Tina Turner dead at 83; Grammy-winning singer was a pioneer for female rock stars

May 24, 2023

by Carla Hay

Tina Turner—the legendary entertainer who rose to fame as a rock/R&B singer in the 1960s, and who had a spectacular comeback in the 1980s—died in her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, on May 23, 2023. She was 83. The Associated Press reports that her manager announced the news of Turner’s death.

In the 2010s, Turner experienced a number of health issues, including a stroke, cancer recovery and a kidney transplant. She detailed these challenges, as well as other things in her life, in her 2018 memoir “My Love Story.” In her 1986 memoir, “I, Tina,” Turner famously told details about abuse she experienced from musician Ike Turner, who was her husband from 1962 to 1978. The spouses rose to fame as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, with hits such as 1960’s “A Fool in Love,” 1971’s “Proud Mary” and 1973’s “Nutbush City Limits.” (Ike Turner died of a cocaine overdose in 2007. He was 76.)

Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. In 2021, Tina Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo act. She was one of the few female artists to get more than one Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Tina Turner’s raw singing voice, her uninhibited dancing style on stage, her wigs and her famous legs became her trademarks as a performer. She influenced countless artists, including Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin and Beyoncé.

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee, on November 26, 1939. After her marriage to Ike Turner ended, she spent much of the late 1970s performing in nightclubs and the cabaret circuit. After signing with then-manager Roger Davies and getting a new record deal with EMI/Capitol Records in the early 1980s, Tina Turner had a big comeback with her 1984 album “Private Dancer,” which had the hits “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Better Be Good to Me” and the title track.

Tina Turner won every major award that a singer could win, including 12 Grammys. Her life was made into a movie: 1993’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” starring Angela Bassett, who received an Oscar nomination for her role as Tina Turner. Tina Turner’s life was also the subject of the stage musical “Tina,” which played on the West End in 2018 and on Broadway in 2019. Adrienne Warren won a Tony Award for her starring role in “Tina.”

And although she was most famous as a singer, Tina Turner also took on some acting roles, most notably as the Acid Queen in the 1975 rock musical “Tommy” and as Auntie Entity in the 1985 sci-fi sequel “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” Her last major interview was for the 2021 HBO documentary “Tina.”

Tina Turner had two biological sons who are now deceased: Craig (her son with saxophonist Raymond Hill) died of suicide at the age of 59 in 2018. Her son Ronald (from her marriage to Ike Turner) was 62 when he died from colon cancer complications in 2022. She has two adopted stepsons named Ike Jr. and Michael, who are Ike Sr.’s sons from a previous marriage.

Tina Turner is survived by her second husband Erwin Bach, a former music executive, who is a native of Germany. The couple married in 2013, after being romantic partners since 1986.

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