Gasps fill theatre at Tina Turner musical as stars tell fans of her death

The stars of the West End stage show Tina: The Tina Turner Musical broke news of its namesake’s death during an emotional interval speech on Wednesday (24 May).

Tina Turner died at her home in Switzerland at the age of 83 following a long illness.

News of the “What’s Love Got to Do with It” singer’s death was first announced by her representative in a statement.

“Tina Turner, the ‘queen of rock’n’roll’ has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland,” the statement read.

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model... With her music and her inexhaustible vitality, Tina Turner thrilled millions of fans and inspired many artists of subsequent generations.”

According to audience accounts in the Mail, the auditorium at London’s Aldwych Theatre was filled with “gasps” when the stars came out and broke the news to the crowd during a performance on Wednesday night.

Caleb Roberts, who plays Ike Turner, made the announcement, with Kristina Love, who plays Tina, delivering a small speech at the end of the show.

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The statement from the cast was “poignant” and “sombre”, theatregoers said, with the show reflecting the idea that Turner herself “would have wanted the show to go on”.

Tina is a jukebox musical, depicting Turner’s life and rise to fame. It has been staged at the West End since 2018, with productions also launching abroad.

In the aftermath of Turner’s death, a number of high-profile figures from across the music industry have shared tributes to her, including Mick Jagger, Diana Ross and Beyonce.

Tina Turner inspired musicals and films that showcased her strength and sound (PA Wire)
Tina Turner inspired musicals and films that showcased her strength and sound (PA Wire)

“My beloved queen, I love you endlessly,” Beyonce wrote in a message on her official website. “I’m so grateful for your inspiration, and all the ways you have paved the way.

“You are strength and resilience. You are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will forever remain.

“Thank you for all you have done.”

A month before her death, Turner also gave a final interview in which she offered her thoughts on her greatest fears, along with how she wanted to be remembered.