Tina Turner’s Malaysian fans mourn loss of ‘The Best’

Tina Turner’s anthemic hit was The Best – and that probably sums up the way fans feel about the legendary singer who died at 83 on Wednesday.

Malaysian fans flocked to social media, often quoting lyrics from the 1989 hit, to pay tribute to the singer who visited Malaysia twice in the 1980s.

She was last in Malaysia in February 1988, playing two nights at Stadium Negara as part of her Break Every Rule Tour.

“I had the chance to watch her concert at Stadium Negara in 1988. The best. So alive and vibrant.

“She pranced and danced on stage effortlessly. I remember she wore dark blue jeans with a short sleeved white top. Unforgettable,” Malaysian fan Napsiah Wan Salleh wrote on Facebook.

Another fan, Francis Yip Cheng, said he was mesmerised watching Turner on the MTV channel.

“I grew up watching her rocking the stage and setting MTV on fire with her brassy, husky awesome voice and suave moves.

“Whether it is What’s Love Got To Do With It or Proud Mary, we don’t need another hero. Tina, you’re simply the best,” he said.

Mahraan Shan also agreed that Turner was a force to be reckoned with.

“You are one of the artistes that gave us strength and inspiration since the 1980s,” he wrote on Facebook.

The trailblazing music goddess inspired generations of singers, from American Idol contestants to R&B divas.

“This is a sad day for music. The Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll has passed. Tina Turner, we honour you! Your legacy will live forever.

“U showed us all what it means to have the grit and determination to never stop, no matter what life throws our way!

“Thank u for all you’ve given us. Now rest in peace!” Oscar-winner and former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson wrote.

For multiple award-winning singer Mariah Carey, Turner was a “legendary, iconic, diva and superstar”.

“To me, she will always be a survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere. Her music will continue to inspire generations to come. Rest in Peace, Queen,” Carey tweeted.

While Turner, whose real name was Anna Mae Bullock, is best remembered for her energetic dance moves and sultry numbers such as What’s Love Got To Do With It, Private Dancer, Typical Male and the Bond tune, Golden Eye, her showbiz story was one that inspired many.

The singer, who had already made a name for herself with husband Ike Turner in the music scene in the 1960s and 1970s, decided to leave a stable career (as a duo) when she had had enough of her abusive husband in 1976.

She only had US$0.36 (RM1.67 today) with her when she walked out of Ike mid-way through the duo’s tour after a bloody altercation. “Tina’s personal strength was remarkable. Overcoming adversity, and even abuse, she built a career for the ages and a life and legacy that were entirely hers,” US President Joe Biden wrote in his tribute.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Turner went from having almost nothing to staging a comeback unlike any other.

In 1984, she released What’s Love Got To Do With It, which shot to No.1 and heralded her return.

The 1980s was good to her as Turner was unstoppable, releasing and landing a dozen songs in the US Top 40 chart, including We Don’t Need Another Hero and her best-known song The Best (interestingly enough, this song – originally sung by Bonnie Tyler in 1988 – never went to No.1). She also dabbled in acting, starring in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

In her first visit to Malaysia in 1980, she told The Star she was heavily influenced by rock artistes like the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart.

“Rock is pure energy. It is a happy-go-lucky kind of music which I can identify with strongly. It is the story of my life – happy-go-lucky and extremely energetic,” she said.

While Turner announced her retirement in 2000, she made appearances on entertainment shows, most notably alongside Beyonce at the Grammys in 2008.

In 2013, Turner made headlines again as she graced the cover of German Vogue, making her – 73 at the time – the oldest person to be on the cover of the fashion bible.

The Guardian reported that she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and had a kidney transplant the following year.

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