News | BMG | Berlin, 05/25/2023

BMG Mourns Tina Turner

Legendary rock musician Tina Turner is dead. She died yesterday in Zurich at the age of 83. Friends, fellow artists and millions of fans around the world are mourning the death of the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The music company BMG, which had acquired an extensive rights portfolio from Tina Turner in October 2021, also pays tribute the music star.

Legendary singer, dancer, actress, and author Tina Turner, one of the world’s most popular and successful entertainers, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” is dead. As announced yesterday, she died in Zurich at the age of 83. Friends, fellow artists, and millions of fans around the world have expressed their grief on social networks. The music company BMG, which had acquired an extensive rights portfolio from Tina Turner in October 2021, also published an obituary and paid tribute to the superstar.

“There will only ever be one Tina Turner,” BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch is quoted as saying. “Her music and her life’s journey touched so many people. We send our condolences to her dear manager and husband Erwin and all those who loved her.”

CEO-designate Thomas Coesfeld added: “Today is a sad day for music and for the world. We have lost one of music’s supreme talents, an icon for millions, and a great human being. Tina Turner made clear to us her wish that her music and legacy should live on. We – and her countless fans around the world – will ensure that wish is respected.”

‘An inspiration for millions of people’

The music world also expressed its sorrow at the death of the music legend. Countless renowned artists took to social media as soon as the news broke. “I’m so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner,” writes Mick Jagger, for one. “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.” His fellow Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood posted a picture of himself with Tina Turner on Instagram, with the caption: “God bless you Tina, the Queen Of Rock And Soul and a dear friend to our family. Love and prayers to all of Tina’s family, friends and loved ones.”

Elton John, too, published a photo of himself with Tina Turner on Instagram. His tribute reads: “We have lost one of the world’s most exciting and electric performers. A total legend on record and on stage. She was untouchable.” The artists Tina Turner has collaborated with in her long career also include Canadian singer Bryan Adams, who likewise shared a picture of himself with Tina Turner on Instagram and wrote: “RIP my dear @tinaturner I’ll be forever grateful for you bringing me on tour, going in the studio together and most of all, being your friend. Thank you for being the inspiration to millions of people around the world for speaking your truth and giving us the gift of your unbelievable voice. My condolences to Erwin and your family. It’s Only Love...and that’s all.”

Tina Turner was born as Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush in the U.S. state of Tennessee. In the 1960s, she rose to fame with her then-husband Ike Turner as the lead singer of the “Ike & Tina Turner Revue,” known for their live performances and hits such as “River Deep – Mountain High” and “Proud Mary.” Turner’s high-profile divorce and the associated difficulties eventually forced her to disappear almost entirely from the music scene. In the 1970s, she embraced Buddhism and began to reshape her life, focusing on her spiritual power. She celebrated her newfound freedom in 1975 by playing the Acid Queen in the film version of “Tommy,” the rock opera by the band The Who, in which she delivered a moving performance. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she emerged as a solo artist, landing worldwide successes with albums such as “Private Dancer,” “Break Every Rule” and “Foreign Affair,” and hit singles such as “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “Private Dancer,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome),” “Typical Male,” “I Don’t Wanna Fight,” “The Best,” and “Goldeneye.” “Private Dancer” (1984) alone went five times platinum in the U.S. and sold ten million copies worldwide. Successful duets with David Bowie and Mick Jagger proved that she was on a level with the greats of Rock ‘n’ Roll. With her role in “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” (1985) and the title song “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” she landed another hit that ensured she remained a household name well into the 1990s.

BMG as partner in all of Tina Turner’s music interests

Over the course of her lifetime, Tina Turner received twelve Grammy Awards and was twice inducted into the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame,” a hall of honor and museum in Cleveland in the U.S. state of Ohio reserved for the most important and influential personalities in the field of Rock ‘n’ Roll: first together with her former spouse and artistic partner Ike Turner in 1991, and then as a solo artist in November 2021. In her video-transmitted speech, Tina Turner had said about this special honor: “If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must have done something right. I’m very happy to have this and to have achieved this.” Tina Turner was also the first black artist and the first female artist on the cover of the prestigious U.S. music magazine “Rolling Stone” and was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor by the French government. Her life has been the subject of at least three documentaries, including the HBO production “Tina” (2021). Her story was also told in the Academy Award-nominated film drama “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (1993), the film version of her best-selling memoir “I, Tina” (1993), and in the stage musical “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which won a Tony Award and an Olivier Award. Her book “My Love Story” (2018) was also an international success.

Since October 2021, BMG has served as the custodian of an extensive portfolio of Tina Turner’s rights. Working closely with the artist, BMG had committed to maintaining and developing her musical repertoire and preserving her inspiring legacy. The deal made BMG a partner in all of Tina Turner’s music interests. The acquisition included her artist’s share of her recordings, her author’s share, her neighboring rights, and name, image, and likeness rights. Tina Turner’s solo works include ten studio albums, two live albums, two soundtracks, and five compilations, which have collectively sold over 100 million copies. Warner Music continued to  be her record company. “Like any artist, the protection of my life’s work, my musical inheritance, is something personal,” Tina Turner had said, commenting on the deal at the time. “I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music my work is in professional and reliable hands.”