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Tina Turner told Oprah she was ‘ready to go’ back in 2019

Tina Turner’s longtime friend and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey has revealed the rock ‘n’ roll legend was ‘ready to go’ during a 2019 hospital visit as she reflected on the singer’s legacy.

The Proud Mary superstar died aged 83 at her Swiss home following a lengthy battle with an unknown illness. The news was announced on Wednesday.

Oprah interrupted her Italian vacation to appear on CBS Mornings on Thursday with her friend, Gayle King, to share their memories of the late songstress.

Despite knowing that Tina ‘wasn’t doing well,’ the pair said her death was still a ‘blow.’

Oprah Winfrey appeared on CBS Mornings today to speak about Tina Turner and her legacy – revealing during the appearance that the music icon said she was ‘ready’ to die back in 2019

Following the singer's death, Oprah shared a lengthy tribute to Tina, calling her 'our forever goddess of rock 'n' roll'

Following the singer’s death, Oprah shared a lengthy tribute to Tina, calling her ‘our forever goddess of rock ‘n’ roll’

Oprah said she visited Tina while she was hospital in 2019 and the legend told her she was 'ready to go.' The pair are pictured at opening night for Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

Oprah said she visited Tina while she was hospital in 2019 and the legend told her she was ‘ready to go.’ The pair are pictured at opening night for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

‘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.’

Oprah said despite Tina’s multiple health battles, including back surgery in February, Erwin, 67, ‘never gave up.’

The TV mogul said she had been a ‘big fan’ of Tina and was lucky enough to call her a friend, with Gayle adding that the singer had ‘a deep, deep affection’ for Oprah.

‘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 said.

Following the singer’s death, the talk show queen shared a lengthy tribute to the late star, saying she started off as a fan of Tina’s before turning into ‘a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country.’

Oprah and her close friend Gayle King also credited Tina's husband Erwin Bach, who she described as 'the most extraordinary person I've ever known,' for 'literally [willing] her to live'

Oprah and her close friend Gayle King also credited Tina’s husband Erwin Bach, who she described as ‘the most extraordinary person I’ve ever known,’ for ‘literally [willing] her to live’

Her idolizing of Tina eventually turned into ‘real’ friendship, Oprah said.

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,’ she added.

‘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.’

In an essay for Oprah Daily, the TV mogul spoke about the moment she found out about Tina’s death from Gayle after turning off her phone during her vacation, saying she was ‘stunned 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.’

She went on to say: ‘Becoming her friend was a blessing of a lifetime.’

Previously the What’s Love Got To Do With It star has been candidly open about her thoughts on death and said she had ‘done what I came here to do.’

Then aged 73, Tina told Oprah in a 2013 interview: ‘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 was last seen in public in November 2019, attending the Broadway premiere of the musical about her life. 

Tina's last public appearance in 2019, supported by Oprah and husband Erwin, at the opening night of the Broadway musical

Tina’s last public appearance in 2019, supported by Oprah and husband Erwin, at the opening night of the Broadway musical

Gayle is pictured with Oprah and Tina at the same event

Gayle is pictured with Oprah and Tina at the same event

She was pictured sitting in most photos from the event, and had help from Erwin and Oprah while walking the red carpet. 

One of Tina’s last public photos was shared in March 2021 when she was pictured on social media watching the premiere of her HBO documentary. 

Seven months later, the world got its final glimpse of the singer when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Nutbush City Limits singer did not travel to Cleveland, Ohio, for the ceremony, but recorded a video.

She posted a photo of her receiving the award the following day on October 31. 

While the specific cause of Tina’s death has not been revealed, her health struggles have been well documented.

She was diagnosed with hypertension in 1978, saying she never understood she could do anything about it.

With her condition left untreated, Tina suffered a stroke in 2009.

She had another in 2013 just three weeks after she wed her partner of almost 30 years, Erwin.

Three years later in 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer.

Doctors removed part of her intestine, but her kidney issues worsened.

Tina suffered from unpleasant side effects from her hypertension treatment, and stopped taking her medicines, trying homeopathic medicine instead.

The results were devastating and led to kidney failure.

Erwin donated one of his kidneys to her in 2017.

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