Tina Turner, often called the Queen of Rock’ n’ Roll, has passed away. The world is busy mourning the legendary performer’s death, with fans coming together to share their fond memories.
It seems everyone has different memories of the iconic singer, ranging from hearing one of her songs for the first time to seeing her perform live. Interestingly enough, Prince William has a rather special one; an extraordinary memory involving his mother, the late Princess Diana.
A few years back, the future king spoke about how he, his mother, and Harry once listened to Tina Turner in the car. He even went as far as to detail which song was his favorite.
The world was left reeling as word of Tina Turner’s passing was announced earlier this week.
The singer – real name Anna Mae Bullock – died peacefully on Wednesday in her adopted homeland near Zurich, Switzerland, aged 83.
Tina Turner dead at 83
Turner’s spokesperson confirmed she passed “peacefully” at home, adding: “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.”
A statement on her official Instagram reads: “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.”
“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.”
Needless to say, the music industry was quick in banding together to remember her fondly.
“I’m so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer,” Mick Jagger wrote on Twitter.
“She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous, she helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”
Lionel Richie shared: “What a life! What a show! What a talent! Your resilience was a lesson for us all. I will miss you, my dear friend! Thanks for the memories…”
Oprah Winfrey wrote: “I started out as a fan of Tina Turner, then a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country, and then, eventually, we became real friends. She is our forever goddess of rock ‘n’ roll who contained a magnitude of inner strength that grew throughout her life.
“She was a role model not only for me but for the world. She encouraged a part of me I didn’t know existed… I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best.”
Tina Turner’s life & music
Tina Turner was born on 26 November 1939 in the small rural town of Nutbush, Tennessee. Her father, Floyd, worked on a local farm, though when her parents moved to work in a new factory, she and her elder sister Aillene were sent to live with their strict, religious grandparents.
After the Second World War, Turner was reunited with her family and began singing at the local church. From there on, she became a cheerleader in high school and worked as a nurse. Then, during a visit to a nightclub, she met Ike Turner and became the singer in his band ‘The Kings of Rhythm’.
Tina made her first recording as a backing singer in 1958. She dropped her first song with Ike, Fool in Love, two years later. After working with Phil Spector and his legendary “Wall of Sound,” Tina’s career was headed straight to the top.
The legendary singer released hits such as What’s Love Got to Do With It, I Can’t Stand the Rain, We Don’t Need Another Hero, Nutbush City Limits, and (Simply) The Best, selling over 100 million records. She performed for audiences worldwide, and quickly became an icon for millions.
In 1989, Turner was a special guest at the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip attended the variety show, which still takes place every year.
As it happens, though, Tina featured in the life of another royal, too.
In 2021, Prince William spoke about Tina Turner, revealing he had a soft spot for her cover of The Best.
Prince William shares emotional Tina Turner memory involving Princess Diana
The future king admitted that he is a huge fan, and listens to Tina Turner to keep many memories of his mother, Princess Diana, alive. William said that The Best reminds him of childhood, and how his mother would play the song in the car to help him with his nerves.
“When I was younger, Harry and I, we were at boarding school. My mother used to play all sorts of songs to kind of while away the anxiety of going back to school,” Prince William said.
“And one of the songs I massively remember and has stuck with me all this time, and I still, to this day, still quite enjoy secretly, is Tina Turner’s ‘The Best’ because sitting in the backseat, singing away, it felt like a real family moment.
“My mother, she’d be driving along, singing at the top of her voice. And we’d even get the policeman in the car; he’d be occasionally singing along as well.”
The future king added: “You’d be singing and listening to the music right the way out into the gates of school when they dropped you off. When I listen to it now, it takes me back to those car rides and brings back lots of memories of my mother.”
William and Harry have spoken fondly about their mother many times.
In 2017, on the 20th anniversary of Diana’s passing, the two brothers got together to discuss their beloved mother.
“When everybody says ‘she was funny, give us an example.’ All I can hear is her laugh,” Harry explained.
“She was one of the naughtiest parents, she’d come and watch us play football and smuggle sweet into her socks, literally walking back from a football match and having five packages of [candy]. And just, the whole shirt was full with sweets.”
Prince William & Harry’s childhood insights through Diana letters
“We felt incredibly loved by her, and I’m very grateful that the love still feels there,” William said. “It feels like a good time to remember her and hopefully provide a different side.
“It was that love, even though she was on the other side of the room, as her son you could feel it,” Harry added.
Growing up within the Royal Family must be a remarkable thing. Sure, there will never be a shortage of money, but at the same time, it’s a life of duty and responsibilities.
Just how much of a ‘normal’ childhood Prince William and Harry had with their mother is hard to tell. But an old letter written by Princess Diana helps to give some insight.
The letter provides a very short, but sweet glimpse of William and Harry’s childhood. It also touches on the very special childhood bond between the two.
The letter was written by Diana in March, 1985, just six months after the birth of her youngest son, Harry.
“William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses, hardly letting the parents near!” Diana’s handwritten letter states, as reported by The Sun.
The letter, written by Diana to a former steward at Buckingham Palace, Cyril Dickman, was sold at auction in Cambridge in 2017.
In other letters, Diana revealed how a then-older Prince Harry was “constantly in trouble” at school. She also wrote about the joys of being a mother and described the “difficult period” in her life that was to follow.
“Cancel lunch for the boys”
Princess Diana often took William and Harry to theme parks and other fun venues. But she was also well aware of what royal life entailed, including the fact that her children always had their meals served to them.
Knowing the importance of William and Harry feeling like any other child (as much as was possible), she would sneak them out of the palace to go and get fast food on occasion.
“I remember the princess came into the kitchen one day and said, ‘Cancel lunch for the boys, I’m taking them out, we’re going to McDonald’s,” Diana’s former personal chef Darren McGrady told Marie Claire.
“And I said, ‘Oh my God – your Royal Highness, I can do that, I can do burgers.’ And she said, ‘No, it’s the toy they want.'”
Diana always endeavored to be the best mom possible and knew that her sons could and would fight with one another from time to time.
Royal historian Robert Lacey once revealed details about Harry and William’s childhood, and how their mother wanted the two brothers to make her a significant promise.
William & Harry promised to always be friends
In his book Battle of Brothers, Lacey writes about the bond William and Harry developed through their early childhood and teenage years. Princess Diana was keen on them remaining close throughout their lives – she wanted the boys to promise they’d always remain “best friends.”
In the book, Lacey quotes psychic Simone Simmons, who used to consult Diana.
“You must promise me that you will always be each other’s best friends,” Simmons claimed Diana told her sons. “And never let anyone come between you.”
“Both boys promised they would keep to that,” Simmons recalled. “They high-fived each other and gave their mother a big cuddle.
Sadly, the relationship between Prince William and Prince Harry is at an all-time low at the time of writing. Who knows, maybe a reunion and a car ride listening to Tina Turner’s greatest hits could help them nudge things in the right direction?
Rest in peace, Tina Turner. Please share this article on Facebook with friends and family to honor her!