Tina Turner, the legendary performer dubbed the “Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll” who rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before overcoming horrific domestic abuse at the hands of her husband Ike Turner and forging her own path as one of the most successful solo artists of all time, has reportedly passed away at the age of 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 Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland,” Turner’s family said in a statement released Wednesday. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
That’s putting it mildly, of course. With Ike Turner, who died in 2007, the woman born Anna Mae Bullock was responsible for indelible hits like “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” “River Deep – Mountain High,” “Nutbush City Limits” and their iconic rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” — such a classic that it almost feels wrong to refer to it as “Creedence Clearwater Revival’s” instead of “Tina Turner’s.” After divorcing Ike in 1978, she scratched and crawled her way back, eventually releasing the massive, multiplatinum 1984 comeback record Private Dancer, which earned her a Grammy for “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
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She was one of the most beloved performers of all time, one who set the Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience for a solo artist in 1988 when she played to a crowd of 180,000 people. And yet, in Tina (the 2021 HBO documentary about her life) Turner admitted that she didn’t feel as though she’d had a happy life — largely due to all the trauma she suffered at the hands of Ike and her parents, who abandoned her when she was just 13 years old.
“It wasn’t a good life,” she told the camera matter-of-factly. “The good did not balance the bad. I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story. It’s a reality. It’s the truth. That’s what you’ve got, so you have to accept it. Some people say the life that I lived and the performances that I gave, the appreciation, is blasting with the people. And yeah, I should be proud of that. I am. But when do you stop being proud? I mean, when do you, how do you bow out slowly?”
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