In a heartfelt message, Angela Bassett shared her thoughts and reflected on her friendship with rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Tina Turner, who died Wednesday after a long illness at her home in Zurich, Switzerland.
Turner’s death has inspired a slew of reactions and tributes from celebrities and fans alike. Bassett, who was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Turner in the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” issued a statement Wednesday afternoon sharing her sentiments on the music icon and her impact.
“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 began in a statement sent to TheWrap. “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.”
“What’s Love Got to Do With It” premiered told Turner’s life story as a performer, beginning with her days singing in her church’s choir as a child to her success as a major recording artist. Within it, the film also charted her years of abuse endured at the hands of ex-husband and former collaborator Ike Turner.
In her message, Bassett shared the last words Turner said to her.
“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,’” Basset wrote. “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.”
Turner rose to fame during the 1960s, producing hits including “Nutbush City Limits,” “Proud Mary” and her Grammy-winning track “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” In 2021, Turner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist and her story has been adapted into a broadway musical “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” Her life was detailed in the 2021 HBO documentary “Tina.”
Other celebs shared the love and admiration for Turner, including Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Hudson.
“I started out as a fan of Tina Turner, then a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country, and then, eventually, we became real friends,” Winfrey wrote in an Instagram post. “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.”
Hudson called Turner’s death a “sad day for music.”
“This is a sad day for music,” Hudson wrote in an Instagram post. “The Queen of Rock’n’Roll has passed. Tina Turner, we honor you ! Your legacy will live forever. U showed us all what it means to have the grit and determination to never stop, no matter what life throws our way ! Thank u for all you’ve given us. Now rest in peace !