After an extended illness, Tina Turner, Queen of rock ‘n’ roll who rose to fame as a pop icon in the 1980s, passed away at the age of 83. She was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017. Turner helped to define the rock’n’roll period of music by affirming and highlighting the early role that Black women had in it. She broke out on her own and became one of the key pop idols of the 1980s with the release of the album Private Dancer after spending two decades making music with her controlling husband, Ike Turner. After cutting ties with husband, she fought for ownership of her name in order to maintain her musical career. Her resilience made her a hero to battered women who suffered domestic abuse. Three autobiographies, a biopic, a jukebox musical, and the documentary Tina all provided accounts of her life.
“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” the star’s publicist, Bernard Doherty, said in a statement.
In a press release by Turner’s Estate, “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. 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.”
Born Anna Mae Bullock in 1939 in Brownsville, Tennessee, she was the youngest daughter of Floyd Richard Bullock and Zelma Priscilla. After discovering her musical gift while participating in church choir, she leaned on her faith. And as a teenager talked her way into Ike’s band in St Louis, when he heard her sing BB King’s You Know I Love You.