Tina Turner, the trailblazing rock star who set world records for ticket sales — and whose dramatic triumph over domestic abuse and the music industry itself made her a feminist icon — has died. She was 83.
Turner died Wednesday “after a long illness” in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, her reps announced. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” they said.
An electrifying live entertainer who sold 200 million albums and won nine Grammy Awards, Turner rose to fame in the 1960s as the centerpiece of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, a St. Louis blues band turned high-wire rock act.
During more than 60 years in the spotlight, she transformed notions about aging, opportunity and resilience, most notably with her landmark album Private Dancer, which launched her to solo superstardom (finally) at age 44.
At the movies, Turner had iconic roles as the Acid Queen in The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1975) and as the ruthless Aunty Entity in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). On television, she was a fixture on variety shows, on MTV and in commercials, most notably as the face (and legs) of a $20 million campaign for Hanes hosiery, which hired her at 56 to energize the brand.
But it was her harrowing 1986 memoir, I, Tina, in which she revealed ex-husband Ike Turner’s 16-year reign of terror, her escape and rise from economic ruin that sealed her most enduring role — as inadvertent activist.
“Do you realize you’re a feminist hero?” Larry King asked her in 1997. “I’m beginning to,” she said.
A redemption tale told in chilling detail, her book brought critical light to a mostly hidden crisis, inspiring a feature film, the Angela Bassett-starring What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993), and the acclaimed 2018-19 Broadway and West End production Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.
With her fringed miniskirts, taut frame, flying hair and swagger — all shocking early on — and a peerless rock ‘n’ soul catalog, Turner honed a stage act that came to fill stadiums, drawing crowds exceeding those brought in by the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Queen.
During 1988’s “Break Every Rule” tour, the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — she was voted in as a solo artist in May 2021 — shattered box office records in 13 countries and attracted 180,000 fans to Maracanã Stadium to see her perform in Brazil.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter