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Celebrities and the White House pay tribute to Tina Turner

Tina Turner, Pop and R&B vocalist, holds up a Grammy Award, Feb. 27, 1985, in Los Angeles. Turner, the unstoppable singer and stage performer, died Tuesday, after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, according to her manager. She was 83.
Nick Ut
/
AP
Tina Turner, Pop and R&B vocalist, holds up a Grammy Award, Feb. 27, 1985, in Los Angeles. Turner, the unstoppable singer and stage performer, died Tuesday, after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, according to her manager. She was 83.

News of Tina Turner's death reverberated throughout social media, with various celebrities and the White House reacting to the news by sending their condolences. The rock and roll trailblazer's death at her home in Switzerland was announced Wednesday. She was 83.

Actress Angela Bassett, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Turner in her biopic What's Love Got to Do With It?, wrote on Instagram, "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."

Singer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, who has been vocal about Turner's influence on her, previously paid tribute to the icon in a performance at the 2005 Kennedy Center Honors. The pair performed together at the 2008 Grammys.

Knowles-Carter said Wednesday, "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."

Mick Jagger, a member of The Rolling Stones who frequently toured with Turner, said, "I'm so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer. She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her."

President Biden released a statement where he and his wife praised Turner's accomplishments despite the adversities she faced. "Jill and I send our love and prayers to her husband Erwin, the rest of the Turner family, and fans around the world who are mourning today for the woman they agree was 'simply the best.'"

Former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also paid tribute to Turner. 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."

Clinton said, "I loved Tina Turner and will never forget meeting her when she came to Little Rock for a concert after releasing Private Dancer in 1984. We met again on her 67th birthday in St. Petersburg, where she and Elton John sang for a charity event. She still had it — talent, style, energy, and authenticity — a priceless gift to music lovers everywhere. May she rest in peace."

Singer Mariah Carey said, "The words legendary, iconic, diva, and superstar are often overused and yet Tina Turner embodies them all and so many more - an incredible performer, musician and trailblazer. To me, she will always be a survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere. Her music will continue to inspire generations to come. Rest in Peace, Queen."

"I started out as a fan of Tina Turner, then a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country, and then, eventually, we became real friends," media mogul Oprah Winfrey said. "She is our forever goddess of rock 'n' roll who contained a magnitude of inner strength that grew throughout her life. She was a role model not only for me but for the world."

Turner, known for her raspy voice and vigorous dance moves, initially found fame as a rhythm and blues singer, then overcame years of abuse and found a second wind as an internationally beloved rock star.

She had hit songs, such as "Proud Mary," "Private Dancer," "The Best" and "What's Love Got to Do With It?", which she released at age 44. That song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

She has additionally won eight Grammys, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — in 1991, for the duo she starred in with her ex-husband Ike Turner, and in 2021 as a solo act.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Ayana Archie