In the wake of her death, Tina Turner fans are reflecting on the impact and intimacy of her longtime friendship with Oprah Winfrey.
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As titans of their respective industries, Turner and Winfrey carved out remarkable career paths for themselves despite racial barriers, opening the door to many who came after. Having struck up a friendship, over the years the two legends have often come together for celebrations and interviews during which they reflected on each other’s lives and careers.
Paying tribute to Turner, Winfrey shared a slideshow filled with photos of the two together over the years.
“I started out as a Tina Turner fan, then a full-fledged groupie, following her from show to show across the country, then eventually we became real friends,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram on the 24th. may. our eternal rock ‘n’ roll goddess who contained a breadth of inner strength that grew throughout her life. She was a role model not only for me but for the world. She encouraged a part of me that I didn’t know existed.
“Once she claimed her freedom after years of domestic abuse, her life became a call for triumph. I am grateful to him for his courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolos and a leather miniskirt,” she continued. “She once told me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid, but would be excited and curious. Because she had learned to LIVE surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and of her friends. I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best.
The day after the news broke, Winfrey followed up with an essay posted on her website, Oprah Daily, saying she learned the news of Turner’s death after her friend Gayle King’s phone started going off. “exploding with messages and condolences for Tina Turner”.
“The words immediately brought me to tears. I expected to hear this news four years ago in 2019 after visiting her in a hospital in Switzerland, where she told me she was ready to leave this earth,” Winfrey wrote.
She then described their conversation at the hospital, where Turner, who had a number of medical conditions, was being treated.
“She said she had a busy life and was ‘tired’. I’m always suspicious when someone who’s sick says they’re tired. It often means they’re tired from work and energy it takes to stay alive. I left the hospital thinking it would be the last time I would see her. I was on high alert for a full year afterwards, waiting to receive “the call” from her devoted husband, Erwin. Instead, there were calls with news of improvements, new treatments, therapies, doctors,” she wrote.
In a May 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Winfrey described looking at Turner’s performances as “witty”.
“Watching Tina perform is what I call a spiritual experience. Every electrifying swing of her miniskirt, every swipe of her three-inch Manolos across the stage sends a message: I’m here. I’ve triumphed. I won’t be broken. .” she explained. “When I leave a Tina concert, I feel the same as after seeing great art: I want to be a better human being.”
On social media platforms, fans shared touching tributes to the dynamic duo’s friendship, with clips and photos of their lifelong interactions.
“As a kid, Oprah Winfrey was my biggest star in the world,” one Twitter user wrote with a post which featured a video of Turner delivering a birthday performance for Oprah on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2004. “Then Oprah lost her mind when Tina Turner surprised her with her 50th birthday – that’s when I learned who the biggest star in the world was at the biggest star of my world. RIP to The greatest star in the world.”
“She made Oprah break her professional persona and just be a huge fan again,” another wrote about the host’s love for the singer and his anniversary performance. “That’s the power of Tina Turner.”
Turner fans were also sure to share their own memories of watching the singer from their TVs whenever she made appearances on Winfrey’s talk show.
An user reminded“Watching Oprah rave about Tina Turner has always been my favorite thing and such an essential memory of watching her show for me.”
“Do you all remember when John Travolta surprised Oprah on her birthday with Tina Turner? A share. “And Oprah just lost her mind? And Tina just slipped down the steps and started playing. I have always loved this moment. »
“Check Oprah,” another insisted in a Twitter post. “She ran around in that Tina Turner wig for an entire season of her talk show.”
In 2011, Winfrey admitted to being such a fan of the singer that she argued with her talk show to create her own “ultimate groupie story”. At the time, Winfrey and her show were following Turner around the country on her “Wildest Dreams Tour.”
“I had a wig made so I could be a part and close to Tina in ‘wigdom’ and then I wouldn’t take the wig off,” she recalled. “I did it for the show. I did it for the next show. I think we did five or six shows across the country, and I started wearing it on the weekends. I started wearing it to bed I started wearing it all the time.
“One of my first gigs was Tina Turner playing in Chicago when I was a teenager,” another fan recalled in a tweet. “HANDS DOWN one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to! I remember seeing Oprah, Gayle and Dr. Phil performing with her incredible performance!”
“I hope Oprah is doing well” another user commented. “Last week I was listening to her podcast Super Soul Sunday with Tina Turner, Oprah really looked up to her. Ms. Tina Turner was hilarious and an entertainer. May she rest well.”
This article originally appeared on TODAY.com