Music Legend Tina Turner Passes Away Aged 83

25 May 2023 | 6:35 am | Stephen Green

The "Queen of Rock n Roll" has passed away at her Swiss home.

Tina Turner

Tina Turner (Supplied)

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Legendary singer Tina Turner died peacefully at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich on Wednesday according to a statement from her publicist. The music icon passed away after a long illness. She had spoken of her battle with Kidney disease on Instagram in March to bring awareness to the issue. 

"With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model", the statement reads.

Tina Turner was one of the biggest recording artists of all time, with a career spanning over 72 singles, 10 studio albums and over six decades. Her career started as a backing singer before joining Ike Turner in an iconic duo that would go on to have multiple hits including Proud Mary, A Fool In Love and the iconic Nutbush City Limits, named after her Tennessee birthplace. 


Nutbush City Limits was reworked a number of times in her career, but it was Australia where the iconic dance took off and remains a much-loved staple of dancefloors around the country. 

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The pair's professional relationship was fruitful, but Ike was abusive, causing years of trauma, with their partnership ultimately coming to an end in 1978. Tina Turner's first solo album was in 1974, Tina Turns The Country On, but it and her subsequent 70s albums struggled to find commercial success. It was the 1980s that Turner struck solo gold, with her 1984 album Private Dancer becoming a global smash with the massive single What's Love Got To Do With It dominating charts. Her unique fashion, stilletto heels and spiky hair became as iconic as love's depiction as a 'second hand emotion'.

Followed up with We Don't Need Another Hero from Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome, a movie where she starred opposite Mel Gibson. This period set in motion a decade of Tina Turner being one of the world's biggest female recording artists, ultimately going on to sell over 200 million albums worldwide. 

Her Break Every Rule album gave us What You Get Is What You See and Typical Male, while her 1980s career was rounded out with her album Foreign Affair which spawned her biggest hit here in Australia The Best. Her Rio de Janeiro concert in 1988 attracted a crowd of 180,000 which remains to this day one of the largest single concert events in history. 

Turner will forever be remembered in Australia for the song's inclusion in the iconic Rugby League 'Simply The Best' campaign which ran for years and saw her flown out to perform at the Grand Final in 1990. So successful was the campaign, that the song was reworked in 1992 as a duet with Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes, cracking the Australian charts for a second time. 

Turner didn't slow down in the 1990s with her biopic What's Love Got To Do With It spawning another hit I Don't Wanna Fight and in 1995 she was tapped to provide the theme song for the successful James Bond reboot Goldeneye

In 2020 Tina Turner's biggest hit What's Love Got To Do With It was reworked by Kygo, topping charts around the world once more and introducing the icon to a whole new generation. 

In 2021 a successful documentary documented her life, creating a full picture of a woman that went from iconic singer to domestic abuse survivor to global superstar, becoming a beacon for feminism, Black excellence and music dominance.

One of her final public appearances was her 2021 induction into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame for a second time, joining as a solo artist after having earlier been inducted as one half of Ike and Tina Turner. She said:

“If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must have done something right." She did.