Tina Turner, Legendary Singer of ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’ and ‘Proud Mary,’ Dies at 83

Hailed by many as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the icon was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2021

Tina Turner
Tina Turner (Getty Images)

Tina Turner, whose musical career spanned decades, has died at the age of 83, her spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday. She died peacefully after a long illness in her home near Zurich, Switzerland, according to Reuters.

Her hits included her 1970 cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” and her big comeback hit from the ’80s, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” which won Record of the Year and Song of the Year at 1985’s Grammys. The groundbreaking singer transcended genre, as her wins for Best Female Vocal Performance in both Rock and Pop categories that year proved.

Her story of surviving the abuse of singing partner husband Ike Turner and becoming a rock star in her own right was made into the 1993 film “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Angela Bassett earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Tina, while Laurence Fishburne was also nominated as the volatile Ike.

“I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story,” Turner said in the 2021 HBO documentary, “Tina.” “It’s a reality. It’s a truth. That’s what you’ve got, so you have to accept it.”

Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Brownsville, Tennessee, she took the stage name Tina Turner when she married Ike.

Dubbed “The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2021, with none other than Bassett providing her introduction. Lizzo was among those paying tribute to the legend in a video package that night. “Owning that stage all by yourself. That’s the dream right there,” Lizzo said.

Turner was first inducted in 1991 as part of the Ike and Tina Turner duo, in which she was described as “an unbridled whirlwind of sexual energy.”

Turner also appeared in films, most memorably as the formidable, metal-dress-clad Auntie Entity in 1985’s “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” She also performed the film’s hit song, “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” She previously played “The Acid Queen” in Ken Russell’s 1975 psychedelic adaptation of The Who’s rock opera “Tommy.”

 “I’m self-made. I always wanted to make myself a better person, because I was not educated. But that was my dream — to have class,” she once said.

The recipient of 12 Grammy Awards, she won eight competitive awards and was honored with three Grammy Hall of Fame awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which was bestowed in 2018. She remains one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with more than 100 million records sold worldwide.

In the HBO doc, she also recounted her health battles, including cancer and a stroke. In 2017, she underwent a kidney replacement; the donor was her husband, Erwin Bach, USA Today reported in 2018.