Rock and soul singers, civil rights activists and political leaders mourned Tina Turner on Wednesday as a trailblazing artist whose music and life epitomized resilience, determination, heart and the power to not only survive but thrive over five decades in the music industry.
“Tina would have so much energy during her performances and was a true entertainer,” Magic Johnson, the former star of the Los Angeles Lakers, wrote on Twitter. “She created the blueprint for other great entertainers like Janet Jackson and Beyoncé and her legacy will continue on through all high-energy performing artists.”
As news spread of Ms. Turner’s death, at 83, in Switzerland, many said her life story was an inspiration as she overcame abuse during her marriage to Ike Turner and emerged as a star on her own, with the release of her solo album “Private Dancer” in 1984.
“This woman rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of abuse, a derailed career, and no money to a renaissance like I’ve never seen in entertainment,” Sherrilyn Ifill, the former president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said on Twitter. “She became fully herself and showed us all how it’s done.”
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, who toured with Ms. Turner in Britain in 1966 and then in the United States in 1969, in a series of concerts that helped introduce her music to white audiences, said that he was “so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner.”
“She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer,” Mr. Jagger wrote on Instagram. “She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”
The actress Angela Bassett, who was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Ms. Turner in the 1993 film “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” said in a statement: “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,” Ms. Bassett said. “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.’”
The R&B and soul singer Aaron Neville recalled when the Neville Brothers toured Europe with Ms. Turner in 1990, selling out shows with more than 70,000 fans in attendance. It was during that tour, he said, when he came up with the idea for his song, “The Roadie Song,” as he watched the crew set up stages all across Europe.
“She showed us much love and respect,” Mr. Neville wrote on Twitter. “I know she has a place in the heavenly band.”
Ms. Turner’s career began in the late 1950s, when she was in high school in East St. Louis, Ill., and spanned half a century, as she moved from singing R&B and soul into rock and pop. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Mr. Turner in 1991 again as a solo artist in 2021.
She gave her final public performance in 2009 and then retired.
“Tina Turner was our voice,” Mayor Eric Adams of New York wrote on Twitter. “She’s an icon who knocked down boundaries, shook our soul and redefined music. She overcame so much to become an icon.”
Kelly Rowland, the singer formerly of Destiny’s Child, is part of a younger generation of singers who drew inspiration from Ms. Turner: “Thank you Queen, for giving us your all!” she wrote. “We Love You!!”