Music makers and entertainers were quick to react to the news of Tina Turner’s death on Wednesday evening, penning touching tributes to the soulful diva across social media. Turner was said to have died peacefully in her home in Switzerland at age 83.
Mick Jagger, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross and more lauded the “Queen of Rock’n Roll” as a revolutionary performer and music legend for her contributions to the R&B, rock and pop landscapes. After blossoming into a bonafide global superstar in the late ’80s, Turner went on to release classics like “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” and “The Best.” Others praised Turner’s courage, both as an artist and a woman, for reclaiming her freedom in the face of domestic violence.
In a statement shared with Variety, Angela Bassett, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Turner in the 1993 biopic, said:
“How do we say farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world? Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like. Her final words to me – for me – were “You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world.” I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days. I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world. So on today, while we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be “simply the best.” Angels, sing thee to thy rest…Queen.”
Beyoncé updated her website with a post dedicated to Turner, whom she called the “epitome of power and passion.” The featured image was taken on the stage of the 2008 Grammys when the duo delivered an unforgettable duet of Turner’s “Proud Mary.”
“My beloved Queen. I love you endlessly. I’m so grateful for your inspiration, and all the ways you have paved the way. You are strength and resilience. You are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will forever remain. Thank you for all you have done.”
Oprah shared a lengthy remembrance on Instagram recalling the moment she transformed from Turner’s “groupie” to her friend. “She was a role model not only for me but for the world. She encouraged a part of me I didn’t know existed,” she said. “Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph. I’m grateful for her courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolo’s and a leather miniskirt. She once shared with me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid, but excited and curious. Because she had learned how to LIVE surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends. I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best.”
Attached to a photo of herself and Turner, Diana Ross said she was “shocked” and “saddened,” and sent her condolences to Turner’s family and loved ones.
In a statement, former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama said: “Tina Turner was raw. She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself—speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain; triumph and tragedy. Today we join fans around the world in honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never fade.”
Viola Davis called Turner “Brilliant” and “A Survivor,” going on to describe the singer as “Our first symbol of excellence and unbridled ownership of sexuality!! You were my childhood.”
“I’m so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner,” said Mick Jagger, who credited the late singer for having “helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”
Bassett’s husband and Tony-winning actor Courtney B. Vance issued the following statement shared with Variety: “TINA TURNER. Hero. Shero. Revolutionary. Trailblazer. Icon. Mother. Wife. We knew this day was coming. It seems like we lose another of our Giants every other day… It’s just hard to say goodbye to those giants who’ve spoken to us through art that has changed our lives, and awakened in us a desire to see more, be more, do more!!! Thank God Ms.Tina was patient enough to see through the wilderness of her journey to get to the mountaintop so we could all soar! We love her. We cherish her. We honor her. Eternal rest, our Tina. Eternal rest!”
“Tina Turner was an icon, whom we loved for her voice, her dancing, and her spirit,” said Forest Whitaker, encouraging people to “reflect on her resilience, and think about all the greatness that can follow our darkest days.”
Gloria Gaynor credited Turner for having “paved the way for so many women in rock music, black and white,” and said she did so “with great dignity & success what very few would even have dared to do in her time and in that genre of music.”
Magic Johnson paid his respects in the caption of a photo of himself with Turner and Elizabeth Taylor. “Rest in peace to one of my favorite artists of all time, the legendary queen of rock n’ roll Tina Turner,” he wrote. “I’ve seen her many many times and hands down, she gave one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. She always gave you your moneys worth.”
Ciara posted two photos of Turner to her Twitter and wrote “Heaven has gained an angel. Rest in Paradise Tina Turner,” and thanked the performer “for the inspiration you gave us all.”
Rita Wilson shared a black-and-white photo of Turner on her Instagram and in the caption wrote “this woman elevated it all. Talent. Joy. Grace. Class. What a legend in every way. Her music lives on. Her lessons live on. Her example lives on. Prayers to her husband and family. God bless, Tina. May her memory be eternal.”
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