USA TODAY International Edition

Queen of rock ’ n’ roll dies after illness

- Melissa Ruggieri

Tina Turner, the musical behemoth and pioneering soul- turned- rock star, has died at age 83.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame icon died Wednesday at her home in Switzerlan­d after a long illness, according to a statement on her official social media accounts.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner ... Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music,” reads a statement from her longtime friend and collaborat­or, Peter Lindbergh.

For many years, Turner has lived a reclusive life while battling ill health, including a stroke in 2013, intestinal cancer in 2016 and a kidney transplant in 2017.

Throughout her career, Turner’s life was one of musical greatness and personal trauma, as she fled an abusive relationsh­ip with her musical mentor and first husband, Ike Turner, to achieve unlikely pop stardom in the ’ 80s with “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

A native of Nutbush, Tennessee, the woman born Anna Mae Bullock began her singing career early – singing in the choir at Nutbush’s Spring Hill Baptist Church. But it was seeing Ike Turner perform with his Kings of Rhythm band in 1957 that ignited Turner’s profession­al passion and unleashed her husky, seductive voice.

As the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, the pair stormed the charts for 15 years with robust soul- rockers “River Deep- Mountain High,” “Nutbush City Limits” and a Grammy- winning rendition of John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary.”

Turner fled from Ike in 1976, with only a gas credit card and some change to her name and spent the next several years making appearance­s on shows such as “The Hollywood Squares” and performing in Las Vegas cabarets.

Along with her signature look of a shock of teased hair, denim miniskirts that displayed her toned legs and a fierce gaze, Turner will also always be revered for her remarkable comeback at the age of 44.

A cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” arrived in 1983, peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and exploded in Europe.

Her record label was reluctant to push her music and considered her a nostalgia act. But Turner proved her mettle, recording “Private Dancer” in a two- week span and with it, a triumphant return with her only No. 1 single, “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

Turner’s layered life led to a series of retrospect­ives over the years, including her 1986 revelatory memoir, “I, Tina” ( turned into the 1993 film, “What’s Love Got to Do With It”); the acclaimed jukebox musical, “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which is still touring after closing on Broadway in 2022; and the 2021 documentar­y, “Tina.”

 ?? H. DARR BEISER/ USA TODAY ?? Tina Turner, the pioneering soul and rock star, died Wednesday at her home in Switzerlan­d.
H. DARR BEISER/ USA TODAY Tina Turner, the pioneering soul and rock star, died Wednesday at her home in Switzerlan­d.

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