Oprah Winfrey praises ‘forever goddess’ Tina Turner. The Obamas and Lizzo do too

Oprah Winfrey and Tina Turner smile while standing together at a theater
Oprah Winfrey paid her respects to late musician and friend Tina Turner, honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll in a series of Instagram posts.
(Evan Agostini / Invision via Associated Press)

In a series of tributes, Queen of Daytime TV Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to the Queen of Rock and Roll Tina Turner, praising the late musician’s contributions as an artist, survivor and dear friend.

“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 Tuesday on Instagram, sharing photos from their decades-long friendship.

“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,” the award-winning TV host and producer added.


As she put it night after night singing ‘Proud Mary’: ‘I never lost one minute of sleeping worrying about the way that things might have been.’

May 24, 2023

“Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph. I’m grateful for her courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolo’s and a leather miniskirt. She once shared with me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid, but excited and curious. Because she had learned how to LIVE surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends.

“I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best,” the 69-year-old wrote.

Turner died Wednesday at 83 after a long illness. Although no specific cause of death was given, the “Proud Mary” and “River Deep — Mountain High” dynamo shared in March that she had kidney issues, calling the vital organs “victims of my not realizing that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine” and adding that she had put herself in “great danger” by believing that her body was “an untouchable and indestructible bastion.”

Tina Turner credited her Buddhist faith for giving her the strength to leave her abusive relationship with Ike Turner. The singer died Wednesday at 83.

May 24, 2023

Nonetheless, Winfrey also championed the Grammy-winning singer’s electrifying stage presence, which garnered the nickname “TNTina” from fans.

“I had the chance to join Tina onstage during her ‘Wildest Dreams’ tour and felt a glimpse of her enchanted world,” Winfrey wrote, sharing footage that included her guest appearance during the rocker’s tour to support her 1996 album. “I was so nervous that my knees were actually knocking together. Dancing onstage with her in Los Angeles was the most fun I ever remember having stepping out of my box. Tina lived out of the box and encouraged me and every woman to do the same.”

“The Color Purple” star, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the 1985 film adaptation and is producing the remake, recently shared that Turner turned down the role of Shug Avery in the film “because she said she’d already lived it with Ike [Turner],” her ex-husband and former bandmate with whom she had a tumultuous and abusive relationship.


“And she was not gonna put herself through it again,” Winfrey said. (Turner also revealed that detail in an interview with the Guardian.)

Here are 10 of Tina Turner’s unheard treasures. The music legend died Tuesday at 83.

May 24, 2023

Winfrey joined the droves of celebrities honoring the late music icon, including Mick Jagger, Forest Whitaker and Diana Ross. Actor Angela Bassett, who was nominated for an Oscar for portraying Turner in the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” said that the musician “showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like.”

On Thursday, former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama described Turner as raw, powerful and unstoppable.

“And she was unapologetically herself — speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain; triumph and tragedy. Today we join fans around the world in honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never fade,” they wrote on Instagram.

Madonna also praised Turner on Instagram stories, writing: “Thank You Tina Turner!! You Paved the Way for so Many Women! God Bless You!!”

Tina Turner helped Angela Bassett land her first Oscar nomination for the 1993 film ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It,’ where the actor played the singer.

May 24, 2023

During a stop on her Special Tour, an emotional Lizzo paid tribute to the “incredible legend” Thursday by saying, “as a Black girl in a rock band I would not exist if it was not for the Queen of Rock and Roll.”


“And remember this: There would be no rock and roll without Tina Turner,” the Grammy-winning “About Damn Time” singer repeated onstage before ripping off her skirt and belting out Turner’s classic “Proud Mary” as the audience sang along.