”