Legendary rock & roll icon Tina Turner has passed away at the age of 83. Deadline reports Turner died at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland after battling a long illness. Along with receiving the title of “Queen of Rock & Roll,” Turner also made a career in Hollywood, starring in films such as Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Last Action Hero.
“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” a statement from Tina Turner’s spokesperson, Bernard Doherty, said.
Of course, Tina Turner’s life story was adapted in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner. 2021 also saw the premiere of the Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. She began her musical career in the musical groups Kings of Rhythm and Ike & Tina Turner Revue, before eventually breaking off and launching her solo career.
Perhaps her biggest success came after separating from Ike Turner. It’s here that Tina Turner debuted her Private Dancer album in 1984, which included the Grammy Award-winning “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” The song won the Grammy for Record of the Year and was Turner’s only Number 1 song on the Billboard 100 charts. Achieving this feat at the age of 44 was also a major accomplishment.
Tina Turner played Aunty Entity in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Directed by George Miller, the film placed Turner as the ruler of Bartertown. In a 2015 interview with Time Out magazine, Miller spoke of Tina Turner’s casting.
When asked about Turner straddling the lines between heroine and villainess, Miller said, “Well yes, that to us is very important. We didn’t want to fall into a kind of fairly clichéed bad guy. And we have a saying that today’s tyrant is yesterday’s hero. And if you really look at the rhythm of the way things are, that’s often the case. You have political heroes, for instance… but if you go back to the classical sense, the definition of a hero, as far as we can decide, is that they’re the agents of evolution. They are the characters by which the world changes to a new order, usually for the better. They are the agents of evolution.”
He added, “That’s what we wanted with Tina Turner; we wanted to have the sense that before she built Bartertown, she was a genuine hero. You could have told a story, almost like a Mad Max story, about her. But now, because she’s holdfast… One of the main reasons we cast Tina Turner is that she’s perceived as being a fairly positive persona. You don’t think of Tina Turner as someone dark. You think of the core of Tina Turner being basically a positive thing. And that’s what we wanted. We felt that she might be more tragic in that sense.”