Tina Turner was friends with Cher for more than 50 years at the time of her death from an unidentified “long illness” on May 24. After news of Tina’s death broke, Cher called in to The Beat With Ari Melber on MSNBC to discuss the situation. She revealed that she had started paying regular visits to Tina at her home in Switzerland in the years before her passing.
Cher did not confirm the illness that Tina was suffering from before her death, but she did reveal that she had kidney dialysis machines in her home. The “Simply The Best” singer had gotten a kidney transplant from husband Edwin Bach in 2017. “She fought this sickness for such a long time and she was so strong, as you think she would be,” Cher said.
However, as her condition worsened in recent months, she came to terms with what was coming. “She told me once, she said, ‘I’m really ready. I just don’t want to put up with this anymore,’” Cher shared.
The singer also recalled her first visit to Tina’s Switzerland home and said they spent the day “laughing like crazy,” despite Tina being sick. “She was really happy,” Cher confirmed, adding, “She was having a good time in spite of the fact that she was really sick and not wanting people to know about it.” The last time Cher saw Tina, she was even gifted a pair of “big high heels” from the 83-year-old.
Cher’s friendship with Tina began amidst Tina’s abusive relationship with Ike Turner in the late 60s and 70s. Cher said that they got much closer after Tina left Ike in 1978. “She might not have won every battle, but she fought every war,” Cher gushed. “She was there fighting for all the things she believed in. She’s one of the great artists of our generation in rock and roll. There was no other person like her.”