Angela Bassett‘s illustrious career has found her in many impactful roles. But perhaps one of her most iconic was that of Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic, What’s Love Got To Do With It?
The role not only earned Bassett the first of her well-earned (and tragically unawarded) Academy Award nominations but fostered a lifelong bond between herself and Turner, who she worked closely with to bring her harrowing yet triumphant story to life.
Upon Turner’s death at the age of 83 on May 24, 2023, Bassett took to social media to pay tribute to the Rock & Roll, R&B, and Soul music legend that changed not only her life but surely the lives of countless others with the fearless revelation of her life’s truths and the inner strength she found to move out of likely the most tumultuous chapter of her life.
“How do we say farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world?” Bassett began in a post to her official Instagram account. “Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like.”
In a caption shared alongside a photo of herself and Turner in a recording studio together, belting out a song in unison during their time collaborating on the cultural classic film. In her heartfelt message, she went on to reveal the last words of appreciation that the star shared with her before her passing.
“Her final words to me – for me – were ‘You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world.’ I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days. I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world.”
Finally, Bassett closed her message with recognition of all Turner gave while she was with us. From her now-iconic biopic to her multiple very-candid memoirs, from her enduring music to the ongoing Broadway musical detailing her life and times, the songstress’ openness about her life’s twists, tumults, and triumphs is a gift that will ensure her legacy lives on.
“So today, we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence. She gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be ‘simply the best.’ Angels sing thee to thy rest…Queen.”