Angela Bassett, who portrayed Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do with It, is remembering the late singer with a touching tribute just hours after the news of her death.
"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 said in a statement to The Messenger on Wednesday. "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."
The actress continued, "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.' 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."
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The Oscar-nominated actress concluded her statement by calling Turner "a gift that will always be 'simply the best,'" adding, "Angels, sing thee to thy rest…Queen."
In addition to starring as Turner in her autobiographical film — in which she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award — Bassett gave a moving speech as the singer was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in October 2021.
A spokesperson for Turner confirmed to The Messenger that the Grammy Award-winning artist "died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland."
A private funeral ceremony will be held for close friends and family, the spokesperson added.
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