Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey are among those who have paid tribute to Tina Turner, who has died aged 83.
Turner, one of rock’s great vocalists and most charismatic performers, died after a long illness at her home near Zurich in Switzerland, according to her spokesperson.
The US-born star was known for her electric stage presence and hits including The Best, Proud Mary, Private Dancer and What’s Love Got to Do With It.
Tributes have been paid to Turner from celebrities and notable figures around the world, from President Joe Biden and Barack Obama to Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart.
Beyonce called Turner “my beloved queen” on her website, adding: “I love you endlessly. I’m so grateful for your inspiration, and all the ways you have paved the way.
“You are strength and resilience, you are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will forever remain.
“Thank you for all you have done.”
Winfrey’s tribute on Instagram said Turner had been a “real friend” and “our forever goddess of rock ‘n’ roll who contained a magnitude of inner strength that grew throughout her life”.
She added: “Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph. I’m grateful for her courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolos and a leather miniskirt.
“She once shared with me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid, but excited and curious. Because she had learned how to live surrounded by her beloved husband Erwin and friends.
“I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best.”
The trauma and triumph of a music legend
Simply The Best: Tina Turner in pictures
The tragic story of Tina Turner’s sons
‘There was only one Tina Turner’
Other tributes came from Sir Mick, Sir Elton John, Diana Ross, Bette Midler and Giorgio Armani.
“She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer,” said Rolling Stones frontman Jagger.
“She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”
Sir Elton posted a picture of himself with Turner and said she was “untouchable” and a “total legend on record and on stage”.
Sir Rod, who duetted with Turner on It Takes Two, also shared a photograph, writing: “I’m devastated, what a woman! A friend and mentor – ‘It takes two’ – but there was only one Tina Turner.”
Liz Mitchell, one of the founding members of Boney M, who knew and worked with Turner, told Sky News the star was a “very kind lady, very gentle”.
She continued: “I was very happy that she was not too proud to talk to me or thought that I wasn’t worthy to share her her time with. I’ve always said we could have been very good friends if it weren’t that artists travel around the world and we kind of lose contact with each other. But I did have her very close to my heart. A beautiful human being.”
Speaking about Turner’s music, she said: “She does deliver completely when she performs, the energy level is so high. And also, she was fortunate to have had fantastic records, lyrics that meant something to her. She was able to deliver them. And I think that when you hear her songs, you hear a truth.”
Mr Biden hailed the singer’s “remarkable” personal strength and said she had “changed American music forever”.
“Before she was the Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner was a farmer’s daughter in Tennessee,” he said. “As a child, she sang in the church choir before becoming one of the most successful recording artists of all time.
“In addition to being a once-in-a-generation talent that changed American music forever, Tina’s personal strength was remarkable. Overcoming adversity, and even abuse, she built a career for the ages and a life and legacy that were entirely hers.”
Mr Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama shared a joint statement describing Turner as “raw, powerful and unstoppable”.
“She was unapologetically herself, speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain; triumph and tragedy,” they said. “Today we join fans around the world in honouring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never fade.”
In his tribute, Bill Clinton recalled his two meetings with the star.
“I loved Tina Turner and will never forget meeting her when she came to Little Rock for a concert after releasing Private Dancer in 1984,” he said. “We met again on her 67th birthday in St Petersburg, where she and Elton John sang for a charity event.
“She still had it, talent, style, energy and authenticity. A priceless gift to music lovers everywhere. May she rest in peace.”
In 2005, former president George W Bush famously described Turner’s legs as “the most famous in showbusiness” and it was reported she insured them for millions of US dollars.
Tina Turner’s most streamed songs in UK
- 1. The Best
- 2. What’s Love Got To Do With It?
- 3. Proud Mary
- 4. What’s Love Got To Do With It? (with Kygo)
- 5. River Deep Mountain High (with Ike Turner)
- 6. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
- 7. Nutbush City Limits (with Ike Turner)
- 8. Private Dancer
- 9. It’s Only Love (with Bryan Adams)
- 10. Proud Mary (with Ike Turner)
Tina Turner’s rise to fame
Turner found fame in the 1960s alongside ex-husband Ike Turner, with the classics River Deep, Mountain High and Nutbush City Limits among their hits.
The domestic abuse Ike subjected her to – and her struggle to break free – was documented in a 1993 film starring Angela Bassett, which won three Oscars.
Turner’s life story was also immortalised in a popular West End show that is still running.
Her popularity waned by the end of the 1970s and she found herself mainly playing the cabaret circuit as a heritage act.
However, her career was dramatically resurrected in 1983 when a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together became a huge hit.
Turner, then in her 40s, signed a new contract with Capitol Records which led to the Private Dancer album in 1984.
The title track, as well as What’s Love Got to Do With It, and I Can’t Stand the Rain were among the album’s seven singles, and it sold more than 10 million copies.
Her best-known song – with its distinctive intro, steady build and powerful chorus – is probably The Best, released in 1989.
There was also a foray into film alongside Mel Gibson in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, a movie that spawned another hit, We Don’t Need Another Hero.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in a segregated Tennessee hospital in November 1939, Turner became a Swiss citizen a decade ago.
Simply The Best: Tina Turner in pictures
She lived on a sprawling estate on Lake Zurich with her husband and former EMI record executive Erwin Bach, some 16 years her junior.
The couple met in 1985, with Turner once telling Winfrey it was love at first sight when he was sent to pick her up from an airport in Germany.
“He had the prettiest face. You could not miss it,” she said.
“It was like saying, ‘Where did he come from?’ He was really that good looking. My heart went bu-bum. It means that a soul has met. My hands were shaking.”
Turner had four children, two of them she adopted from Ike’s first marriage.
Her eldest son, Craig Raymond Turner, who she had when she was 18, died in an apparent suicide five years ago, and in 2022 her second son Ronnie died of cancer.
Turner previously had intestinal cancer and suffered a stroke, revealing in 2018 that her husband had donated a kidney to save her life as she contemplated assisted suicide.