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Angela Bassett Just Shared Tina Turner's Final Words to Her

The actor played the legendary Queen of Rock 'n' Roll in a 1993 biopic.

It seemed like she would live forever, but on May 24, music icon Tina Turner died at 83. "Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock & Roll' has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland," her family said in a statement, per Rolling Stone. "With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model."

Turner's decade-spanning career produced hits like "Proud Mary," "Private Dancer," "The Best," and the James Bond song "GoldenEye." One of the best-selling artists of all time, she earned eight Grammys and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Turner also appeared in films like Tommy and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the latter of which featured her hit single "We Don't Need Another Hero."

Turner's incredible story inspired countless artists who came after her—and her life was also immortalized on stage and screen. The musical Tina earned Adrienne Warren a Tony Award in the title role, while Angela Bassett received an Academy Award nomination for playing Turner in the 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do With It.

The film was based on Turner's 1986 memoir I, Tina, and chronicles the abuse she faced in her marriage to Ike Turner, played by Laurence FishburneWhat's Love Got to Do With It is ultimately a story of Turner's survival, and how she was able to reclaim her career after her divorce. In his review for the Orlando Sentinel (via Rotten Tomatoes), critic Jay Boyar wrote, "Angela Bassett is a wonderfully sympathetic screen presence who may have a big career ahead of her."

For Time's "100 Most Influential People of 2023," released just last month, Turner penned a tribute to Bassett. "Angela, the first time we met, you didn't look, sound, or move like me—that came later after you worked so hard to make it happen," the singer recalled. "But even then, I could see that the young woman standing before me had strength, determination, and big, big dreams, just like me."

Turner continued, "That's your gift, becoming your character with conviction, truth, dignity, and grace, even when it's painful, and takes everything you have and more. It's not just acting, it's being. Whether you're Tina Turner or the Queen of Wakanda, we believe in you because you believe in yourself."

Now, in the wake of a much sadder occasion, Bassett has been able to offer her own tribute to Turner.

In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said, "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? 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."

Closing out her statement, Bassett returned to what Turner had written about her for Time, sharing the "final words" she received from the iconic performer.

"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," Bassett said. "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. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be 'simply the best.' Angels, sing thee to thy rest…Queen."

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