Silverbelle Tina Leaves Us

[Could anyone command a stage as well as Silverbelle Tina? Not in this Silverback’s lifetime. SB SM]

by Greg Evans, from, May 24, 2023

Tina Turner, known as the Queen of Rock’n Roll for her blistering performances and powerfully gritty vocals, died today after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. She was 83.

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” her U.K. spokesperson, Bernard Doherty, said in a statement.

Turner was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.

Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner became famous in the late 1960s as the singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. After leaving husband Ike Turner following years of physical and emotional abuse, she staged what remains one of the greatest comebacks in pop music history, scoring massive hits in the 1980s such as “What’s Love Got To Do With it”, “Private Dancer” and “Simply The Best”, with more than 180 million albums sold, 12 Grammy Awards won and sold-out stadium tours around the world.

Her life story was told in the 1993 smash hit film What’s Love Got To Do With It, and in the 2019 Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.

Launching her career as a member of Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm in 1957, Turner debuted under the name Tina Turner in 1960 with her duet with Ike titled “A Fool in Love.” Thus began a string of songs that, while not always rising on the charts, would become standards in the singer’s repertoire: “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, “River Deep – Mountain High”, “Nutbush City Limits” and, most of all, “Proud Mary.”

The Revue broke up in 1976 when Tina left Ike for reasons that she’d detail in memoirs and interviews. She became an early example of a domestic abuse survivor, putting the topic in the public consciousness.

Her split with Ike would leave the singer struggling and nearly destitute until the remarkable success of her fifth solo album Private Dancer, released in the U.S. in May 1984 in the U.S., months after its lead single “Let’s Stay Together” made the UK Top 10 and hit No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album’s second stateside single would give Turner the biggest hit of her career. “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” featuring her impassioned vocal, spent three weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. (and hit No. 3 in the UK). It would score Grammys for Record and Song of the Year as well as a Female Pop Vocal award for Turner.

Turner’s status as a musical pioneer also extended to 1980s television when she became a staple of MTV, an extraordinary achievement at a time when the music video channel was largely the domain of white artists.

Though initially known as a soul and R&B singer, Turner had long been a fan of rock music, appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and two years later welcoming Janis Joplin to the stage at Madison Square Garden during an Ike & Tina Turner performance opening for the Rolling Stones. Joplin returned the praise, saying on a 1969 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show that Turner was not only her favorite singer, but “the best chick ever.”

“Ike is her husband and band leader,” Joplin told Cavett, who had never heard of Turner, “and Tina is the show.”

Turner’s musical comeback would also re-launch a film career that had started in 1975 with a one-scene role as the Acid Queen in the Who’s Tommy. Following her 1980s recording success, she was cast in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Last Action Hero (1993).

In 1993, the biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, based on her 1986 autobiography I, Tina: My Life Story, starred Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike in Oscar-nominated performances. The film became a major box office success, earning more than $60 million globally.

Turner, a two-time inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a perennial on Greatest Performer lists, was a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. She retired in 2009 following her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour, which remains one of the highest-grossing tour of the 2000s, though she re-entered the public spotlight with the 2018 West End musical hit Tina – The Tina Turner Musical starring Adrienne Warren in a career-making performance. The musical, with Warren reprising her role, move to Broadway in 2019, but was suspended the following year with the Covid shutdown; Tina resumed performances in 2021 and continued until the following year.

A private funeral ceremony is expected for family and close friends and family.

Her spokesman said further press enquiries will not be answered.

2 thoughts on “Silverbelle Tina Leaves Us

  1. Loved her music. She sure got the heart and feet pumping away. Sadly, it seems like we’re losing ‘the greats” quickly as we age together.

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