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Tina Turner Dead at 83 After Long Battle With Illness

Adam Beam SUTV News

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Best known as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" for a career that lasted decades, Tina Turner, the iconic rock and soul singer has passed away at the age of 83.

Turner died in her home near Zurich, Switzerland on Tuesday from a long illness as revealed on Turner's official Facebook page. In the statement it read, "With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly."

Born in Tennessee in 1939 as Anna Mae Bullock, Turner quickly began to take a liking to the sounds of the rhythm and blues in the local area. Fast forward to 1956 when her career would catapult when she met Ike Turner. It was here when she began to perform with Ike's band, Kings of Rhythm, that she donned the stage name, Tina Turner.

The two would eventually form the "Ike and Tina Turner Revue", however things behind the scenes were not so glamorous. Years after the marriage had ended, Turner revealed the extent of the abuse she endured at the hands of Ike. In her memoir "I, Tina" she revealed numerous instances of Ike beating and berating her. In one instance, Ike broke her jaw and she still had to go on stage and perform.

Turner eventually left Ike in 1976, and it was after this she sought a solo career. Worried by her age, Turner was aided by several prominent acts at the time like The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart.

While her debut solo album underperformed, and several follow up albums garnered little attention she would finally shatter records in May of 1984. "Private Dancer" sold over eight million copies, and her single "What's Love Got to Do With It" stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard for three weeks.

Turner's career didn't just stick to the music industry. The following year she would star alongside Mel Gibson in the third installment of the hit "Mad Max" series, "Beyond Thunderdome". The film grossed $36 million worldwide.

Turner was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice and received a Kennedy Center Honor Award in 2005. She retired from performing in 2009 but her music still takes the stage due to the hit-Broadway musical "Tina - The Tina Turner Musical". Adrienne Warren, who debuted as Turner in the musical, won a Tony Award for her performance.

Turner is remembered fondly by fans and fellow icons of the music industry. Mick Jagger writing, "She was truly 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." Rapper Kid Cudi wrote, "She was my moms hero, she was the ultimate superhero to me too." Even NASA tweeting, "Simply the best. Music legend Tina Turner sparkled across the stage and into millions of hearts as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll. Her legacy will forever live among the stars."

Turner is survived by her husband Erwin Bach.

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