The icon passed away on May 24, but left a lasting legacy. Image credit: EmpressiveTV

The “Epitome of passion and power”, “a once-in-a-generation talent” and a feminist icon; all phrases demonstrate the impressive legacy of Tina Turner. 

Known for hits including What’s Love Got To Do With It, Proud Mary and The Best, as well as for her signature husky contralto voice and risqué stage presence, Turner was one of the best-known singers of her generation. 

She sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including certified Recording Industry Association of America album sales of 10 million.  

Turner also previously held the Guinness World Record for having the largest paying audience for a solo concert after attracting an audience of 180,000 for her show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1988. 

Her autobiography I, Tina was eventually adapted into the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It, starring Angela Bassett, which dramatized her tumultuous relationship with then husband Ike Turner.  

But Turner’s story is not just one of success but of triumph over trauma as well. 

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, Turner had a disrupted childhood as her family was separated and she lived with her religious grandparents. 

The young Anna Mae grew up and sang in her local Baptist church and eventually met Ike Turner at a nightclub. “When Ike heard me, he said, ‘My God!'” she told People magazine in 1981. “He couldn’t believe that voice coming out of this frail little body.”  

Changing her name to Tina, she embarked on her singing career in the 1950s and found fame with the Ike Turner Revue. 

However, the Turners’ relationship was marred by abuse. But staying true to the definition of resilience, she pushed on. “I stayed on course from the beginning to the end,” she told People magazine, “because I believed in something inside of me that told me that it can get better.” 

Turner was almost 40 when she finally broke free from that abusive relationship and with little money to her name, she set out to re-establish herself as a solo artist in the 1980s. 

She said, “A lot of people thought that Tina Turner was history. They only knew Ike and Tina Turner and didn’t understand what was going on. So I had to test myself,” in an interview with German Vogue. 

Turner passed that “test” as she became one of the most popular live music acts – releasing a host of best-selling albums, won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 as a soloist, having been previously inducted alongside Ike.  

Though she advanced in age, her signature energetic stage performances never went away. She told American Vogue, “I will never give in to old age until I’m old. I’m not old yet.” 

Her impact continues as “The Tina Turner Musical” opened on London’s West End in 2018 and in 2020, a revamped version of “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” reached the UK top 40. 

Following news of her passing, several tributes from across the globe poured in for the singer. Flowers were laid on Turner’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, and candles were lit outside her home in Küsnacht, near Zurich, Switzerland. Bouquets were also laid outside the Aldwuch Theatre in London, where her biographical musical is currently being played. 

Women’s Aid, a charity dedicated to ending domestic violence also said, “She will always be simply the best.” 

Many celebrities also took to social media to celebrate Turner’s life and legacy: