“She Wasn’t Doing Well”: Oprah Tells Why Tina Turner Told Her She Was “Ready To Go”

Posted On : May 25, 2023
Oprah Winfrey and Tina Turner

When news spread, that the iconic Tina Turner passed away on Wednesday (May 24, 2023), fans and loved ones around the world began mourning. One very close loved one of Tina’s was her decades-long friend, Oprah Winfrey.

When Oprah got the news of Tina’s death, she was vacationing in Italy, and cut the trip short to join her friend, Gayle King, on the  “CBS Mornings” morning show to pay homage to – and share memories of – the “What’s Love Got To Do With It” songstress.

During the TV airing, Oprah and Gayle confessed that although they were aware Tina “wasn’t doing well,” her passing was still a “blow.” Oprah also recalled how in 2019, Tina Turner made a surprising confession to her– she was “ready to go.”

Oprah’s Revelations About Friend, Tina Turner

Tina Turner’s last publicly released photo in 2021, as she celebrated the debut of her documentary, “Tina Turner: Simply The Best”

Via Daily Mail: “I certainly was aware that she was ill, but I had seen her in 2019 and gone… to visit her in the hospital… And she had said to me then that she actually was ready to go, meaning ready to leave the planet,” Oprah told the morning program. “And I expected then that was going to be the last time that I saw her.”

Oprah also credited Tina’s husband and German music producer Erwin Bach, who she described as “the most extraordinary person I’ve ever known,” for “literally [willing] her to live.”

“She’s been through, you know, one health crisis after another,” she said, with Gayle adding: “She just kept coming back.”

In spite of the many health issues Tina struggled with in recent years — including back surgery in February 2023, a kidney transplant from her husband in 2017, two strokes, high blood pressure, intestinal cancer in 2016, and more — Oprah says Tina’s husband, Erwin — whom Tina was with for four decades (wed in 2013 after 30 years of dating) — “never gave up” with his push to keep Tina alive and as healthy as possible.

Oprah went on to express her gratitude for the friendship she shared with Tina, stating she was also “big fan” of the songstress. She then admitted that not only was she a fan of her friend, she was initially a “full on groupie, following her from show to show across the country” to catch her performances. Gayle added that Tina had “a deep, deep affection” for Oprah as well.

Oprah Winfrey with Tina Turner and Tina’s husband, Erwin Bach, at the 2018 opening night of the broadway musical, “Tina”

“It’s incredible when you meet somebody that you’ve admired for a long time, and they not only live up to what you hope that they would be but they surpass, exceed and transcend. And that’s what Tina was,” Oprah told Gayle.

Following her friend, Tina’s death, Oprah took to her website, Oprah Daily, to pay a touching tribute to Tina, while also revealing more unknown details about the time Oprah thought Tina would sadly pass away in 2019, and more.

Oprah, Tina, and Gayle the debut of the Broadway musical, “Tina,” in 2018

In her online tribute, Oprah stated she learned of Tina’s death from Gayle, and that the news ‘stunned [her] into immediate tears’:

“I had been expecting to hear this news four years ago in 2019 after visiting her at a hospital in Switzerland, where she told me she was ready to leave this earth,” Oprah wrote.

“She said she had a full life and was ‘tired.’ I’m always wary when someone who is ill says they’re tired. It often means they are tired of the work and energy it takes to stay alive. I left the hospital thinking that would be my last time seeing her.

“I was on alert for a full year afterward, waiting to get “the call” from her devoted husband, Erwin. Instead there were calls with news of improvements, new treatments, therapies, doctors. There were setbacks and stabilization. I even received an invite to celebrate her 80th birthday, then her 82nd.”

“Becoming her friend was a blessing of a lifetime,” Oprah wrote.

Tina Turner and Oprah Winfrey

In conclusion of their “CBS Mornings” tribute to Tina, Oprah summed up just how most of the Tina’s worldwide fans view her:

“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,” Oprah stated.

“Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph. I’m grateful for her courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolos and a leather miniskirt.”

Tina Turner Expressed Her Fearless Views Of Death

In a 2013 interview with Oprah, Tina Turner shared her fearless views of dying:

“Even when it’s time to leave and go to another planet, [I’m] excited about that, because I’m curious to know what it’s about. Nobody can tell you because nobody has come back. …

I’m not excited to die, but I don’t regret it when it’s time for me. I’ve done what I came here to do. Now is pleasure. I’ve got great friends. I have a great man in my life, now I have a great husband and I’m happy.”

Tina Turner…rest in power, sleep in peace, feel pain no more, as your legacy continues to live on through us all, beautiful queen. 👑🕊