Rock ‘n’ roll icon Tina Turner dies at 83

Published May 25, 2023
A March 9, 2000. file photo shows Tina Turner singing at an awards ceremony in Hamburg, Germany.—Reuters
A March 9, 2000. file photo shows Tina Turner singing at an awards ceremony in Hamburg, Germany.—Reuters

WASHINGTON: Tina Turner, the American-born singer who left a hardscrabble farming community and abusive relationship to become one of the top recording artists of all time, died on Wednesday at the age of 83.

She died peacefully after a long illness in her home in Ksnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, her representative said.

Turner began her career in the 1950s during the early years of rock and roll and evolved into an MTV phenomenon.

In the video for her chart-topping song What’s Love Got to Do with It, in which she called love a “second-hand emotion”, Turner epitomised 1980s style as she strutted through New York City streets with her spiky blond hair, wearing a cropped jean jacket, mini skirt, and stiletto heels.

With her taste for musical experimentation and bluntly-worded ballads, Turner gelled perfectly with a 1980s pop landscape in which music fans valued electronically-produced sounds and scorned hippie-era idealism.

Sometimes nicknamed the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Turner won six of her eight Grammy Awards in the 1980s. The decade saw her land a dozen songs on the Top 40, including Typical Male, The Best, Private Dancer and Better Be Good to Me.

Her 1988 show in Rio de Janeiro drew 180,000 people, which remains one of the largest concert audiences for any single performer.

By then, Turner had been free from her marriage to guitarist Ike Turner for a decade.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2023

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