Award-winning singer-songwriter, author and longtime Nichiren Buddhist Tina Turner died on Wednesday at her home near Zurich. She was 83 years old. Her peaceful death came after battling a number of illnesses in her later years. A private funeral service for close friends and family members is planned.
“With her, the world loses a music legend and role model,” Turner publicist Bernard Doherty said in a statement. (NBC News)
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939 in rural Tennessee. As a young girl, she sang in the local Baptist church choir. While still in high school, she saw Ike Turner and his band, "Kings of Rhythm," at a club in St. Louis, Missouri. At a later show, she took the stage during an intermission, singing B.B. King's "You Know I Love You." This caught Ike Turner's attention and he invited her to join his band.
The two entered into a tumultuous romantic relationship soon after. Bullock later took on the stage name "Tina Turner," which is how fans have known her ever since. Ike and Tina married in 1962 and had a child, Ronnie Turner, in 1960. She had a son in 1958 named Raymond Craig, with another musician. In his 1986 memoir Me, Tina: the story of my life (William Morrow and Company), she claimed that Ike had been violent throughout their marriage, prompting her to attempt suicide in 1968. Turner left Ike in 1976 and filed for divorce, which was finalized in early 1978.
Turner remarried in July 2013, after a 27-year romance with German music manager Erwin Bach, who later donated a kidney to her in 2017, saving her life.
Turner had a notable career as a singer. From 1969, she enjoyed phenomenal success. Ralph J. Gleason, the influential jazz and pop critic for The Chronicle of San Francisco, wrote: “In the context of show business today, Tina Turner has to be the most sensational professional on stage. It comes like a hurricane. She dances and twists and shakes and sings and the impact is instant and total. (The New York Times)
Turner's Scrapbook What's love got to do with it won three awards at the 1985 Grammy Awards. In 1988, she performed for some 180 people at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, setting a new record for the largest paying audience for a solo artist. His 000 world tour earned him a spot in the Guinness World Records for the most concert tickets sold by a solo artist.
In 2005, Turner met His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to Switzerland, where she lived. She later cited this encounter as an inspiration for forming Beyond, a Swiss spiritual music group. Beyond took shape in 2007, co-founded by Turner with neighbors Regula Curti and Dechen Shak-Dagsay. The group, which has grown over time, has produced four albums of spiritual music from several world religions. In a 2014 interview with BDG, Turner reflected on the group saying:
I'm part of something bigger than anything I've done. Personally, I am very proud to be part of it. This project will hopefully teach people to discover what they were born with, use it and help the world. If we can tap into that peaceful inner space, like plugging in a lamp to illuminate and diffuse it, there would be more peace in the world, I think.*
In 2020, Turner announced a deeply personal book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life For Good, who explored her Buddhist path and her goal of helping others achieve the peace she had found. In a 2020 interview before the book was published, she said:
After trying to kill myself, a few people suggested I try singing nam-myoho-renge-kyo and learn more about Buddhist principles. At first, I ignored them. But I kept hearing about Buddhism, so I finally decided to educate myself. The more I read, the more I found it made perfect sense to me. Soon after I started singing, I realized that everything I needed to improve my life was already inside of me. I became more confident and hopeful, and the transformations I achieved through my spiritual practice helped me become joyful and successful.
The chant is Japanese and translates to "Glory to the Dharma of the Lotus Sutra". It is central to the Nichiren school of Japanese Buddhism, derived from the teachings of the 1222th century priest Nichiren (1282-XNUMX).
“She was my strength when I left my abuser,” wrote former journalist Laura Keeney, “and she introduced me to Buddhism as balm to my soul. » (Los Angeles Times)
* Beyond All Differences: Interview with Tina Turner and the Beyond Music Quartet (BDG)