Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, and the subject of the Tony nominated bio musical Tina, passed away May 24 after an extended illness.
While tributes from across the entertainment industry have poured in since her passing, the remembrances of the actors who have played Ms. Turner in her life story, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, have been some of the most tender. We have preserved these tributes below.
READ: Music Legend Tina Turner Passes Away at 83
Adrienne Warren, who originated the role of Tina on Broadway and the West End, winning a Tony Award for her performance shared an extended video. In the video, she can be seen sharing with Ms. Turner how Warren was inspired by her as a child, footage of Ms. Turner teaching Warren one of her iconic dance steps, and clips and photos of the pair from throughout the Broadway and West End runs. The video was shared with the accompanying caption, "Today we lost our Queen of Rock and Roll, an inspiration, an ICON. Today I lost a teacher and a mentor. Rest, my friend. I love you, Anna Mae Bullock. Thank you."
Chanel Haynes, who played Tina on the West End shared a teary video shortly after the news of Ms. Turner's passing broke: "It feels like a really big light has been taken out of my life. There’s never been anybody like her and there never will be…the power and beauty that was in her and in her music, it’s gonna live. I’m gonna make sure, and be one of the people to represent just how amazing her music was, because there’s nothing like it. And I’m just happy I was able to be a part of the body of work that she created."
Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, who played Tina on both the West End and Broadway shared photos of Ms. Turner with the following caption. "I am humbled anew to see so many people mourn her death and celebrate her life today. We Tina fans know her as well as any music lets you know who its artist is. We know her as much as she was willing to share with us, which, graciously, was a lot. But for as generous as Tina was, she was also very private. I’ve always had the distinct feeling that there’s so much more to know about who Tina Turner is. And for 4 years of my life, I had the honor of exploring that onstage. For my part, I can say I was just happy to love her. And like so many fans, I saw so much of myself in her. Thank you for everything you’ve given for me, for the courage you’ve instilled in me, and for taking me to so many interesting places. I’m so happy we met. Rest in glory to my brave soul sister, TT. I love you 🕊️"
Kery Sankoh, who originated the role of Tina in the Spanish-language production shared the following photos and statement, which when translated in to English reads "RIP TINA 🖤
I still haven't been able to say goodbye to what it meant for me to get in her skin every night on top of a stage, I haven’t been able to watch the videos or pictures for everything that still stirs inside me. I feel that the cycle is slowly closing but I need my time, calmly and without rushing... Today I feel like a part of me is broken, gone. I dreaded this day would come because I was sure it would really hurt. I spent so much time reading you, watching you and analyzing you that I noticed how you were getting more into me in every way and guiding me, giving me strength and teaching me to be stronger through the fears themselves.
I always say I went in as one person and left as another. Thank you for making me grow as a person, for facing my fears and discovering my strength, for believing.. Thank you Tina 🙏🏾 I'll always take part of you. Rest in peace 🖤"
Nyassa Alberta, who originated the role of Tina in the Netherlands, shared the following statement. "Just now I heard the sad news that @tinaturner passed away. First of all my condolences go out to Erwin Bach and her family, I wish you strength, love and light. Now she truly found peace. It’s unbelievable how much one person can endure and survive all of it with so much grace and love. Because of this she was an inspiration to many, me being one of them. I never imagined she would become such a big part of my life and I had the honor and her trust to tell her life story. She inspired me to be stronger, fight harder and trust myself more and be braver than I ever thought I was. Thank you, for all you meant to me and so many of us. Rest in peace, you will always have a special place in my heart and I know you will keep inspiring us. Nyassa"
Kristina Love, who originated the role of Tina in Germany and is currently starring in the West End production, learned of Ms. Turner's passing at the interval of a performance. In response, she shared a series of photos of her and Ms. Turner to her instagram story, with notice that she would not be making any further public statement.
Zurin Villanueva, who is currently starring as Tina on the North American tour, shared a selection of photos of Ms. Turner with the accompanying caption "Tina Turner. I am overjoyed with gratitude. Your love, laughter, your fans, your Excellence. This journey with her has brought me back to my true self. I've lived in fear, a lot of my adult life. Fear of being ridiculed for exactly who I am. I've been working at breaking the bars, pushing at them for years, not quite knowing how I would bust through. Enter Tina Turner back into my life from the recesses of childhood. We talk a lot about how strong she was. We let that translate to physical strength with muscles and growls but what I saw was a feminine woman strong in mind and spirit. Tina changed her entire life around with her MIND. Tina, you blow me away. Thank you Eternally....Now Rest easy...and Rough. 😏🖤🙏🏾"
Elesha Paul Moses, who currently shares the role of Tina with Kristina Love on the West End, shared a photo of Ms. Turner to her instagram story with the caption "Love you Tina" before thanking those that had reached out to check on her following the release of the news.
Aisha Jawando, who played Tina on the West End, shared similar sentiments, expressing that she was "very tender this evening" and that she would reply those that had reached out once she had had time to process the loss.