The legendary singer Tina Turner ― known for iconic hits including “The Best” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It” ― died Wednesday at age 83.
Throughout her decades-long career, Turner had always been a soulful, musical force to be reckoned with, winning eight Grammy awards, a Grammy lifetime achievement award, a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Kennedy Center Honor.
On and off the stage, Turner’s story made her a symbol of reinvention and perseverance to many. Her life became the basis for films like 1993′s “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” documentaries and a hit 2019 Broadway musical. Although Turner became famous with her musical partner and late husband, Ike Turner, she forged a second career as a solo artist after she left the abusive, controlling marriage, as she details in her memoir. Her 1984 comeback solo album, “Private Dancer,” was a worldwide success.
She also wrote three bestselling memoirs, including “Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good,” which was the guide to life she learned from Buddhist principles. Turner was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and had a kidney transplant in 2017.
Below is a roundup of some of the wisdom she has shared in her writing and in interviews over the years that we could all learn from:
On Her Advice On Finding Happiness
“Remember that happiness is an inside job. Just think about how your ego knows exactly where your weak spots are and how to tempt you into dwelling on them.
“On the other hand, your inner wisdom knows how to connect you to the joy that resides within you. The bottom line is that becoming happy is up to you. No one else can make you happy. And true happiness can never be built at the expense of others.” ―2021 interview with “Today”
On The Value Of Making A Mission Statement For Yourself
“Whatever your circumstances, it’s a valuable exercise to ask yourself these questions. What would your version of ideal happiness look like? What is your heart’s desire?
“When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I didn’t know what I wanted and hadn’t really thought about where I was going. I just went. It may seem obvious, but if you don’t know what you want, how can you possibly get it? If you don’t know what your idea of fulfillment is, then it will be difficult to find. ... With a mission statement, I could see how the things I began to dream about would support my mission in life. I dug deeper and deeper within, letting go of what was holding me back, and began to see myself more clearly.” ―Turner’s book “Happiness Becomes You”
On Positive Thinking
“At every moment, we always have a choice, even if it feels as if we don’t. Sometimes that choice may simply be to think a more positive thought.” ―Turner’s book “Happiness Becomes You”
“I don’t necessarily want to be a ‘strong’ person... I had a terrible life. I just kept going. You just keep going, and you hope that something will come... . This came.” ―2019 interview with The New York Times
On Her Best Beauty Secret
“My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. I don’t use special creams or treatments ― I’ll use a little bit of everything. It’s a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look is to do with how you feel about yourself and your life. ―2016 interview with Woman & Home magazine
On The Value Of Mentorship
“If you’re not certain of the value of mentorship, think of how many elite athletes or professional sports teams train without a coach. Zero. How many of your favorite films are made without a producer or director? Zero. How many of the best schools in the world function without teachers? Zero. It’s safe to say that every great leader, in any field, first had a great mentor.
“Finding a mentor who inspires and guides your growth is a life-changing experience. Mentors help us to transcend the limits, or perceived limits, of our abilities. A mentor can be anyone who teaches us and helps us to grow in ways we couldn’t have on our own.” ―Turner’s book “Happiness Becomes You”
On The Value Of Leaving One’s Comfort Zone
“When I was approached with the idea of a musical theater production about my life, I wasn’t interested. There were many reasons for me to say no. I had just retired, and the last thing I wanted was more work.... But I decided to venture outside my comfort zone once again and go for it.
“I’m glad I did. Developing Tina: The Tina Turner Musical turned out to be rewarding and cathartic. ...
“Falling in love with my husband, Erwin, was another exercise in leaving my comfort zone, of being open to the unexpected gifts that life has to offer. The day I first met Erwin, at an airport in Germany, I should have been too tired from my flight, too preoccupied with thoughts of my concert tour, and in too much of a hurry to get to my hotel to pay much attention to the young music executive who came from my record company to welcome me. But I did notice him, and I instantly felt an emotional connection. ...
“As you can see from my life, human revolution is really just the conscious elevation of your outlook beyond your everyday world and striving to achieve something more expansive and meaningful. It’s what happens when you grow beyond your comfort zone. Ask yourself this simple question: Will I take a step forward, or will I stay where I am now?” ―“Happiness Becomes You”
On Her Advice To Young People
“Stay true to yourself, work hard and be reliable. Taking the road less traveled is often harder but well worth it. And no matter what, never give up.” ―2021 interview with Harvard Business Review
On Her Legacy
“I endured hardship all the way.... My legacy is that I stayed on course from the beginning to the end because I believed in something inside of me that told me it can get better.... So my legacy is a person that strived for wanting it better and got it.” ―2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey
On Not Letting Age Stand In Her Way
“I really do believe that age is just a number, and I have never let age stand in my way. Not at forty-two, when people said that I was too old to be a rock star. And not now, in my eighties, when the book I dreamed of writing for decades is finally in your hands.
“I’ve passed eighty, but I have not ‘arrived,’ because I still challenge myself to grow, to step out of my comfort zone, to improve my life, and to be of service to others.” ―“Happiness Becomes You”