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American Idol’s Lionel Richie shares heartbreaking tribute to Tina Turner as he celebrates their decades-long friendship

American Idol’s Lionel Richie shares heartbreaking tribute to Tina Turner as he celebrates their decades-long friendship

LIONEL Richie has opened up about his feelings for Tina Turner after her passing.

News of Tina Turner’s death broke yesterday, and Lionel is one of many celebrities to honor the legendary star.

GettyLionel Richie shared a selection of photos from his longterm friendship with Tina Turner, who passed away yesterday[/caption]

GettyThe musician honored his friend and collaborator with photos of them during their first performance together in 1984[/caption]

In his post, American Idol judge Lionel, 73, shared several photos of himself and Tina over the years on Instagram yesterday.

Lionel posed three photos of the musical duo on stage together at his 1984 tour Can’t Slow Down, for which he invited Tina to be his opening act.

In the pics, Tina had her hair in its instantly-recognizable voluminous style, and wore a stunning red mini dress while Lionel wore a matching sparkly jacket.

The All Night Long singer also shared a black-and-white shot of the two showing off their awards at the Grammys.

For his final photo, he shared a more recent image of Tina wearing a long red dress and embracing him as they stood and smiled in front of multiple cameras.

TV personality Lionel captioned the post: “What a life! What a show! What a talent! Your resilience was a lesson for us all. I will miss you, my dear friend! Thanks for the memories…”


Lionel has been a friend and collaborator of Tina since the 80s, and spoke fondly of her talent and personality.

In 2021, he told Vogue India: “When I think of my dear friend Tina, I think of determination, strength and an incredible work ethic. There are performers, there are singers and there are entertainers. Tina is all three.”

He added: “Tina was releasing her new album Private Dancer and had recently gone through a horrendous divorce when she agreed to be the opening act on my 1984 world tour Can’t Slow Down.

“I remember her walking into the rehearsal—she was very quiet, almost shy, with this amazing smile and personality.”

Lionel praised: “Then the music started and she turned into Tina Turner! To the point where I couldn’t perform—I would just sit and watch what she was doing.”

Lionel added: “Being a fan of Tina is one perspective, but being on stage with her was the most incredible feeling of my entire life,” and concluded: “My friend is a star and a living legend – a one-of-a-kind spirit that the world is blessed to have.”


Tina died at the age of 83 in Switzerland on Wednesday following a long illness.

While a cause of death has not yet been released, Tina admitted to years of neglecting her body.

Turner was plagued by ill health, including suffering a stroke and battling cancer.

The soul and rock music legend also suffered kidney failure which led to a transplant in 2017.

“The ‘Queen of Rock’n Roll’ has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland,” her rep said.

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.

Tina was named the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll due to her unique vocals and eccentric stage presence.

Throughout her solo career, the musician, mother, and performer received eight Grammy Awards.

APLionel previously shared that Tina was ‘almost shy’ when they first met, but that when ‘the music started’ he could only sit and watch her talent[/caption]

GettyThe American Idol host added that performing with Tina was ‘the most incredible experience’ of his life[/caption]

GettyTina passed away at home in Switzerland yesterday aged 83, and will be remembered as the Queen of Rock’n’Roll, as well as an inspiration and friend to many[/caption]

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