Tina Turner’s cause of death has been revealed. The late singer’s rep told The Daily Mail she died from natural causes at home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.
ET confirmed that Turner died peacefully on Wednesday after a long illness. She was 83. Turner’s verified Instagram account also posted a statement confirming the tragic news.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” the statement read. “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.”
Two months before her tragic death, Turner shared on her Instagram page that she regretted not taking care of her kidneys sooner. In the March 9 post, Turner told her followers that she put herself in “great danger” by not receiving medical care for her high blood pressure.
“Today is International World Kidney Day. Why is it important? Because kidneys fail without pain. And that’s why I’m telling you today: Show your kidneys love! They deserve it. My kidneys are victims of my not realizing that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine,” Turner wrote in honor of International World Kidney Day. “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.”
Turner then directed fans to a website where they could learn more about her story, one that involved dialysis, and eventually a kidney donation from her husband, Erwin Bach, to save her life.
Turner’s health struggles have been well documented. She suffered a stroke in 2013, just weeks after she married Bach.
“When I came back from my honeymoon, I was determined to find out what was causing a painful feeling in my chest,” she told Oprah Winfrey in a 2018 interview. “I went to the hospital, and two days later, the stroke came. That was the beginning of the sickness.”
In her 2018 memoir, My Love Story, Turner revealed that the stroke delivered such a “powerful blow” to the body that she “would have to work with a physiotherapist to learn how to walk again.”
“In the hospital, I didn’t believe that I couldn’t walk,” she told Winfrey. “I said, ‘Bull crap.’ Then I stepped out of bed and flopped to the floor and said, ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’ But I wasn’t depressed — I was just determined to fix it.”
Turner was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016, and when doctors told her that both of her kidneys were failing, the singer said she didn’t become depressed. Instead, she resigned to the idea that her time had come.
“When the doctors said, ‘Both kidneys are out,’ I said, ‘I guess it’s my time to go,'” Turner told Winfrey. “I was in my 70s. In my thinking, I’d lived long enough, and I didn’t want to be on a machine for the rest of my life. My mother and sister were both gone.”
Turner’s kidneys were functioning at only 20 percent. Things looked so dire, Turner wrote in her memoir, she pondered the idea of assisted suicide, which is legal in Switzerland. When it seemed like there was no hope, Bach swooped in just in time to save her life. Turner wrote in My Love Story that she was “shocked” Bach would give up one of his kidneys.
“I wondered if anyone would think that Erwin’s living donation was transactional in some way,” she wrote. “Incredibly, considering how long we had been together, there were still people who wanted to believe that Erwin married me for my money and fame. What else would a younger man want with an older woman? Erwin always ignored the rumors.”