Tina Turner looked frail and appeared to need assistance walking in her last public photos in 2019
Tina Turner is rightly remembered for her electrifying performances, but at her final public appearance the singer was frail and needed help to walk.
The Tennessee-born singer’s death was confirmed on Wednesday, with her publicist saying she died at home near Zurich in Switzerland, at the age of 83.
Turner died “after a long illness in her home,” her publicist Bernard Doherty said.
She was last seen in public in November 2019, attending the Broadway premiere of the musical of her life, where she needed help standing.
She was pictured sitting in most photos from the event and had help from her husband, Erwin Bach, and Oprah Winfrey while walking the red carpet.
Tina Turner is seen on November 7, 2019 in New York City – her last public appearance
The singer was supported by Oprah Winfrey on the opening night of ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ on Broadway
Turner’s husband Erwin Back, who she married in 2013 after nearly 30 years of dating, is seen to the right assisting his wife. Choreographer Anthony Van Laast is seen to the left.
Turner – who died Wednesday at age 83 – was famed for her performances, bringing the house down with her music and charisma
One of Turner’s last public photos happened in March 2021, when she was pictured on social media watching the premiere of her HBO documentary.
‘Only 5 days left! This Saturday, the documentary ‘TINA’ will be released,’ she wrote.
‘I am so excited to share this movie with you – watching the concert scenes made me relive some of the proudest moments of my life. I simply had to sing along and dance around my living room!’
Seven months later, the world got its final glimpse of the singer, when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Turner did not travel to Cleveland, Ohio, for the ceremony but recorded a video.
‘If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must have done something right,’ Turner said via a pre-recorded video message, broadcast on October 30, 2021.
‘I’m very happy to have this.’
Turner posted this photo to Twitter in March 2021, celebrating the launch of her HBO documentary
Turner was last seen in October 2021, when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ”As you can surely tell from my beaming smile: I am thrilled to now be officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist,” she captioned the photo.
She posted a photo of her receiving the award the day after, on October 31.
‘As you can surely tell from my beaming smile: I am thrilled to now be officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist,’ she captioned the photo.
‘What an honour! I am grateful to so many beloved people who believed in me and stood by me on my journey here – especially you, my fans. Keep on rockin’!
Despite her evident vitality in the final video, Turner had been battling health issues for many years.
She was diagnosed with hypertension in 1978, saying she never understood she could do anything about it.
‘I can’t remember ever getting an explanation about what high blood pressure means or how it affects the body,’ she told the European Health Kidney Alliance, in March this year.
‘I considered high blood pressure my normal. Hence, I didn’t really try to control it.
With her condition left untreated, Turner suffered a stroke in 2009.
She had another in 2013 – just three weeks after she wed her partner of almost 30 years, German music producer Erwin Bach.
‘I put myself in great danger because I refused to face the reality that I needed daily, lifelong therapy with medication,’ she said.
‘I believed for far too long that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion.’
In her 2018 memoir My Love Story she told of the terror of her stroke.
‘That’s when I discovered I couldn’t stand on my own,’ she said.
‘I was too embarrassed to call for help. Legs for days and muscles of steel from dancing, but I didn’t have the strength to get up. Terrified, I dragged myself over to a sofa, all the while thinking that I couldn’t imagine Tina Turner paralyzed.
‘I doubted that I would ever be able to wear high heels again, let alone dance in them.’
A musical legend: Turner in 1997. In a recent interview, she said she wanted to be remembered as ‘the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’
Tributes were laid on Turner’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after her death on Wednesday.
Three years later, in 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer.
Doctors removed part of her intestine, but her kidney issues worsened.
Turner suffered from unpleasant side effects from her hypertension treatment, and stopped taking her medicines, trying homeopathic medicine instead.
The results were devastating, and led to kidney failure.
Bach then donated his own kidney to his wife.
The operation took place in April 2017 and was largely a success, although Turner still experienced mild symptoms, which included nausea and dizziness, according to her interview with the European Kidney Health Alliance.
‘The months after the transplantation were marked by a never-ending up and down,’ she said.
‘From time to time, my body tried to reject the donor kidney, as it frequently happens after transplantation. Every so often, this required more hospital admissions. I kept feeling nauseous and dizzy, forgot things, and was scared a lot. These problems are still not quite resolved.
‘I am on multiple prescriptions and take great care to follow my doctors’ orders meticulously. For I know that I can trust them and their therapies.