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‘Queen, Legend, Icon’ Tina Turner: Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe, Mick Jagger Remember Trailblazer

CelebsReactToTinaTurner CelebsReactToTinaTurner.jpg - Credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images
CelebsReactToTinaTurner CelebsReactToTinaTurner.jpg - Credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Queen, icon, legend. These three words form a common thread throughout the tributes being shared from figures in music, film, and television following the death of Tina Turner. The legendary musician died on Wednesday, May 24, at the age of 83, leaving behind a legacy defined by her unequivocal influence.

Beyoncé, who has been clear about Turner’s impact on her own career — the duo performed “Proud Mary” at the 2008 Grammys — paid tribute to the icon on her website. “My beloved queen,” Beyoncé began. “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.”

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Janelle Monáe, this month’s Rolling Stone cover artist, penned a message to Turner on social media. “Tina. I owe you so much. You are the true epitome of a rockstar that gave your all this lifetime. You inspire me to give mine,” said Monáe. “You taught us lessons and what true transformative power through honesty and vulnerability look like.”

“Survivor. The King & Queen. She was everything. Man…. This is one of the figures I just knew would live in her 3 digits,” Questlove wrote on Instagram. “Love you forever Tina Turner. Rest In Melody.”

Mick Jagger shared a collection of photos of Turner on Twitter, including a shot of the two of them on stage together, remembering: “I’m so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer. She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”

The Who’s Pete Townshend praised her rousing performances in a detailed statement on the band’s website. “If you ever had the privilege of seeing Tina perform live you will know how utterly scary she could be,” he wrote. “She was an immense presence. A female Little Richard. She seemed like a giant: shaking, sexual, physical and stunningly beautiful. In the flesh she was fragile, vulnerable and a truly sweet and empathetic person.

“She was of course my Acid Queen in the Tommy movie, and it is often my job to sing that song with the Who, so she always comes into my mind,” he continued. “It isn’t easy to deal with. The song is about abuse at the hands of an evil woman. How she turned that song on its head! All the anger of her years as a victim exploded into fire and bluster and a magnificent and crazy cameo role that will always stay with me.”

Diana Ross, whose career timeline overlapped with Turner’s beginning in the early sixties, added in a separate post: “Shocked. Saddened. Sending condolences to Tina Turner’s family and loved ones.”

Mariah Carey paid tribute the “incredible performer, musician and trailblazer,” tweeting that the “words legendary, iconic, diva, and superstar are often overused and yet Tina Turner embodies them all and so many more.” The singer continued, “To me, she will always be a survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere.”

Dolly Parton cited “Proud Mary” in a tribute on Twitter. “Now she’s rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ on to glory,” she wrote. “Roll on, Tina. We will always love you!”

Ciara, who has been visibly inspired by Turner’s high energy stage presence, also paid tribute to the late icon. “Heaven has gained an angel,” she wrote on Twitter. “Rest in Paradise Tina Turner. Thank you for the inspiration you gave us all.”

Debbie Harry shared a statement via Blondie’s official social accounts, remembering just how much she’s been inspired by Turner from the very beginning. “I was a benefactor of the energy, creativity and talents of Tina Turner. A woman who started in rural Nutbush, TN cotton fields and worked her way to the very top,” she shared. “Tina was a great inspiration to me when I was starting out and remains so to this day. Love you Tina. RIP.”

Gloria Gaynor paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “I am so, so very sad to hear of the passing of @TinaTurner, the iconic legend who paved the way for so many women in rock music, black and white. She did with great dignity & success what very few would even have dared to do in her time and in that genre of music.”

Other tributes have poured in from Kid Cudi, Sheila Ferguson, Grandmaster Flash, Rick Astley, Bryan Adams, Flea, and more.

“I’ll be forever grateful for the time we spent together on tour, in the studio and as friends,” Adams shared. “Thank you for being the inspiration to millions of people around the world for speaking your truth and giving us the gift of your voice. It’s Only Love and that’s all.”

Flea shared a photo of Turner on stage, calling her the “Truest rocker. Greatest performer. Most profoundly sexy woman.” He added, “What a dynamo, what a story, what a heroine. Always an energy inspiration for me, always tapping the source. Tina forever. Man. Always been in awe of her and the infinite power.”

A testament to the reach of Turner’s influence beyond music, Naomi Campbell acknowledged her singularity as an iconic figure. “REST in Peace & Power. THE QUEEN, LEGEND, ICON,” she commented on Instagram. “There will never be another. Cherish my times with you.” In February 2012, Campbell honored Turner through a V Magazine photoshoot that channeled her classic rock and roll fashion.

Diane Warren, who penned Turner’s 1986 song “Don’t Turn Around,” remembered the singer on Twitter, writing: “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.”

Across film and television, Rosario Dawson, Susan Kelechi Watson, Forest Whitaker, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and more also shared tributes.

Jenifer Lewis, who portrayed Turner’s mother in the 1993 Turner biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It?, recalled meeting Turner after a performance in the Eighties in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I told her, ‘You’re the greatest’ then I bowed and I meant it,” she says. “I told her, ‘I want to be just like you, and she said, ‘I can see it in you.’ I had that beautiful moment with her alone in her dressing room as she stood there like a meteorite still filled with the energy of having entertained the fuck out of us.”

Turner’s legacy has loomed large for Lewis. “I looked up to Tina Turner,” she says. “The sass, the boldness, the uncompromising foot she put forward. When she showed up anywhere you knew it was Tina and she brought in that indescribable presence.”

“Tina Turner was an icon, whom we loved for her voice, her dancing, and her spirit,” said Whitaker. “As we honor her, let’s also reflect on her resilience, and think about all the greatness that can follow our darkest days. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us, Tina. You’re simply the best.”

Sharing a photo of himself with Turner, Magic Johnson added: “Rest in peace to one of my favorite artists of all time, the legendary queen of rock n’ roll Tina Turner. I’ve seen her many many times and hands down, she gave one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. She always gave you your moneys worth.”

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