Legendary singer Tina Turner died at the age of 83 on Wednesday, May 24, after a lengthy health battle. 

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” a statement shared via the late artist’s Instagram profile read. “With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”

Keep reading for details on Tina’s health issues before her death.

Did Tina Turner Battle Cancer?

Three months after tying the knot with second husband Erwin Bach in 2013, the “What’s Love Got to Do with It” suffered a stroke at age 73. 

“I woke up and felt a lightning bolt strike my head and right leg. I tried to speak but I couldn’t get any words out,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir, Tina Turner: My Love Story. “The stroke had delivered a powerful blow to my body: my entire right side was numb. I’d have to work with a physiotherapist to learn how to walk again, the doctor told me, and using my right hand would be a problem.”

In addition to her lengthy recovery from the stroke, Turner also discovered that her decades-long battle with high blood pressure caused her kidneys to weaken. After opting for a homeopathic remedy instead of medication prescribed by her doctors, her condition quickly worsened. 

“Not long after this blow, my health began to fail again. I became so weak that I couldn’t leave the house; it took all my strength to stagger between bedroom and bathroom,” she continued, revealing that she was “diagnosed with early-stage intestinal cancer — a carcinoma and several malignant polyps.”

One month later, she underwent an operation to remove part of her intestines, but her kidneys were too far gone. 

Tina Turner Suffered a Major Health Scare

The Tennessee native revealed in her memoir that she underwent a kidney transplant in April 2017. 

“By December 2016, my kidneys were at a new low of 20 percent and plunging rapidly. And I faced two choices: either regular dialysis or a kidney transplant,” she wrote at the time. “Only the transplant would give me a very good chance of leading a near-normal life. But the chances of getting a donor kidney were remote.”

The “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” claimed she told her doctors she was not going to “[live] on a machine,” despite knowing that her age would make finding a transplant nearly impossible. 

“It wasn’t my idea of life. But the toxins in my body had started taking over. I couldn’t eat. I was surviving, but not living,” she recalled. “I began to think about death. If my kidneys were going, and it was time for me to die, I could accept that.”

Ultimately – as she contemplated the idea of assisted suicide – her husband offered to give her one of his kidneys. The operation took place on April 7, 2017. 

“I know that my medical adventure is far from over. After a transplant, it seems that there’s always another test, another doctor’s appointment or biopsy to get through,” she wrote. “But I’m still here. We’re both still here, closer than we ever imagined — and that’s cause for celebration.”


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