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Cher remembers spending time with Tina Turner before her death: ‘We were perfect friends for each other’

Cher Sitting Credit Press

Cher has opened up about the time she spent with Tina Turner before her death earlier this week. 

A publicist for the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll confirmed on Wednesday that she had passed away “after a long illness” at the age of 83.

Although a cause of death has yet to be given, Tina suffered numerous health issues in recent years, including cancer, a stroke and kidney failure, and in a new interview Cher remembers the time they spent together in recent years. 

Speaking during an appearance on MSNBC’s ‘The Beat with Ari Melber’, she shared: “I started going to visit her because I thought, ‘I need to put this time into our friendship, so that she knows we haven’t forgotten her.’ We all took turns going and spending time with her and it made her happy.”

During her first visit, Tina warned Cher that she didn’t have much time to spend together: “Then five hours later we were laughing like crazy and she wanted to get up and show everything that she’d bought in the house,” Cher continued. 

“She was having a good time in spite of the fact that she was really sick and not wanting people to know about it.”

Tina suffered from kidney disease and was donated a kidney by her husband Erwin Bach in 2017 and, according to the Believe singer, had “her dialysis machine in her house”. 

“She fought this sickness for such a long time and she was so strong as you think she would be, but I know towards the end, she told me once, she said, ‘I’m really ready. I just don’t want to put up with this anymore’,” Cher recalled. 

“She gave me lots of strength sometimes and I gave her lots of strength, too. I think we were perfect friends for each other truthfully.”

In a statement announcing her passing on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Tina said: “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.

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”

An extended post on her Facebook page pays tribute to the singer, who “enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow”, reading: “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.”

Born Anna Mae Bullock, the US-born star went on to become one of the biggest stars on the planet throughout the eighties and nineties, earning a string of hits including The BestWhat’s Love Got to Do With ItPrivate DancerWe Don’t Need Another Hero and Proud Mary.

But Tina first found fame two decades earlier – in the sixties – alongside her ex-husband Ike Turner, with whom she recorded the Phil Spector-penned and -produced hit, River Deep – Mountain High.

However, behind the scenes their relationship was abusive and Tina’s experience was was documented in the 1993 Hollywood biopic, ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’, which starred Angela Bassett and won three Oscars.

Following their 1978 divorce, she carved a successful solo career, achieving a global breakthrough in 1984 with ‘Private Dancer’ and reaching superstar status with subsequent LPs ‘Break Every Rule’ (1986) and ‘Foreign Affair’ (1989).

Throughout her career, Tina won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame twice – first alongside Ike in 1991, then as a solo artist in 2021.

In her final years, she lived in Switzerland with her second husband, German music executive Erwin Bac, who she began dating in the mid-eighties and married in 2013.

Tina’s story is the subject of the hit musical ‘TINA – The Tina Turner Musical’, which is currently playing on London’s West End.

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