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Tina Turner: a life in pictures

An icon for the ages - Tina Turner performing in Illionois, 1987
An icon for the ages - Tina Turner performing in Illionois, 1987 Copyright Paul Natkin/2019 Paul Natkin
Copyright Paul Natkin/2019 Paul Natkin
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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Euronews Culture takes a look at the late superstar's life in photographs after she passed away aged 83


Tina Turner had a decades-long career, travelled the world and became an icon – all from humble beginnings.

Michael Ochs Archives
Tina Turner in 1961 with her former husband IkeMichael Ochs Archives

Born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November 1939, she was brought up by her grandmother in Nutbush, Tennessee after her parents split. When her grandmother passed away, 16-year-old Tina moved to St. Louis, Missouri where she began her musical career – and met her future husband, Ike Turner.

Always full of energy - Tina poses for a portrait in Dallas in 1964Getty

Come 1960, the hit single ‘A Fool in Love’ made her a star. She became the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue; Ike changed her name to Tina and their relationship, which had begun platonically, turned up a gear. The pair married in 1962.

Tina performs with Ike in Texas, 1964Getty

Their marriage was tumultuous even before it started – Tina reportedly didn’t even know the ceremony was happening until the day itself. Years later, she revealed she had been given little choice in the matter.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
An iconic contact sheet - Tina photographed in New York, 1969Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"When Ike asked me to marry him, I knew it was for a reason”, she told CBS. “I had to say yes, I knew, or it was going to be a fight".

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Family portrait - Tina with Ike Turner, her sons and step-sons in 1972Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Ike was notoriously abusive towards Tina throughout the union. They remained married for 16 years, but Tina ultimately fled the relationship and was granted a divorce in 1978.

Harry Langdon/Getty Images
The 1970s embodied - Tina in Los Angeles, 1977Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Tina chose not to fight over any of their shared assets, but she did win the rights to her stage name and enjoyed a resurgence in the 1980s, finding more success than ever before.

Airport glamour - Tina arrives in London in 1978AP

Known for her boundless energy and raw talent as well as her style, hair and dance skills, she earned four Grammy awards in 1984 on the back of her album ‘Private Dancer’ and was hailed as one of the biggest and most impressive musical comebacks in history.

Following that success, she spent much of 1985 on tour, playing a staggering 182 shows around the globe.

Corbis/Getty Images
Tina at home - the superstar in Los Angeles, 1984Corbis/Getty Images

In the 1990s, Tina was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and embarked on a new tour, which was attended by nearly four million people – breaking the audience record for a European tour previously set by The Rolling Stones.

Ross Marino/Getty Images
The 'Private Dancer' era - Tina on tour in 1985Ross Marino/Getty Images
Dave Hogan/1990 Getty Images
50 and thriving - Tina performing in London in 1990Dave Hogan/1990 Getty Images

Her greatest hits compilation ‘Simply the Best’ sold seven million copies worldwide and, in 2000, she proved she was still an icon at 60 years old, when she performed at the Super Bowl in Atlanta.

AFP via Getty
Star of the Super Bowl - Tina performing in 2000AFP via Getty

From 2008 to 2009, Tina hit the road again with her 50th Anniversary Tour, playing 90 sold-out dates across North America and Europe. The tour marked the end of her performing career, and the legendary singer announced her retirement.

Kevin Winter/2008 Getty Images
Septuagenarian sensation - Tina performs at the 2008 Grammy AwardsKevin Winter/2008 Getty Images

Her public appearances soon became limited. But in 2019, she attended the premiere of the eponymous musical based on her life on Broadway in New York, as well as the launch of the German version of the show in Hamburg. 

Franziska Krug/Getty
An endless legacy - Tina at the launch of 'Tina - Das Tina Turner Musical' in Hamburg, 2019Franziska Krug/Getty

Tina died on 24 May 2023 in her adopted home of Küsnacht in Switzerland. Paying tribute, her spokesperson reflected: “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model”.

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