Tina Turner’s long battle with illness culminated in her passing on 24th May 2023. Her publicist Bernard Doherty released the following statement: “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.”
Tina Turner was African-American, European, and Cherokee
Tina Turner was born on 26th November 1939 to Zelma and Floyd Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee. Her father was African American; her mother was half-Cherokee, quarter European, and quarter African-American.
Floyd, a Baptist deacon, managed farmland at Poindexter Farm and worked in a factory. Tina recalled picking cotton with her family as a young girl. The singer told Rolling Stone that compared to other families in Nutbush, the Bullocks were well off:
“We always had nice furniture, and our house was always nice. We had our own separate bedroom and a dining room, and we had pigs and animals. I knew the people who didn’t, so I knew the difference, and we weren’t poor.”
Zelma and Floyd separated while Tina was in her early teens. Tina and her sister, Eileen, initially lived with their father. When Tina was 16, she and Eileen moved in with Zelma in St. Louis, where she met Ike Turner, who gave Tina her big break.