Rolling on the — stylish— river! Tina Turner was a force in fashion.
The legendary artist — who died in May 2023 at age 83 — blessed Us with a number of breathtaking style statements through the years.
As Turner belted out her greatest hits — including “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” — the Tennessee native commanded attention in sparkly mini dresses, latex bodysuits, sheer gowns and more.
She frolicked around the stage in heels, topping off almost every ensemble with her signature spiky honey blonde ‘do. The hitmaker wasn’t afraid to show skin or don a bold lip — she even rocked flirty red nail polish. Most of her outfits were finalized with a pair of fishnet tights — which aligned with her title as the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll.
Turner opened up about her love of fashion in a December 2020 interview with NBC News. “When I look back, I can see the story of my life through the clothes I wore,” she told the news outlet. “There was always a connection. The opportunity to sing with Ike in the early days was like something out of a fairytale for a teenager whose dream was to perform onstage.”
She continued: “I felt so elegant in my gown, like a princess. But that gown was a prison, just like my marriage. I wanted to move, so my skirts got shorter and less constricting because freedom was important to me, onstage and in life.”
Following her divorce from Ike Turner in 1976 — Tina experienced a new chapter in her career and her wardrobe reflected that, thanks to iconic designer Bob Mackie.
“After I left Ike, Bob made me a costume that had wings. I felt like I was flying, and I was on my own and free for the very first time. After that, I always loved experimenting with style, trying everything from sculptural Alaïas to flowing Armanis. I’m always thinking about fashion, from my wigs to my shoes and everything in between. It’s a form of personal expression for me,” she told NBC News.
Mackie, for his part, gushed about working with Tina during an August 2018 interview with Associated Press. “Tina Turner is a force of nature,” he said. “I met her in the 1970s when she was breaking up with her husband Ike. It was a little tense, but she was guest starring on a lot of shows I was involved in and I immediately fell in love with Tina because [her] personality is amazing. It was really fun [working with her].”
He added: “Tina used to buy inexpensive evening gowns in Paris and London and bring them back to the states and she’d come to see me and I’d cut them. We’d make the dresses look like cavewomen but all glittery. You had to show the legs. The minute she had enough money to have things made I was designing things for her.”
Tina’s death was confirmed on May 24, 2023, via a statement on the singer’s Instagram account. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” the memo read. “With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”
Her rep also released a statement announcing her passing. “Tina Turner, the ‘Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.” Her spokesperson, Bernard Doherty, added: “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”
Tina is survived by her husband, Erwin Bach, who she wed in 2013, and sons Mike Turner and Ike Turner Jr. — with whom she shared with her ex-husband.
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