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“Look what I have done in this lifetime, with this body,” said Tina Turner, in a documentary released about her life in 2021. “I’m a girl from a cotton field, that pulled myself above what was not taught to me.”

Tina Turner‘s life was a story of trauma and triumph – she was the star known for her energetic stage performances and her incomparable soulful, husky voice, who overcame several personal and professional struggles to become the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll.

Following her death at the age of 83, tributes have been paid to a “legend”, an “icon” and a “remarkable force of nature,” from fellow music stars to the White House, with clips of her biggest hits – including Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits, The Best, We Don’t Need Another Hero, and What’s Love Got To Do With It – flooding social media.

‘The world loses a legend’ – tributes to Tina Turner

Throughout her career, Turner won a total of 12 Grammys and was a two-time inductee into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame, as a solo artist and as part of the duo she formed with ex-husband, Ike Turner, in the 1960s.

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Tina Turner sings The Best

She was the first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone and a record breaker – previously holding the Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience for a solo performer, attracting an audience of 180,000 for her show at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1988.

And she also inspired an award-winning musical based on her incredible life – the story of the star who achieved stratospheric success, including sales of more than 100 million records worldwide, after overcoming years of abuse from both her father and ex-husband, and pushback from those who told her she could not make it as a solo star.

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Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, on 26 November 1939, to parents Zelma Priscilla and Floyd Richard Bullock. At the age of 11, she moved to live with her grandmother after her mother left her abusive relationship with her father.

Tina and Ike Turner performing in 1966.  The couple had a famously violent relationship which eventually broke down after years of domestic abuse Pic: AP
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Tina with her abusive ex-husband and musical partner Ike Turner in 1966. Pic: AP

Aged 16, she joined her mother and sister Alline in the city of St Louis in Missouri, which is where she encountered her future husband for the first time.

She soon joined his band The Kings Of Rhythm as its first female member – and when she reimagined herself as Tina Turner in 1960, the group reformed to become the Ike And Tina Turner Revue.

That same year, Turner gave birth to their first child Ronnie and the couple wed in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1962. Ronnie was her second child; her first, Craig Raymond Turner, was with the saxophonist for the Kings Of Rhythm, Raymond Hill.

Tina Turne is presented with a chocolate sculpture of one of her legs,  which she famously claimed to have insured for $3.2million. Pic: AP
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Turner’s famous legs were reportedly insured for millions. Pic: AP

The group produced a string of RnB hits, including A Fool In Love and It’s Gonna Work Out Fine, but it was the release of River Deep – Mountain High in 1966 that saw their popularity soar around the world. The release was followed by a UK tour with The Rolling Stones as the band’s support act.

Songs such as Come Together, Honky Tonk Woman and Proud Mary helped cement their status, with the latter winning them a Grammy in 1972.

But behind the scenes, Turner was enduring abuse at the hands of her husband.

She stayed with him until 1976, but later revealed she had attempted suicide during their relationship. “I simply couldn’t take any more,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir, of the moment she hit rock bottom.

Flowers lie across US singer Tina Turner's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in Los Angeles.
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Flowers were left on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star following news of her death

During their divorce, she reportedly asked for nothing more than the right to keep the use of her stage name, and she went on to reinvent herself as a solo star.

It wasn’t easy, with a slow start for debut album Tina Turns The Country On! in 1974, followed by Acid Queen in 1975, but Turner pushed back against those who told her that, as a black woman approaching 40, she would never make the transition to rock.

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Simply The Best: Tina Turner in pictures

Tina Turners most streamed songs

  • 1. The Best
  • 2. What’s Love Got To Do With It?
  • 3. Proud Mary
  • 4. What’s Love Got To Do With It? (with Kygo)
  • 5. River Deep Mountain High (with Ike Turner)
  • 6. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
  • 7. Nutbush City Limits (with Ike Turner)
  • 8. Private Dancer
  • 9. It’s Only Love (with Bryan Adams)
  • 10. Proud Mary (with Ike Turner)

Throughout the 1980s, she rebuilt her career, with a string of hits starting in 1983 with a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together, and the 1984 release of her album Private Dancer. Her most recognisable song, a cover of The Best, was released in 1989. By then, her image of big hair and mini-skirts had become iconic, her famous legs becoming almost as famous as her distinctive voice.

In 1986, Turner was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Her first induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame, for her work with Ike, came in 1991, though neither attended the ceremony. Her induction as a solo artist came some 30 years later, in 2021.

“If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must have done something right,” she said in a recorded acceptance speech.

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Turner on recognition and achievements

She was inducted by Angela Bassett, the actress who portrayed Turner in the 1993 film What’s Love Got To Do With It. Both Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, who played Ike, were nominated for Oscars for their performances.

“Imagine, a black girl from Nutbush, Tennessee, who embodied more talent than her small town could have ever dreamed,” Bassett said at the Hall Of Fame ceremony. “Imagine that same girl breaking through every barrier to one day make history.

“People still tell me how much Tina has meant to them. I know exactly what they mean, because she has meant that much and more to me. I too am one of those people blessed by Tina’s remarkable gift to inspire.”

In the 1990s, Turner joined the list of Bond musicians, voicing the title song for Pierce Brosnan’s Goldeneye.

Mick Jaggar and Tina Tuner play together during a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show in New York January 18, 1989.
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Sir Mick Jagger and Turner at a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame performance in 1989

After a brief break from showbusiness, she returned to the limelight in 2008 at the Grammy Awards, where she performed Proud Mary alongside Beyonce. Other notable duets through her career included performing with David Bowie, and with The Rolling Stones during Live Aid in 1985.

In 2008, she embarked on her 50th-anniversary tour, and in 2016 she announced Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.

In 2021, she sold the rights to her back catalogue after reaching an agreement with BMG for an undisclosed sum, and the last of her 34 UK Top 40 hits was released in 2020, when she re-recorded What’s Love Got To Do With It with Norwegian DJ Kygo.

Turner said she signed up to assisted suicide group Exit
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Turner and her husband at the opening night of the Tina musical in April 2018

Turner’s solo works include 10 studio albums, two live albums, two soundtracks and five compilations, which together have sold more than 100 million records. As well as her music, Turner also starred in films including Tommy in 1975, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985, and Last Action Hero in 1993.

In her personal life, she met music producer Erwin Bach in the 1980s and the pair married years later on the banks of Lake Zurich in Switzerland, where they lived. In 2013, Bach saved her life by donating her one of his kidneys, she revealed in her memoir in 2018.

She faced heartache that year, when her eldest son Craig died by suicide, and again in 2022 when her second son Ronnie died of cancer.

Pic: AP
Image:
Pic: AP

Known for her strength and resilience throughout her life, in an interview with the New York Times in 2019, she said: “I don’t necessarily want to be a ‘strong’ person. I had a terrible life. I just kept going.”

Turner always kept going.

And in what must have been one of her last interviews before she died, she told The Guardian exactly how she wanted to be remembered – as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “A woman who showed other women that it is okay to strive for success on their own terms.”

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OJ Simpson murder trial: How the dramatic court case unfolded

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OJ Simpson murder trial: How the dramatic court case unfolded

Former American footballer and actor OJ Simpson, who has died of cancer, will be remembered most for his role at the centre of the “trial of the century”.

Accused of double murder, his case captured the attention of the US until it came to a dramatic end in late 1995.

Here’s a look back at how that trial unfolded.

12 June 1994

Simpson‘s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson was found dead in front of her home in Los Angeles with her friend Ronald Goldman, who was a waiter at a restaurant where she had just dined.

The pair had been stabbed to death outside her home in the neighbourhood of Brentwood.

Read more:
OJ Simpson has died at the age of 76, his family says

OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown
Pic:MediaPunch/AP
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OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown. Pic:MediaPunch/AP

17 June 1994

After the bodies were found, suspicion quickly fell on Simpson, who had been married to Nicole for seven years until their divorce became final on 15 October 1992, little more than 18 months before her death.

Simpson had been ordered by prosecutors to surrender, but on this day, carrying a passport and a disguise, he instead fled, with friend and former team-mate Al Cowlings in a white Ford Bronco.

A white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings and carrying OJ Simpson, being trailed by Los Angeles police on 17 June , 1994. Pic: AP
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OJ Simpson trailed by Los Angeles police on 17 June 1994. Pic: AP

The vehicle was soon spotted on a California freeway and pursued by police in a car chase that was televised live across the country and watched by an estimated 95 million viewers.

Cowlings, in a phone call to police, said Simpson was lying in the back seat of the car holding a gun to his own head. After eventually driving to his Brentwood home he was persuaded to surrender.

Sky News’ Steve Bennedik recalls how Simpson’s trial was covered

It was the first few weeks of 1995 when Sky News’ live coverage of the OJ Simpson court case got under way. Each evening we showed the trial and invited questions. In those days, the main form of correspondence was by letter.

But there was also a new electronic method emerging, called email. And the first of these had the simple, but deflating, sentence: “Which one is OJ?”

We asked ourselves: Is our audience ready to follow the story of a very American tragedy unfold on British TV? We decided to stick with it.

In contrast, OJ Simpson was a household name in the US. So much more than an ex-football star. But the shock of this icon being arrested for murder, the bizarre Bronco highway chase, the high-profile celebrity defence team, and ultimately the “did he do it?” question had universal attraction.

Although the case stuttered through until October, the weak Judge Lance Ito was obsequious to lawyers’ demands for delays, but the interest among Sky News viewers surged and remained undimmed.

As the court camera panned to the state of California seal, signalling another adjournment, we and no doubt the viewer sighed.

More behind-the-scenes legal wrangling, but we had an ace up our sleeve – Professor Gary Solis. Gary is a Vietnam veteran, former military judge advocate, with alma maters including George Washington University and the London School of Economics.

At the time, he was in London and ready to give up his evenings. He calmly steered our presenters, Laurie and Vivien, and our often puzzled viewers through the complexities of the Californian legal system and became a firm favourite with the newsroom and the public alike.

The court characters emerged. Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden for the prosecution, and the “Dream Team” defence – Jonnie Cochran, F Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz and Robert Kardashian, whose children would go on to outshine his fame.

It was compelling court drama, but it was also the very tragic story of two young people who’d been savagely attacked and murdered, with their families devastated by the loss, and tormented by the lingering back and forth court battle.

The proceedings had lasted months, but the jury reached their verdict in just a few hours and when they returned to the courtroom to deliver it, an early evening audience in the UK was hanging on every moment. And then it was over. OJ was a free man.

The People of the State of California v Orenthal James Simpson faded as a memory, flickering back to life with the news of his death.

24 January 1995

The murder trial, dubbed the “trial of the century” by the media, began.

Prosecutors argued OJ Simpson had killed Nicole and Ron in a jealous rage, and they presented extensive blood, hair and fibre tests linking him to the murders.

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The defence countered that the celebrity defendant was framed by racist white police.

15 June 1995

Perhaps the defining moment of the trial came on a Thursday in June, when the prosecution committed what a defence lawyer would later describe as the “greatest legal blunder of the 20th century”.

OJ Simpson grasps a marker while wearing the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered.
Pic: Reuters
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OJ Simpson grasps a marker while wearing the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore on the night of the murder. Pic: Reuters

On this day, a prosecutor asked him to put on a pair of gloves believed to have been worn by the killer.

The gloves appeared to be too small, as OJ Simpson struggled to put on the gloves in a highly theatrical demonstration and indicated to the jury they did not fit.

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This led defence lawyer Johnnie Cochran to famously state in his closing argument: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

3 October 1995

The trial came to an end with two words – not guilty.

Read more:
OJ Simpson a ‘completely free man’ after being released from parole

OJ Simpson, who maintained from the outset he was “absolutely 100% not guilty”, waved at the jurors and mouthed the words “thank you”.

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OJ Simpson dies – the story of his complex legacy

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OJ Simpson dies - the story of his complex legacy

The death of arguably one of America’s most-talked about names in the 1990s has re-ignited conversations about who OJ Simpson was and how he will be remembered.

The former NFL star was tried and acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He later spent time in jail for armed robbery and kidnap.

On the Daily, Niall Paterson talks to our US correspondent James Matthews as they discuss his life and the controversies surrounding the 76-year-old, who died on Wednesday following his battle with cancer.

👉 Listen above then tap here to follow the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts 👈

Producers: Emma Rae Woodhouse, Rosie Gillott, Soila Apparicio
Senior producer: Annie Joyce
Editors: Paul Stanworth, Wendy Parker

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OJ Simpson death: Lawyers for families of victims still believe he was ‘a murderer’

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OJ Simpson death: Lawyers for families of victims still believe he was 'a murderer'

Lawyers for the families of OJ Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman have told Sky News they still believe he was “a murderer”.

The former NFL star and Hollywood actor died aged 76 of cancer on Wednesday.

Nicknamed “The Juice”, Simpson was tried for their double murder in 1995, in what was dubbed the “trial of the century”.

OJ Simpson is shown in his official Los Angeles Police Department booking photo following his arrest for two murders
Pic: Reuters
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LA police department booking photo of OJ Simpson following his arrest for two murders. Pic: Reuters

He was found not guilty of murdering Ms Brown and Mr Goldman, but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil lawsuit.

It is claimed Simpson still owed $114m (£91m) to Mr Goldman’s family, and that they are considering how to claim it back over assets.

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How OJ Simpson’s trial unfolded

Speaking to Sky News, the Goldman family’s lawyer David Cook said: “I review and consider Simpson as what he was: that he was a bad person; he was a murderer; he got out of the acquittal here.

“He remains now and in his death as the day that he committed the crime in whatever the amount of years ago.

“He’s still the same person. And the fact that he died doesn’t change it.”

Nicole Brown Simpson is seen in this photograph that was shown to the jurors in the OJ Simpson trial February 6. Nicole's sister Denise-Brown testified that she took these picture to document injuries at the hands OJ Simpson.
Pic: Reuters
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Nicole Brown seen in a photograph – shown to jurors in the trial – documenting injuries allegedly from OJ Simpson. Pic: Reuters

Gloria Allred, the lawyer for Ms Brown’s family, also told Sky News that “he killed her” and pointed to Simpson pleading no contest to spousal abuse in 1989.

“What happened five years before he killed Nicole? He gave her that black eye, she ran out of the house,” the lawyer said. “She was terrified. She hid in the bushes. The police came.

“He was arrested, charged with spousal battery and what were the consequences of that case? He admitted it.

OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1993.
Pic: AP
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OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson
Pic: AP

“In other words, he pled no contest to a spousal battery, but he never was sent to jail. In fact, it’s really questionable as to whether he did anything that the judge required him to do, even out of jail, community service, for example.”

Ronald Goldman
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Ronald Goldman was stabbed to death at Nicole Brown Simpson’s Los Angeles home on 12 June 1994. Pic: Reuters

Ms Allred added that “it’s only going to get worse for the victim” if no action is taken against perpetrators of domestic violence and said: “That’s what happened. He killed her.”

‘No great loss’

Mr Goldman’s father Fred Goldman told Sky News’ partner network NBC News earlier on Thursday that Simpson’s death was “no great loss”.

“The only thing I have to say is it’s just a further reminder of Ron being gone all these years,” he said.

“It’s no great loss to the world. It’s a further reminder of Ron being gone.”

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In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Keith Zlomsowitch, Ms Brown’s ex-boyfriend who served as a pallbearer at her funeral, said Simpson’s death was a “relief”.

Read more:
OJ Simpson: The case that gripped the US

How the dramatic Simpson court case unfolded

He said: “I think finally some sort of justice has been served, that he’s been taken from the earth.

“So it doesn’t bring Nicole back. But it means he can no longer be who he is in this world.”

‘Good riddance’

Simpson’s team of lawyers also included his friend Robert Kardashian, the late husband of reality TV star Kris Jenner.

Caitlyn Jenner, who was previously married to Ms Jenner, tweeted just two words in response to the news of Simpson’s death: “Good Riddance.”

The former Olympian and media personality wrote in her autobiography The Secrets Of My Life that Simpson “was the most narcissistic, egocentric, neediest asshole in the world of sports I had ever seen, and I had seen a lot of them”.

Simpson was acquitted after the 1995 criminal trial watched by millions worldwide, where Simpson famously tried on a pair of blood-stained gloves allegedly found at the scene of the crime.

The gloves appeared to be too small, leading defence attorney Johnnie Cochran to say: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Alan Dershowitz, another of Simpson’s former lawyers, told Sky News earlier that the defence was “a nightmare team” and that he did not want the former sports star to take the stand.

“Ultimately it was the glove” that made Simpson refuse to take the stand at his trial, Mr Dershowitz said.

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“When he was able to go in front of the jury and show them that the glove didn’t fit, that led him to conclude, and he made the decision, not to take the stand.

“In the civil case, he took the stand and was immediately found liable.”

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