Tina Turner has died in Switzerland at age 83.
The news is not a total shock. She’d been ill for some time. But it’s still heartbreaking. She was one of the most gifted performers of all time. She became a role model for women after leaving her abusive husband, Ike Turner, in the late 1970s, and starting over.
After a huge success with Ike that culminated in their cover version of “Proud Mary,” Tina built a new life and soared the charts with songs like “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” From then on, she was a superstar, selling out arenas, winning dozens of awards, and creating millions of new fans.
The result was a book, “I Tina” and then the movie using the song’s title starring Angela Bassett. They were each huge hits. A signature song, “Simply the Best,” came to characterize her. She was simply the best. She broke every mold. She was inspiration to everyone. Eventually her story became a hit Broadway musical called “Tina: The Musical.” Adrienne Warren won the Tony Award for playing Tina. I was there on opening night when the great Tina — was who was very fragile — was led down the aisle by Oprah Winfrey. Later she appeared on stage to the roar of the adoring crowd.
Like Aretha Franklin before her, Tina Turner will never ever be forgotten.