Tina Turner: Tributes paid to late Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll
London: Celebrities and fans have paid tribute to Tina Turner, after the death aged 83 of the soul star behind hits like The Best and What’s Love Got to Do With It.
Beyoncé called her the “epitome of passion and power”, and was joined by Sir Mick Jagger and other stars in saluting Turner’s musical legacy.
The late performer was also lauded by Mariah Carey and Oprah Winfrey for overcoming years of domestic abuse.
The Obamas praised her for “singing her truth through joy and pain”.
They were joined by current US President Joe Biden, who noted that Turner had started life as a farmer’s daughter and saluted her “once-in-a-generation talent”.
The singer, whose death in Switzerland was announced on Wednesday, had suffered a number of health issues in recent years.
Born in Tennessee and raised in the church, Turner basically elbowed her way into rock and roll and rose to fame in the 1960s.
When Ike Turner refused to give her an audition, she waited for the intermission in his show, grabbed a drummer’s microphone and let rip.
She sang with the band for the rest of the night, and soon got equal billing with Ike himself – later marrying her co-star.
They were one of the most watchable, combustible bands on the soul circuit. Many of their hits were covers of other people’s material.
Proud Mary, Get Back, Whole Lotta Love: whatever the material, Tina could make it her own. The same was true of the song that became her signature hit in the 1980s, What’s Love Got To Do With It.
American singer Gloria Gaynor, who gained prominence at the same time, said Turner “paved the way for so many women in rock music, black and white”.
Another contemporary, Diana Ross, said she was “shocked” and “saddened” by Turner’s death.
Sir Mick Jagger described the star as “enormously talented”, singling out the fact that “she helped me so much when I was young”.
Another British music star, Sir Elton John, called Turner a “total legend on record and on stage”.
Turner found her greatest success as a solo artist with hits including Let’s Stay Together, Steamy Windows, Private Dancer and James Bond theme GoldenEye.
These chart triumphs came after she divorced Ike in 1978. A number of Wednesday night’s tributes referred to her escape from her husband’s abuse.
The charity Women’s Aid was among those to quote one of Turner’s songs, saying: “She will always be simply the best.”
TV presenter Oprah Winfrey cited Turner’s “courage”, adding: “Her life became a clarion call for triumph.”
In an effusive message of her own, singer Mariah Carey called Turner not only an “incredible performer” but also a “survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere”.
Singer PP Arnold – who performed alongside Turner – said that the two women’s relationship had “changed my life” and saved her from an abusive teen marriage.
Numerous other musicians including Janelle Monáe, Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Sir Tom Jones were quick to hail the late performer’s achievements.
Dubbed the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Turner had a voice like a hurricane and the stage presence to match.
Her live videos record her as a perpetual motion machine, a dynamo, a volcano constantly erupting.
She won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 as a solo artist, having earlier been inducted alongside Ike.
Her glittering career also saw her make film appearances.
Fans around the world paid their own respects – with flowers laid on Turner’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, and candles lit outside her home in Küsnacht, near Zurich.
Bouquets were left outside London’s Aldwych Theatre – the current home of a musical named Tina, about the late singer’s life.
The show’s star Kristina Love addressed the news on stage, recalling the time she met Turner, who had made her “feel comfortable with the mammoth task ahead in playing her”.
Turner was the “epitome of resilience and starting again”, said one woman named Marlene.
Ernest Lawrence, a t-shirt seller, said he planned to make a t-shirt with Tina Turner on it – explaining that the performer had “one of the most successful legacies in music in my lifetime”.
He hailed the late star as a “great black female” and a “positive image for any woman”, having overcome “hard times” in her personal life.