Tina Turner: 1939-2023

Tina Turner: 1939-2023

The undisputed "Queen Of Rock & Roll", Tina Turner will eternally be considered music royalty. 

One of the best-selling artists in history, the iconic American singer - who has died aged 83 - sold 180 million records and received 12 Grammy Awards over the course of her extraordinary career, and was twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. 

Turner was also the first Black artist and first female artist to feature on the cover of Rolling Stone, and was awarded the Legion d'honneur by the French government.

"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," her spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday evening. "With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model."

Indeed, Turner's superstar presence and unmistakable vocals have helped inspire generations - not least Beyoncé, with whom she memorably duetted on Proud Mary at the 2008 Grammy Awards. 

"She was amazing," gasped Beyoncé in the aftermath of the performance. "It was a dream come true and I'm so, so blessed I had that experience. I have to watch it in order for it to digest because I can't believe that just happened.

"I've always wanted to be so much like her and now I'm just so excited because I have her blessing. When the person you admire the most likes you enough to perform with you, it's so amazing." 

A global icon and trailblazer, instantly recognisable by her incredible voice and inimitable style, she was one of the greatest stars of all time

Max Lousada, Warner Music Group

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee, Turner started out with Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm and went on to front the renamed Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the 1960s. The husband and wife duo became a legendary live act and scored hits such as It's Gonna Work Out Fine, River Deep - Mountain High and Proud Mary - a Grammy-winning cover version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song.

As a solo artist, Tina Turner enjoyed a spectacular career resurgence in the 1980s with her cover of Al Green's Let Stay Together, followed by her 10 million-selling 1984 LP Private Dancer. The latter spawned her first and only US singles chart-topper, What's Love Got To Do With It.

Other smashes included Better Be Good to Me, Private Dancer, We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) amd GoldenEye from the eponymous James Bond movie. In 2020, Private Dancer was among 25 recordings to be inducted into America's National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

Meanwhile, 1989's The Best returned to the Top 10 in 2009 following a campaign by supporters of Glasgow Rangers FC. The feat saw Turner become the first female act in UK chart history to net Top 40 hits in six consecutive decades. 

Turner divorced Ike in 1978 following years of domestic abuse, documented in Tina's 1986 autobiography I, Tina and the 1993 Hollywood film drama What's Love Got to Do With It. Her life has also been immortalised in at least three documentaries including HBO’s 2021 production Tina and in the stage musical Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, which received a Tony Award and an Olivier Award.

Her last album was 2018's The Greatest Hits compilation, released via Rhino.

Max Lousada, CEO, recorded music at Warner Music Group, said: "All of us at Warner Music are deeply saddened by the passing of the one and only Tina Turner. A global icon and trailblazer, instantly recognisable by her incredible voice and inimitable style, she was one of the greatest stars of all time.

"Even after the countless awards, the 180 million album sales, the record-breaking tours, and unforgettable acting roles, Tina will be remembered most through the sheer joy of her music. So powerful is her extraordinary, universal appeal that there is no doubt she will continue to influence generations to come. She stands as the epitome of artistic self-empowerment. 

"We offer our heartfelt condolences to her husband Erwin Bach, family, friends, and countless fans around the world."

There will only ever be one Tina Turner

Hartwig Masuch, BMG

BMG acquired an extensive portfolio of rights in Tina Turner in 2021, making the label a partner in all of Turner’s music interests (Warner continued to be her record company). BMG expressed its "deep sense of loss and sadness" following the announcement of her death.

“There will only ever be one Tina Turner," said CEO Hartwig Masuch. "Her music and her life’s journey touched so many people. We send our condolences to her dear manager and husband Erwin and all those who loved her.”

CEO-designate Thomas Coesfeld, added: “Today is a sad day for music and for the world. We have lost one of music’s supreme talents, an icon for millions and a great human being. Tina Turner made clear to us her wish that her music and legacy should live on. We - and her countless fans around the world - will ensure that wish is respected.”

Turner's last world tour was in 2008/09, marking her 50th year in music. The 90-date tour sold 1.2 million tickets to generate $132.5 million at the box office.

"My legacy is that I stayed the course... from the beginning to end," she once said in an interview, "because I believed in something inside of me."

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