Angela Bassett, Mick Jagger, Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker and More Pay Tribute to Tina Turner: “A Gift That Will Always Be ‘Simply the Best'”

Hollywood stars were heartbroken over the news of Tina Turner’s death on Wednesday and took to social media to pay tribute to the late music icon.

Turner died Wednesday “after a long illness” in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, her reps announced. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” they said.

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The iconic entertainer sold 200 million albums and won eight Grammy Awards, having risen to fame in the 1960s as the centerpiece of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. With more than 60 years in the spotlight, her landmark album Private Dancer launched her to solo superstardom at age 44.

“Tina Turner was an icon and a trailblazer who broke barriers for women on and off the stage throughout her incredible career,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of The Recording Academy, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “She amazed audiences worldwide with her electrifying performances, including on our GRAMMY stage in 1985 and 2008, and reached legendary status with her show-stopping hits like “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “The Best.”

His statement continued, “An eight-time GRAMMY winner, three-time GRAMMY Hall of Fame inductee, and 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, Tina was an undeniable rockstar who paved the way for so many with her signature style and powerful vocals. She will be greatly missed by all the people she touched around the globe.”

Apart from music, Turner also had acting roles including in The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1975) and in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). On television, she was a fixture on variety shows, on MTV and in commercials, most notably as the face of a $20 million campaign for Hanes hosiery.

In her 1986 memoir, I, Tina, Turner publicly revealed her ex-husband Ike Turner’s 16-year reign of terror, her escape and rise from economic ruin. The book inspired the feature film starring Angela BassettWhat’s Love Got to Do With It (1993), and the acclaimed 2018-19 Broadway and West End production Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

Bassett, who earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Turner in the 1993 film, told THR in a statement of Turner: “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.”

Bassett continued, “Her final words to me — for me — were ‘You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world.’ I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days. I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world. So on today, while we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be “simply the best.” Angels, sing thee to thy rest…Queen.”

Adrienne Warren, who took on the role of Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, shared a montage of videos and photos on Instagram to remember the icon, writing in the caption, “Today we lost our Queen of Rock and Roll, an inspiration, an ICON. Today I lost a teacher and a mentor. Rest, my friend. I love you, Anna Mae Bullock. Thank you.”

Beyoncé also paid tribute to Turner sharing a photo of herself with Turner onstage on her website writing, “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.”

A myriad of stars including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Diane Warren, Viola Davis and more took to social media to pay tribute to Turner.

“Tina Turner was an icon, whom we loved for her voice, her dancing, and her spirit,” Whitaker tweeted, encouraging everyone to honor the late singer by reflecting on her “resilience” and to think about “all the greatness that can follow our darkest days.”

“A Survivor and a Badass. Every note she sang shook the room and shook your soul. There will never be another like her. Shake the roof off of Heaven Tina Turner,” Warren tweeted.

Davis wrote on Instagram, “Iconic. Beautiful. A survivor. Brilliance. Our first symbol of excellence and unbridled ownership of sexuality!! You were my childhood. Oh man!!! God is getting an angel today!!! Rest well Ms. Tina Turner. We will bask in your legacy!!!”

Winfrey shared a carousel of photos with Turner on Instagram and wrote in part, “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. She encouraged a part of me I didn’t know existed.”

Thursday, in an essay for the Oprah Daily website, Winfrey revealed how she learned of Turner’s death: “I was just about to head to a gala dinner following a spectacular fashion show in Milan. … I had turned my phone off. Gayle [King]’s phone was blowing up with messages and condolences for Tina Turner. I heard her say, ‘Oh no, Tina Turner is dead.’ The words stunned me into immediate tears.”

Winfrey recalled how she expected to get this news years ago before Turner rallied despite health struggles: “I had been expecting to hear this news four years ago in 2019 after visiting her at a hospital in Switzerland, where she told me she was ready to leave this earth. She said she had a full life and was ‘tired.’ I’m always wary when someone who is ill says they’re tired. It often means they are tired of the work and energy it takes to stay alive. I left the hospital thinking that would be my last time seeing her. I was on alert for a full year afterward, waiting to get ‘the call’ from her devoted husband, Erwin. Instead there were calls with news of improvements, new treatments, therapies, doctors. There were setbacks and stabilization. I even received an invite to celebrate her 80th birthday, then her 82nd.”

“Miss Tina lived an amazing life, full of drama and pain and in later years anchored by Buddhism,” Ann Wilson said in a statement to THR. “She showed what courage was and danced through her life on those mighty legs as an inspiration to us all. Rock on Angel!!”

Roberta Flack remembered the star in a statement, saying, “We went to Ghana together in 1971 for the Soul to Soul Tour. Her meteoric energy on stage was in such contrast to her gentle, kind and quiet demeanor off stage. My friend, Tina, thank you for inspiring us to always be everything we were meant to be–regardless of life’s challenges. A woman without limits. You will always be my hero.”

Motown founder Berry Gordy said in a statement: “Tina Turner’s impact on music and entertainment will live on forever. She was a true original, a true superstar.”

Collective Soul guitarist Dean Roland also shared in a statement, “We had the privilege of sharing the stage with Tina in Australia. The woman changed the world for good. Her presence is eternal.”

Read on for more tributes.

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