'Remember me as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll': Tina Turner's moving final interview six weeks before death at 83

25 May 2023, 01:07 | Updated: 25 May 2023, 03:03

The singer's death was announced on Wednesday, prompting a flood of tributes to the legendary singer
The singer's death was announced on Wednesday, prompting a flood of tributes to the legendary singer. Picture: Alamy / Getty

By Chris Samuel

Legendary singer Tina Turner said she wanted to be remembered as "the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll", in a moving interview just six weeks before her death, aged 83.

The legendary singer, who is one of rock's most famous and beloved voices, passed away at her home in Switzerland after a long illness.

Turner had been in ill health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 before having a kidney transplant the following year.

But in what is thought to have been her final interview, she said she didn't fear death and hoped she would be live on as an example to ambitious women.

In the Guardian interview, on April 9, the Proud Mary singer was asked how she would like to be remembered, to which she replied: "As the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll. As a woman who showed other women that it is OK to strive for success on their own terms."

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The pop diva said she wasn't frightened about getting older: "This is life's full adventure and I embrace and accept every day with what it brings," she said.

Turner was also asked whether she would like to have more sex, money or fame, and joked: "at my age, is there another option?" adding that she was enjoying "anonymity in retirement".

Turner had a hugely successful pop career, which spanned six decades
Turner had a hugely successful pop career, which spanned six decades. Picture: Getty

The singer leaves behind two of her four sons - the other two sadly died in 2018 in 2022 - and her husband Erwin Bach, 67.

Turner and Bach tied the knot in 2013 after dating for almost 30 years.

Mick Jagger was among the first leading tributes to the star, whom he had shared a stage a number of times throughout her career.

"I'm so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer," he said.

Turner performs at the Festival of Hope at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, New York on August 13, 1972.
Turner performs at the Festival of Hope at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, New York on August 13, 1972. Picture: Getty

"She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.'

Turner's close friend Giorgio Armani was also among the slew of stars voicing their heartbreak at her passing, calling her "pure energy".

"I heard the passing of Tina Turner with sadness and disbelief: with her incredible energy she seemed eternal" he said. "Her music certainly is. I will miss a great friend, whom I have also had the pleasure to dress many times.

"In life, she was like she was on stage - pure energy. I am deeply saddened."

Supermodel Naomi Campbell called Turner an "icon", while basketball legend Magic Johnson hailed her as "a legendary queen of rock and roll".

Tributes have been left at the singer's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Tributes have been left at the singer's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Picture: Getty

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, the Swiss-American star was known for her frenetic on-stage performances and several huge hits including The Best, Proud Mary, Private Dancer and What's Love Got to Do With It.

She came to fame in the 1960s performing alongside ex-husband Ike Turner, with whom she recorded rock staple Proud Mary.

The domestic abuse she suffered at Ike's hands was documented in an Oscar-winning Hollywood biopic starring Angela Bassett in 1993 for which Bassett was nominated for an Oscar.

Following Ike's death in 2007, Turner's spokesperson at the time was quoted as saying: “Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made.”

Turner on stage at London's Wembley Stadium in her last ever live performance in the UK.
Turner on stage at London's Wembley Stadium in her last ever live performance in the UK. Picture: Alamy

The singer, whose career spanned six decades, won eight competitive Grammy Awards and was honoured with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St Louis Walk of Fame.

Turner is among the highest selling artists of all time with over 100 million records sold worldwide, with certified Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) album sales of 10 million.

The story of her tumultuous life is dramatised in a popular West End musical that continues to play before packed audiences.

The show's current home the Aldwych Theatre tweeted: "Rest in peace Tina Turner, Queen of Rock 'n' Roll.

"We are so proud to tell her story on our stage and celebrate such a formidable woman with audiences of all ages.

"Our thoughts are with her family at this time."

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