Angela Bassett: ‘Tina Turner Showed Others What Love and Freedom Should Look Like’

AngelaBassettTinaTurnerTribute - Credit: Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images; Marka/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
AngelaBassettTinaTurnerTribute - Credit: Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images; Marka/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Angela Bassett has paid tribute to the late Tina Turner, whom she portrayed in the 1993 movie What’s Love Got to Do With It?, in the wake of the singer’s death on Wednesday after a long battle with illness. In a statement published in The Hollywood Reporter, Bassett praised Turner’s willpower and courage for telling her story in her 1986 memoir, I, Tina, which served as the basis for the movie.

“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?” Bassett said. “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 & 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.”

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“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,'” Bassett continued. “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.”

What’s Love Got to Do With It? chronicled Turner’s childhood, her tumultuous marriage to Ike Turner and rise to fame, and how she broke free of his abuse to become a solo star. Bassett won a Golden Globe and an NAACP Image Award for her performance, and received an Oscar nomination. Laurence Fishburne, who portrayed Ike, also received an Oscar nomination.

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