Simply the best: Tina Turner dies at 83, tributes pour in


Tina Turner performs in a concert in Cologne, Germany on Jan. 14, 2009. Turner, the unstoppable singer and stage performer, died Tuesday, after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, according to her manager. She was 83. — Photo: AP

Tina Turner, the trailblazing Black rocker whose powerful voice and imposing stage presence thrilled global audiences for decades, died Wednesday at the age of 83.

Tributes poured in from around the world, with some of music's biggest names lamenting the loss of a singular and instantly recognisable performer, whose popularity spanned generations.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger – who, legend has it, learned his dance moves from the diva, said the world had lost "an enormously talented performer and singer."

"She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her."

Bandmate Ronnie Wood called Turner "the Queen Of Rock And Soul and a dear friend."

Fans lined up to pay tribute at the wrought iron gates of her huge compound in Kusnacht, on Switzerland's Lake Zurich, many bearing candles and flowers.

Chateau Algonquin had been the home Turner shared with her German husband Erwin Bach for almost three decades, including when she took Swiss citizenship in 2013, and relinquished her US passport.

"The world has lost an icon," Swiss President Alain Berset said.

Tina Turner, Pop and R&B vocalist, as holds up a Grammy Award, Feb. 27, 1985, in Los Angeles. — Photo: APTina Turner, Pop and R&B vocalist, as holds up a Grammy Award, Feb. 27, 1985, in Los Angeles. — Photo: AP

Back in the United States, President Joe Biden paid a pointed tribute to a "once-in-a-generation talent that changed American music forever."

"Tina's personal strength was remarkable," Biden wrote. "Overcoming adversity, and even abuse, she built a career for the ages and a life and legacy that were entirely hers, " he added, calling Turner "simply the best."

Turner's Britain-based publicist Bernard Doherty said her death came after a long illness, and had robbed the world of "a music legend and a role model."

He gave no details of the illness.

Mick Jagger and Tina Turner during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York, U.S., January 18, 1989.  — Photo: REUTERSMick Jagger and Tina Turner during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York, U.S., January 18, 1989. — Photo: REUTERS

'The Best'

A career that would go on to net eight Grammy Awards began in the 1960s in a partnership with husband Ike Turner.

The pair recorded a number of hits together throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and while he was credited as being the brains behind the operation, she was always clearly the more talented.

After their troubled and violent marriage collapsed – she fled in 1976 mid-tour – Tina Turner forged a wildly successful solo career.

The following decades gifted the world instantly recognizable hits like What's Love Got to Do With It?, Private Dancer and the anthemic The Best.

Her We Don't Need Another Hero featured on the soundtrack to Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the 1985 post-apocalyptic thriller starring Mel Gibson.

A decade later she oozed her way through Goldeneye, joining the select ranks of artistes who have sung on the James Bond franchise.

Reaction to Turner's death came from across the worlds of music, entertainment and sport.

Fellow singer Gloria Gaynor took to Instagram to hail Turner's mold-breaking career, and how she "paved the way for so many women in rock music, black and white."

"She did with great dignity and success what very few would even have dared to do in her time and in that genre of music.

"She will be sorely missed."

Mariah Carey called Turner the embodiment of a legendary superstar. She was "an incredible performer, musician and trailblazer.

"To me, she will always be a survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere," she wrote.

Angela Bassett, who played the singer in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do With It opposite Laurence Fishburne as Ike, paid emotional tribute to "a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world."

"Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion and freedom should look like," Bassett said.

Basketball legend Magic Johnson posted a picture with the songstress – "one of my favorite artistes of all time."

"I've seen her many many times and hands down, she gave one of the best live shows I've ever seen," he tweeted.

Actor Forest Whitaker praised Turner's "voice, her dancing, and her spirit."

But he also hailed her ability to bounce back, in a nod to the difficulty of escaping her troubled marriage to Ike.

"As we honor her, let's also reflect on her resilience, and think about all the greatness that can follow our darkest days."

English crooner Rick Astley tweeted "What a woman, what a life, what a voice! One of the GREATS!" while NASA declared that Turner's "legacy will forever live among the stars." – AFP

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