Rock ’n’ Roll Queen Tina Turner Dies After Long Illness

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Legendary rock ‘n’ roll singer Tina Turner has died “peacefully” at the age of 83 after a long illness, her publicist told The Daily Beast on Wednesday.

Turner, who was known as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” started her storied career in 1957 with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, eventually launching an extraordinarily successful career as a solo artist.

In recent years, however, her health faltered. She was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and had a kidney transplant in 2017. Her cause of death was not released on Wednesday.

Turner died at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, her rep told The Daily Beast, adding, “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”

Turner pictured performing during a world tour in 1987.

REUTERS/Michael Urban

A post on Turner’s official Instagram account paid tribute to her “boundless passion for life.”

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” the post said. “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.”

Turner—born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939—was raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she sang in the town’s church choir. As a teenager, she convinced Ike to let her join his band when she performed BB King’s “You Know I Love You” in St. Louis.

Performing with Beyonce at the Grammy Awards in 2008.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ike brought her on and the two became musical and romantic partners, eventually marrying in 1962. But as Turner would later reveal, Ike quickly became abusive. He gave her the name “Tina Turner” then trademarked it so that if she left him, he could replace her in his band.

“For a long time I felt like I was stuck, with no way out of the unhealthy situation I was in,” Turner said of her marriage in a 2021 interview with the Harvard Business Review. “Not knowing where I was headed or what I could do to get out was painful.”

But Turner and Ike divorced in 1978, and Turner started focusing only on her solo career.

For years, she didn’t find much success. That all changed with the release of her album Private Dancer in 1984, which propelled her to global superstardom in an all-time musical comeback. The album went certified 5x Platinum in the U.S. and sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

“I never considered giving up on my dreams,” she said in the 2021 interview. “You could say I had an invincible optimism.”

A private funeral ceremony will be held for Turner’s close friends and family, her representative said.

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