This is the moment fans watching the Tina Turner musical in London‘s West End were told of the iconic singer’s death last night.
The cast of the hit show gathered on stage during the interval to break the ‘very emotional’ news to the audience, who let out an audible collective gasp.
Fans were later seen shedding tears as they left the Aldwych Theatre, with one father who had taken his son to the performance describing the news as ‘jaw-dropping’.
Turner died at her home in Küsnach near Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday at the age of 83 following a long, unspecified illness.
In a video shared on TikTok, an actor tells the crowd inside the theatre: ‘It is with great sadness that we share the news that Tina Turner has passed away today.
Londoners are paying tribute to Tina Turner (pictured in 2008) after learning of her death
‘Words can’t express the feelings of our company, so we look at each other and we look to you, in this moment today, right now, to tell this woman’s remarkable story.’
The fan who uploaded the clip said the cast ‘did her so much justice’ when they continued with the second act, adding: ‘What a tribute!’
Bouquets of flowers were placed outside the theatre following the performance.
One theatre-goer said: ‘We were enjoying the first half of the show and then the news came through as intermission happened.
‘My son was with me and he just said to me, ”you won’t believe it. Tina Turner has passed away.” It was like a jaw-dropping moment.’
According to an audience member, Kristina Love, the singer playing Turner in the musical based on the star’s life story, said ‘Tina would be partying in heaven tonight and would want the show to carry on’ as the news of her death was announced.
Abi Garrido, 25 from Newcastle, said: ‘Kristina who was playing Tina lifted everyone’s spirits after this along with the crew and said that Tina would be partying in heaven tonight and would want the show to carry on.
‘The second half was definitely a celebration of her amazing life, it was an electric atmosphere for her… the atmosphere in the room was just unexplainable, you could feel the emotions in the air.
Actress Kristina Love, who plays Turner in the West End musical, leaves the theatre following an emotional performance on Wednesday night
Another stunned theatre-goer (pictured) said: ‘We were enjoying the first half of the show and then the news came through as intermission happened. ‘My son was with me and he just said to me, ”you won’t believe it. Tina Turner has passed away.” It was like a jaw dropping moment’
Emotional fan leaves the Tina Turner musical in London’s West End on Wednesday evening
‘It didn’t feel real, I just broke down in tears it was such a shock. I was sat near the front so I could see the cast and crew visibly crying, it was such a surreal feeling. I felt for them so much, I could not have done it.’
A senior research analyst said discovering Turner had died while watching the musical was a ‘very strange experience’, adding that actress Love addressed the audience at the end.
Neel Bhatt, 38, said Love recalled how she met Turner in 2018, and how the icon sang happy birthday to her. She also told of the moment she was handpicked by Turner to play her.
Mr Bhatt added: ‘Before they started the second act, the curtain went up and the cast, band and crew were on stage, there was a loud round of applause, they announced the news.
‘It felt more emotional in the audience (after the news), everyone had been talking about it as well as the tribute halfway through.
‘Towards the end, after the actress gave her spoken word tribute to Tina, it looked like they added a couple more songs to extend the performance which was yet another lovely tribute.’
Turner’s representatives confirmed her death yesterday, saying: ‘With her the world loses a music legend and role model.’
In a career spanning more than 60 years, Turner won eight Grammy Awards and was one of the world’s most popular entertainers, known for a core of pop, rock and rhythm and blues favourites.
Her final stadium concert was in Sheffield in 2009. But she has been memorialised by the musical which has run in the West End since 2018 and been performed in theatres across the US. Turner was also a producer on the show.
Two sisters Barbara and Izzie, 65 and 69, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, told MailOnline how there were ‘gasps’ from the audience when her death was announced.
They said it was poignant and sombre but Turner ‘would have wanted the show to go on’ – which is what the cast did ‘brilliantly’.
Fans leave the Tina Turner musical in the West End after finding out about her death in the interval
Fans speak to media outside the Aldwych Theatre after news of Tina Turner’s death last night
Tony Ansell, 64, from Northampton, laid a bouquet outside the Aldwych in tribute to the late Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll before crowds left the theatre. He said Turner had ‘inspired millions across the UK’.
Lynn and Malcom Smith, 72 and 73, from Colchester, Essex, said her death was ‘heartbreaking’.
Mrs Smith said: ‘We didn’t know she had died at all until the interval. And then it started again and the entire cast were on stage and they told us. They were all amazing.
‘It was a mixture of sadness and happiness. It’s just unbelievable that we were there when she had died.’
Mrs Smith said she could see the emotion and tears in the lead actor Zurin Villanueva’s face.
David and Leanne McNamara, both 52, had travelled from Australia to watch the performance with their in-laws Teresa Walters, 68, and Ben Walters, 65.
Bouquets of flowers were placed outside the Aldwych Theatre in London this evening where a performance of the Tina Turner Musical was ending – as fans came to terms with her death
Fans watching the musical in the West End last night learned of her death during the show’s interval when the cast appeared on stage to break the ‘very emotional’ news to the audience
Two sisters Barbara (left) and Izzie (right), 65 and 69, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, told MailOnline there were ‘gasps’ from the audience when her death was announced
Tony Ansell, 64, from Northampton, laid a bouquet outside the Aldwych in tribute to the late Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll before crowds left the theatre
Lynn (right) and Malcom Smith (left), from Colchester, Essex, said her death was ‘heartbreaking’ and the theatre had an atmosphere of ‘sadness and happiness’
Meanwhile, David and Leanne McNamara (right), 52 and 52, had travelled over from Australia to watch the performance with their in-laws Teresa Walters, 68, and Ben Walters, 65 (left)
They said they were ‘stunned’ when her death was announced after the interval.
The four added Tina Turner’s music had meant so much to them ever since the star performed ‘The Best’ at Australia’s rugby league Grand Final in 1993.
Gerard Mawn, 61, had travelled from New York to see the show because Turner was ‘amazing’.
Mr Mawn, with tears down his face, said: ‘I was supposed to see the show tomorrow. I’ve seen it before. I’ve seen it in London twice, in New York twice and I saw it in Germany in German. I don’t speak German.
‘I just had to come back here and see it because she was amazing. She is a survivor. She believed in herself and when people said no, she said yes to herself.’
And Aurin Makepeace, 40, said the audience was ‘moved’ and she had listened to her music ever since her mother let her skip school as a child to clean the house while her records played.
She said: ‘The show was absolutely amazing. She represents me and my Mum. My mum used to let me skive off school as long as we had Tina Turner on.
‘It’s my childhood. Memories and nostalgia. I’d beg to stay home from school and would only be allowed if I helped clean the house and Tina Turner would go on.’
Johanna, 72, had travelled from South Africa to meet her daughter Ditebogo, 32, to watch the performance.
Ditebogo said although it was sad the show ‘must go on’ and the cast did their very best ‘considering the circumstances’.
She said: ‘It was amazing. Most of us got the news when we took the interval. When the show was supposed to start again we got a moment to acknowledge her death and pay our respects.
‘It was a celebratory moment of her life but there was a moment of silence. But the show must go on and the cast did their very best considering the circumstances.’
Mr Mawn (pictured) said he had seen the show twice in London, twice in New York and once in Germany, even though he doesn’t ‘speak German’
Aurin Makepeace (pictured), 40, said the audience was ‘moved’ and she had listened to her music ever since her mother let her skip school as a child to clean the house while her records played
Johanna (left), 72, had travelled from South Africa to meet her daughter Ditebogo (right), 32, to watch the performance
Both fans and stars paid tribute to Turner following the announcement of her death.
Sir Mick Jagger, who she shared electrifying on-stage chemistry with, Gloria Gaynor, Rick Astley, Paloma Faith and model Naomi Campbell were among the first celebrities to honour the singer.
‘I’m so saddened by the passing of my wonderful friend Tina Turner. She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer,’ Jagger wrote.
‘She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.’
Giorgio Armani, with whom she was close friends, said: ‘I heard the passing of Tina Turner with sadness and disbelief: with her incredible energy she seemed eternal. Her music certainly is.
‘I will miss a great friend, whom I have also had the pleasure to dress many times. In life, she was like she was on stage – pure energy. I am deeply saddened.’
Tina Turner died at home on Wednesday at the age of 83 after a long illness. She is shown in 2019 on the opening night of the Tina Turner Musical in New York City
A musical legend: Turner in 1997. In a recent interview, she said she wanted to be remembered as ‘the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’
Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie, said: ‘A woman who started in rural Nutbush Tennessee, cotton fields and worked her way to the very top. Tina was a great inspiration to me when I was starting out and remains so to this day.’
Turner’s famously turbulent life and relationships were the subject of many adaptations on both stage and screen.
Her autobiography, I, Tina, was turned into the 1993 film What’s Love Got To Do With It, dramatising the mother-of-two’s relationship with Ike Turner and it also saw Angela Bassett nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Tina in the biopic.
Turner wed her long-time German beau, the music executive Erwin Bach, in a Swiss civil ceremony in 2013 and has lived in Switzerland with him since 1994.
It was a second marriage for the music star, who was previously married to musician Ike from 1962 to 1978.
In her 1986 book, the singer narrated a harrowing tale of abuse, including suffering a broken nose during the course of her marriage to Ike.
Ike died in December 2007 and Tina’s spokeswoman at the time was quoted as saying: ‘Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made.’
She had suffered ill-health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.
In autobiography Tina Turner: My Love Story, published in 2018, she revealed that Bach saved her life by donating one of his kidneys.
Tributes were left outside Turner’s home in Zurich within hours of her death
Tributes were laid on Turner’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Turner with Mick Jagger during the 1985 Live Aid concert in Philadelphia. It was an iconic performance with palpable chemistry. Turner toured with the Rolling Stones in the late 60s. In her final interview just last month, Turner admitted that she ‘always had a crush’ on him
With Elton John in 1995 at the VH1 Fashion & Music Awards in New York
Turner’s final performance was in 2009 at the end of her 50th Anniversary Tour. She is shown during the multi-city tour in the UK
Her famous track list over the years includes the Bond theme track for 1995’s GoldenEye, with a tune of the same name co-written by Bono and The Edge of U2 fame, and other tracks include We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome), What’s Love Got to Do With It, Private Dancer, Let’s Stay Together and many more.
In 2008 she duetted at the Grammys with Beyonce for a rendition of Proud Mary which featured both the powerful singers, in sparkly outfits, mirroring each other’s choreography.
Other notable duets through her career included performing with David Bowie and in 1985 she took to the stage with Sir Mick and The Rolling Stones during Live Aid.
Last year, Turner said following her son Ronnie’s death at the age of 62 that he ‘left the world far too early’. Her other biological son, Craig Raymond Turner, died aged 59 in 2018.
In 2005 President George W Bush famously described her legs as ‘the most famous in showbusiness’ and it was reported she insured them for hundreds of millions of US dollars.
The musical based on her life, titled Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, opened on London’s West End in 2018.
Her career spanned more than music, with her starring in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome alongside Mel Gibson and she also appeared in 1993’s Last Action Hero.
Turner is survived by her husband, 68-year-old Erwin Bach, and two adult sons
Turner with her first husband, Ike. The pair shot to stardom together in the Ike and Tina Turner Revue
Tina and Ike with their sons in 1972, six years before their divorce
In 2021 she sold the rights to her back catalogue after reaching an agreement with BMG for an undisclosed sum, signing over her share of her recordings, her music publishing writer’s share and her name, image and likeness, the company said.
BMG chief executive Hartwig Masuch paid tribute to Turner following her death, saying: ‘There will only ever be one Tina Turner.
‘Her music and her life’s journey touched so many people. We send our condolences to her dear manager and husband Erwin, and all those who loved her.’
Her solo works include 10 studio albums, two live albums, two soundtracks and five compilations, which together have sold more than 100 million records.
In an interview with The Guardian earlier this year, when asked how she would like to be remembered, she said: ‘As the Queen of Rock’n’Roll. As a woman who showed other women that it is OK to strive for success on their own terms.’