Skip to content

Tina Turner Said She Was "Really Ready" to Let Go Before Death, Cher Claims

The music legend died at age 83 on May 24.

The world lost another music icon with the death of Tina Turner on May 24. Her publicist confirmed the news in a statement to People, explaining that the singer had passed away at age 83. "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 Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland," the statement reads, going on to explain that a private funeral will be held for friends and family.

Some of the those friends have been speaking out about their time with Turner, including longtime friend and collaborator Cher. In an interview with MSNBC, Cher remembered visiting Turner at her Swiss home for the last time and shared what the "Proud Mary" musician said about being prepared to go. Read on to find out more.

READ THIS NEXT: 30 Artists Who Haven't Won Grammys.

Turner faced a number of health struggles in recent years.

Tina Turner at the Armani Prive Haute Couture show in 2018
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Turner's publicist didn't share the specifics of the "long illness" that she was suffering from and a representative for the star told the Daily Mail that she died of natural causes. Still, it is known that Turner had had several health setbacks in the years leading up to her passing, and she opened up about her medical history in her 2018 memoir My Love Story.

As reported by Today, Turner had a stroke in 2013. In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, from which she recovered with treatment. Around the same time, she had found out she needed a kidney transplant due to kidney issues brought on by high blood pressure. She underwent a transplant in 2017, and her husband since 2013, Erwin Bach, was the donor.

In March, Turner posted on Instagram about World Kidney Day to raise awareness about kidney health. "My kidneys are victims of my not realising [sic] that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine," she wrote. "I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication. For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion."

Cher and other friends went to visit her.

In her interview with MSNBC, Cher said that she and other friends of Turner's made plans to visit the singer in Switzerland. (Turner became a citizen of the country in 2013.)

"I started going to visit her because I thought, you know, I need to put this time into our friendship, so that she knows we haven't forgotten her. So we kind of all took turns going and spending time with her, and it made her happy," Cher said.

Cher said that during one visit, Turner said, "'I can't spend too much time.'" But she rallied with company. "And then five hours later we were laughing like crazy," the star 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."

"She had her dialysis machine in her house and so that's how she was doing it," Cher further explained.

Cher tweeted about hanging out with Turner in August 2022. "SPENT DAY WITH TINA, & OUR FRIEND JANET Z. WE LAUGHED FOR 3 1/2 STRAIGHT. 2 TIRED NOW," Cher wrote. "My sides Ache. There Will Never Be Another TINA TURNER. We Love each other Dearly, I'm [lucky] To Have Her in my life. 3 Of Us Carried On Till The Sun went Down. I Brought her Special Buddha."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Cher said Turner opened up about death.

Tina Turner and Cher on "Oprah" in 2008
CBS Television Distribution

Cher said that Turner once spoke to her about being "ready" for death.

"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 said (via People). She explained that Turner was "so strong" and "fought this sickness for such a long time."

Another famous friend of Turner's gave a similar account about Turner's perspective on her mortality. In an Instagram post, Oprah Winfrey wrote in part, "She once shared with me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid, but excited and curious. Because she had learned how to LIVE surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends."

The stars had been friends for decades.

Turner and Cher met in the '70s and sang together on The Cher Show. From that, they became life long friends. In 2008, the two were interviewed by Winfrey together and reflected on their friendship.

"The first time Tina and I worked together, she came into the studio and I was expecting, you know, Tina Turner, but she comes in wearing a little silk shirt and trousers and high heels," Cher said. "Then we started talking, and I have a sailor's mouth, and Tina is so genteel—she talks like such a lady. She just kept looking at me, like, 'Whoa, where did you come from?'"

Turner added, "Cher was so free. She was in control of her career and her life and what was in the studio."

The women were also asked for their thoughts on aging. "I think it sucks!" Cher said. But, Turner disagreed, saying, "I welcome it with open arms. My senior life is so much better than when I was young. The wisdom, the way I think, my attitude toward things. There is a change when you are still healthy and you still look good … You don't mind being 68. You're looking forward to going forward with that same attitude and that same look. That number doesn't mean a thing."

Cher called Turner "a force."

"She was such a force. Honestly, I think she just hit everything head-on," Cher told MSNBC of Turner. "She wasn't about to stop. She might not have won every battle, but she fought every war. She was there fighting for all the things she believed in."

She added, "She gave me lots of strength sometimes, and I gave her lots of strength, too."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under