Cher says Tina Turner was ‘really sick’ but ‘happy’ before her death

Cher said Tina Turner was in great spirits before her death at the age of 83.

During Thursday’s episode of MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber,” the “Believe” singer revealed she had recently paid Turner a visit at her home in Switzerland because she wanted to keep their friendship strong.

“I started going to visit her because I thought, ‘I need to put this time into our friendship, so she knows we haven’t forgotten her,’” she told the outlet. “So we all took turns going and spending time with her and it made her happy.”

Cher said Turner was initially a little skeptical about the visits, insisting that she couldn’t “spend too much time” around people due to her failing health.

Cher and Tina Turner.
Cher said Tina Turner was “happy” but “real sick” before her death.

“Then five hours later we were laughing like crazy … She was having a good time in spite of the fact that she was really sick and not wanting people to know about it,” Cher explained.

Despite keeping a dialysis machine by her side in her final days, Cher noted that Turner remained “so strong” after fighting “this sickness for such a long time.”

“But I know, towards the end, she told me once, she said, ‘I’m really ready. I just don’t want to put up with this anymore,’” the 77-year-old singer said. “She just didn’t want to do it anymore.”

Here’s what to know about legendary singer Tina Turner

The “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” died at 83 on Wednesday after a prolific career that spanned decades.

Tina — who was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2021 — sold more than 100 million records worldwide throughout her career, with songs including the anthemic hit “The Best” and her solo comeback single “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

She scored her first and only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the song, which kicked off her 1980s career resurgence.

Tina was 44 at the time, making her the oldest solo female artist to top the Hot 100 chart.

The singer and actress had 12 total Grammy Awards, including eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


Cher and Tina Turner.
Cher visited the legendary singer at her home in Switzerland before her passing.
©VH1/Courtesy Everett Collection

During their last visit together, Turner gave her longtime friend a parting gift. “She gave me a pair of shoes the last time I saw her,” Cher revealed. “What kind of shoes? Tina Turner shoes!”

The “Strong Enough” singer went on to reflect on their decades-long friendship, which began while Turner was still locked in an abusive relationship with ex-husband Ike Turner.

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“When I first knew her, she was still with Ike and that was very strange to see her with Ike and then to see her afterward,” she explained.

“I was so thrilled because, afterward, she was so free. You could just see her being able to take a big breath. Her new life was like a big, fresh breath,” Cher continued. 

Cher and Tina Turner.
The powerhouse duo had been friends for decades.
Getty Images

Yet she never let her hardships stop her, and instead dealt with “everything head-on.”

“She wasn’t about to stop. She might not have won every battle, but she fought every war. She was there fighting for all the things she believed in,” Cher said of her late friend.

Turner died after battling a “long illness,” her family announced Wednesday. The following day, her rep revealed she died of natural causes. 

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Instagram at the time. “With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow.”

The publicist concluded, “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.”