Tina Turner, one of the greatest music artists of all time who was also among the richest women in music by net worth, passed away on 24 May at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. She was 83 years old.
The multi-hyphenated American-born and naturalised Swiss music icon was universally hailed as the ‘Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ throughout her storied career of close to six decades.
Though she started her career in the 1950s, she particularly dominated the 1980s music scene with her husky but powerful vocals and electrifying live performances.
She won 12 Grammy awards, including eight in competitive categories, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Turner is survived by her second husband, German music executive Erwin Bach.
All the details about Tina Turner: Career, net worth and the things she owned
How Turner’s journey began and a tumultuous marriage
Born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee, to parents who were sharecroppers, Turner initially performed with Ike Turner in nightclubs in the late 1950s. It was Ike who gave her the name ‘Tina Turner’ and even got it trademarked to prevent Turner from using the name professionally on her own.
They were married in 1962, but it was a tumultuous one. Turner opened up in the HBO documentary Tina (2021) about her marriage to Ike, which ended in 1978.
“I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story. It’s a reality. It’s a truth. That’s what you’ve got, so you have to accept it,” she told the documentary’s makers, Dan Lindsay and T. J. Martin.
In fact, she fled from the clutches of an abusive Ike in 1976 with just 36 cents and a Mobil gas credit card by running across a highway and seeking shelter at the Ramada Inn (now Lorenzo Hotel).
As a result of her toxic relationship with Ike, she also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Early career of Tina Turner
Through the 1960s and early 1970s, Turner and Ike tasted success with hits such as “A Fool in Love,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” and “River Deep—Mountain High.” They were also praised for their live performances.
As her popularity rose, Turner became the first woman and first Black person on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1967.
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Solo career and how she built her fortune
Turner earned even more popularity by going solo, following the end of her marriage to Ike. She released two solo music albums in the late 1970s. Although they did not do well, she was able to draw more crowds to her live performances than before.
In 1984, she released the album Private Dancer, featuring the lead single “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Three of her eight competitive Grammy wins came for the tracks of this album.
The lead single’s phenomenal success and the album’s sales marked a turnaround in her career, leading to the media dubbing her the queen of comebacks. Turner even said in her 2021 documentary that she considers the album as her debut and not a comeback. “Tina had never arrived,” she said.
She announced her retirement in 2000, soon after the release of her final solo album, Twenty Four Seven (1999).
In 2008, she returned to the stage to perform with pop icon Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards as well as her final music tour, Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour, to celebrate the golden jubilee of her career. The tour ended in 2009.
Nine years later, she collaborated with English filmmaker Phyllida Lloyd on the stage musical Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. The show won a Tony award as well as a Laurence Olivier award.
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Besides music, Turner also starred as an actor in Hollywood films. She made her feature film debut with Tommy (1975) and earned plaudits for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). She also sang the theme song of the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995).
Her first memoir, I, Tina, released in 1986, was a global bestseller. It was this book that was adapted into the biographical film What’s Love Got To Do With It in 1993. Hollywood icon Angela Bassett played Turner in it.
According to Fox Business, Turner sold more than 150 million albums worldwide. BBC reported in 2021 that she sold her entire music catalogue to music publishing company BMG for USD 50 million.
Estimates suggest that Tina Turner had a net worth of USD 250 million. Nearly her entire fortune was built on her outstanding career in music.
What did Tina Turner own?
Tina Turner passed away at her Küsnacht estate called Chateau Algonquin. She was residing at the property with her second husband for a long time, but it was a rented home.
In 2019, a profile of Tina Turner in The New York Times revealed that Chateau Algonquin had “ivy snaking up the walls, gardeners manicuring the shrubs, a life-size two-legged horse sculpture suspended from a domed ceiling, a framed rendering of Turner as an Egyptian queen, a room stuffed with gilded Louis XIV style sofas.”
There were also “pieces of an enormous shattered amethyst arranged by the in-ground swimming pool…framed photographs of the sarcophagi of old Egyptian royalty…a sword-wielding pre-Columbian idol.”
Although not much is known about the assets that may have added to Turner’s net worth, in September 2021, she bought an approximately 24,154.7-square-metre property in the village of Staefa on Lake Zurich for USD 76 million with Bach.
It reportedly has 10 buildings, a swimming pool, its own pond as well as a stream running through the property. It also has a boat dock. The property that the couple bought is believed to be over 100 years old and was used as a “weekend retreat.”
How did Tina Turner die?
In the later years of her life, Turner suffered multiple health issues, including a stroke, intestinal cancer, high blood pressure and kidney failure.
The passing away of Tina Turner was announced on her official social media pages as well as by her family. According to the statements, she had been suffering from an illness for a long time.
“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,” a statement posted on both her Instagram and Facebook page read.
Her publicist, Bernard Doherty, issued a statement following her death, saying, “Tina Turner, the ‘Queen of Rock’n Roll’ has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” her family added.
Tributes pour in for Tina Turner
Several famous names from across the world of entertainment, politics, business and sports paid tribute to Tina Turner following her demise. Among them are basketball legend Magic Johnson, supermodel Naomi Campbell, and singers Gloria Gaynor, Debbie Harry, Kelly Rowland and Ciara.
US President Joe Biden said in a statement that Turner was “a once-in-a-generation talent that changed American music forever.”
Before she was the Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner was a farmer’s daughter in Tennessee. As a child, she sang in the church choir before becoming one of the most successful recording artists of all time.
In addition to being a once-in-a-generation talent that changed…
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 24, 2023
“She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself,” tweeted former US President Barack Obama.
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… pic.twitter.com/qXl2quZz1c
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 24, 2023
Bassett wrote on Instagram: “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.'”
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Beyoncé, who holds the record for most Grammy wins, posted a tribute on her website in which she called Turner “my beloved queen.” An accompanying picture showed her with Turner on the stage of the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008.
Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger took to Instagram to post a tribute to Turner in which he said that she helped him when he was young and was “inspiring, warm, funny and generous.”
“Tina Turner worked hard to reimagine the role of a Black woman in rock & roll — one that was firmly placed front and center,” wrote the institution.
(2/3) bar for live performance. Their hits “River Deep–Mountain High” and “Proud Mary” endure to this day. But this Queen of Rock & Roll went on to make music history again with her solo career (for which she was inducted again in 2021) and with her bravery in sharing her pic.twitter.com/S6mAhekkHX
— Rock Hall (@rockhall) May 24, 2023
In his tribute, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani said that he will miss Turner who he had “the pleasure to dress many times.”
“In life, she was like she was on stage – pure energy,” he wrote.
Mr Armani pays tribute to the great #TinaTurner pic.twitter.com/IFvVwAHM4s
— Armani (@armani) May 24, 2023
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India
(Main image: Mark Ralston/AFP; Featured image: Tina Turner/@tinaturner/Instagram)