RIP Tina Turner: Honoring the Legendary and Courageous “Queen of Rock and Roll”

RIP Tina Turner

Left: Performing at Tulane Stadium in 1970 (Photo: “Jambalaya” Tulane University yearbook via Wikimedia Commons, Public domain) | Right: Performing in Norway in 1985. (Photo: Helge Øverås via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Tina Turner, the powerhouse singer, performer, and survivor, has passed away at 83 after battling a long illness. She will be remembered for her electrifying performances, as well as her incredible courage to overcome obstacles and forge a lasting legacy. With a career that spanned over eight decades, her rise to fame and her strength to leave an abusive relationship have made her a source of inspiration for people around the world.

Born Anna Mae Bullock in 1939, she was raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, before taking the musical world by storm alongside her then-husband Ike Turner. Together they achieved incredible success, but unbeknownst to the public, Ike was abusing his wife, even breaking her jaw at one point. An early public face for domestic abuse, Turner impressively revived her career after leaving her abusive marriage. Her resurgence in the 1980s, backed by the hit “What's Love Got to Do With It?” was incredible as an artist in their 40s who was considered a nostalgia act.

From the mid-1980s onward, Turner's reputation as a top concert draw never wavered. At the same time, with the publication of her 1986 autobiography I, Tina, she bravely stepped forward about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband Ike Turner. In an age where domestic abuse was rarely spoken about publicly, she became a beacon of hope for women living in abusive situations.

“How do we say farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world?” Angela Bassett, who played Turner in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, said in a statement.

“Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like.”

In 1994, Turner moved to Switzerland, where she remained a resident for the rest of her life. She became a Swiss citizen in 2013, the same year that she married her longtime partner Erwin Bach. From her base in Europe, she continued to stay in the spotlight. Most recently, in 2021, she was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame as a solo act after being inducted together with Ike Turner in 1991. That same year, a documentary titled Tina premiered on HBO and gave fans an intimate look at her life.

Known as the “Queen of Rock and Roll,” Turner sold over 100 million records worldwide and won 12 Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She was the first Black woman to grace the cover of Rolling Stone and, in 2005, was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. Tina, a musical based on her life, opened on Broadway in 2019 and is currently touring the United States.

As tributes pour in from friends, family, and fans around the world, let's look back at some of the incredible performances that made Tina Turner an unforgettable performer.

After battling a long illness, legendary singer Tina Turner passed away at age 83.


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She was a source of inspiration for millions due to her electric performances and strength to leave an abusive marriage.

Tina Turner in 1970

Tina Turner in 1970. (Photo: Al Kaplan via Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

Tributes to her legacy are pouring in from around the world.


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Let's look back at some of her most incredible performances.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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