Tina Turner, “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” dies at 83
Tina Turner, the music superstar whose career spanned five decades, has died at 83 years old. Her death was confirmed to CBS News by her spokesperson, Bernard Doherty, on Wednesday afternoon.
Known for hits like “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” Turner won eight Grammy Awards over her storied career in addition to a lifetime achievement award in 2018.
“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,” said Doherty in a news release. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
He said Turner will be honored at a private funeral ceremony.
A photo was shared on Turner’s Instagram announcing her death.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” the post read. “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.”
In a statement Wednesday evening, President Biden mourned the loss of the “Queen of Rock and Roll.”
“In addition to being a once-in-a-generation talent that changed American music forever, Tina’s personal strength was remarkable,” Biden said. “Overcoming adversity, and even abuse, she built a career for the ages and a life and legacy that were entirely hers.”
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, in 1939 and rose to fame in 1960 with her performance of Ike Turner’s “A Fool in Love.” She and Ike Turner would later marry and perform as the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, traveling cross-country and performing together with a band and female vocalists called the Ikettes.
However, the relationship was abusive, and in 1976 Turner left her husband. Their divorce was finalized in 1978. Ike Turner died in 2007.
Tina Turner had two biological children, Raymond Craig and Ronald Turner. She survived both: Her elder son died by suicide in 2018, and her younger son died in 2022. She also adopted two of Ike Turner’s sons from a previous relationship.
In 2013, she wed German music executive Erwin Bach after 27 years of dating.
She continued to perform professionally until 2009. Over the course of her decades-long career, she would release 10 studio albums, have dozens hit songs, and sell more than 180 million albums worldwide, making her one of the most successful female artists of all time.
Turner told CBS News in 1984 that she initially struggled to break into the rock-and-roll genre because of her race.
“I had a real hard time because I am Black. In America, radio programmers don’t program you as a Black person as rock ‘n’ roll. You’re R&B,” she said. “That is something that people are not aware of. Prince just barged his way through there and he said ‘I am,’ and you accept me. Of course, he had to make changes… as a guy. But I had to prove it over the years. This is the part about coming in being a woman and being Black.”
Turner’s longtime manager, Roger Davies, said in a statement that Turner was a “unique and remarkable force of nature with her strength, incredible energy and immense talent.”
“From the first day I met her in 1980, she believed in herself completely when few others did at that time,” Davies said. “It was a privilege and an honour to have been a close friend as well as her manager for more than 30 years. I will miss her deeply.”