I know, right? You would think that this is the kind of topic that doesn't even warrant a full-on article. Yet, the more I thought about my own personal experiences, the kind of conversations that I've had with married couples about it, and a video that I recently watched, it is my personal belief that the answer isn't quite as black-and-white or cut-and-dried as it might appear on the surface. But before I get into all of that, because I know that a lot of people will process, "Should you consider dating someone you're not attracted to?" as "Should you settle for less than what you really want in a relationship?", when it comes to that second question, the answer is "no". Mostly because, as my favorite quote on settling (by writer Maureen Dowd) states, "The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for."
Still, I don't really believe that it's an automatic that you should never consider someone that you aren't attracted to. One reason is because initial attraction can lean a bit on the shallow side of things (more on that in a sec). Another reason is because, as a very wise man said in his video entitled, "Attraction vs. Connection: 'Bro, you 'Wifed' the wrong one!'", a lot of us find ourselves in relationships that don't truly satisfy us; it's because we've believed that attraction and connection are one in the same when they absolutely are not (according to him, most men only truly connect with three women over the course of their lifetime, by the way). I tend to agree with him (we'll explore a bit more of his commentary in a moment as well).
Even if you're someone who just read those two paragraphs and still think that if you aren't attracted to a dude, a potential relationship can't go any further, while I'm not trying to change your mind, humor me for a few minutes, will you? At least allow me to offer up a few points that could possibly open up your perspective, just a bit—so that you can know if a lack of initial attraction could be hindering you from establishing a truly powerful and lasting connection with someone.
What Is Attraction Initially All About, Anyway?Giphy
Attraction is powerful. There's no questioning that. When I think of all of the men who I've been physically attracted to over the course of my lifetime, this definition of attraction definitely applies—"to draw by a physical force causing or tending to cause to approach, adhere, or unite". That's why it made so much sense to me, what a particular article shared. It was based on research about what men and women are most (initially) attracted to. Reportedly men are drawn to (shocker of all shockers), women who have a nice body while women like men who are taller than they are (I concur). However, the article also stated that when it comes to attributes like intelligence and kindness, those weren't much of a factor. That's because this particular study surveyed almost 70,000 individuals on what they look for in a casual partner not a committed one.
Y'all can check out my piece on casual sex to see that the word "casual" isn't exactly my favorite word in the world. That's because it means things like "without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing", "seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned" and "without emotional intimacy or commitment". When something is casual, serious intention is not a factor. When something is casual, it's OK to be indifferent or apathetic towards it. When something is casual, there is no real intimacy or commitment involved. Casual kind of reminds me of a man who I am very physically attracted to who is also very physically attracted to me. One time, he asked me what I thought about us having a homie-lover-friend relationship. He's one of those guys who isn't really what I would consider to be a "f—kboy" yet he is a chronic commitment-phobe. Every few years, he gets an exclusive sex partner who he doesn't commit to, even though he only has sex with them. He likes the exclusivity of the sex while still keeping up emotional walls. A ton of people are just like him. It's an epidemic, to tell you the truth.
So yeah, if you're entering into something with someone and your intention is for it to be on the casual tip, of course looks are what's going to matter most to you. You're not trying to establish anything more than physical gratification and maybe a few dates and laughs.
That's why, to me, attraction is like icing on the cake. It's definitely what initially draws two people to one another, but it shouldn't hold a ton of merit. I mean, do you know how many attractive people get blindsided, cheated on and dumped? Tons. Just check out your favorite gossip blog; you'll see all sorts of examples.
So, why does it seem like so many of us put so much stock in attraction? I think that it's because a lot of us put attraction and connection into the same boat when they shouldn't be. This where the video that I referenced earlier comes in. As I was listening to a man who goes by the name Soul Immortal talk about the differences between attraction and connection, here is a part of what he shared:
"So, before we even get into it, there are two things that I want my brothers to understand, right? And the first thing is this—Sex is a byproduct. It's a byproduct of energies that are exchanged. You know what I'm sayin'?
It's just like when gasoline is made. You know, they take crude oil, they take several chemicals, they put it together and they make gasoline. Now when this gasoline is extracted, what's left is diesel fuel. Now diesel fuel is a beautiful thing. But this diesel fuel wouldn't have came to be if it wasn't for the creation of this gasoline, know what I'm sayin'?
So, sex is a byproduct, know what I'm sayin'? And the second thing is, we need to redefine intimacy. Intimacy is not the physical act. Intimacy is the fuel. The physical act is the byproduct…we have to understand that the physical body is only a catalyst. We have to understand that the physical act is only a primer."
So true, so true. A great example that Soul Immortal provided in the video is a friend of his and his wife. Soul Immortal said that when he initially saw the wife for himself, while his friend was what he knew many women would consider to be attractive, to him, the wife was around a six out of 10. But the more he watched his friend and his friend's wife interact with one another, she became a 10 out of 10. It was because they had such a beautiful connection.
I can relate to this. There have been many times when I've looked at a couple and, purely based on looks, I've wondered how one ended up with the other. But that's just based on appearance—the surface of things. I had to open myself up to the fact that clearly there is a connection there. But what makes a connection different from an attraction?
Is Attraction Costing You a True Connection?
A simple way to explain a connection is it's a link with or bond to another individual. I like the word "bond" because it refers to something that holds two people together. Shared principles and values can create a bond. Trust and reliability can create a bond. Individuals who are emotionally present and available for one another can create a bond. Folks who complement one another's lifestyle can create a bond. An article on Psychology Today's website on emotional connections shared that a "yes" to questions like, "When I ask for your attention, can you be available to me?", "Can you comfort me when I am anxious, sad, lonely, or afraid?" and "I need to know that you care about my joys, hurts, and fears. Will you care about me consistently and reliably?" also signifies a real bond. But here's the thing—how can you get to know someone long enough to discover if you are bonded, if all that you're caught up in is physical attraction?
When I reflect on my own relational past, there were two men, specifically, who I most definitely were not attracted to. They were also two of the best men that I've ever known to this day. Kind. Attentive. Patient. Thoughtful. Forgiving. The only reason why I know this about them, though, is because I pushed past the initial lack of physical attraction and got to know them as people. What it ultimately taught me was that there was a connection—it just wasn't meant to be romantic or sexual.
Yeah, that's what a lot of us miss when we're not being open to considering someone who we're not attracted to—we miss that our connection may serve a different purpose than a romantic relationship, if we'd simply give things a chance.
So, what exactly are you saying, Shellie? That you do think that it's important to consider dating someone I'm not attracted to? Kinda. I think what I'm saying more is that, when it comes to someone who is interested in you who you are not attracted to, you should ask yourself the following questions before totally shooting them down:
1. Have you been told that you’re addicted to a specific “type”?Giphy
As cliché as it might sound, I really do like men who are tall, dark and handsome. The taller and darker, the better. But you know what? The man I have probably had the healthiest connection with is my late fiancé who was probably around 6'-6'1" (which is kinda short to me) and lighter than I am. When he first let me know that he was interested, I was like, "Yeah…naw." Not because he wasn't attractive, but because I was so hung up on what my type was. Hmph. My first love was "my type" and that negro got me arrested, made another baby while I was pregnant with his child and is one of the biggest commitment-phobes on the planet to this day.
The moral to the story is this. We all have preferences. It's perfectly fine to like what you like. But if you're not open to dating someone because you're not attracted to him, is it because you don't find him appealing at all? Or, is it simply because he's not what you are used to? If it's Column B, well…if all you eat is pizza how would you ever know if you like Thai food? Feel me?
2. Does the way a man looks validate you in some way?
There is a woman I used to know who had the ultimate form of low self-esteem. It's not that she isn't attractive; it's that she didn't feel that she was. And how that revealed itself was pretty cryptic. She would turn down perfectly nice guys who treated her well for the ones who, at least in her mind, were fine as hell—and treated her like dirt. The cycle got to be so much of a hamster wheel in her life that one time I asked her what her deal was. She said that she wanted to be the kind of woman who, whenever she walked into a room with a man, women would envy her. She said it would make her feel more attractive to be with someone who others thought was physically desirable.
If a lot of us were honest with ourselves, we've adopted this warped way of thinking before. Somewhere deep down, we think a good-looking man validates our own beauty. But looks really can be deceiving. Someone who immediately comes to my mind to prove this fact is ex-NFL player Darren Sharper. He's attractive. He's also currently in jail right now for drugging and raping women in various states. And the women I just told you about? The fine men dogged her, the nice men got married, and she's still single.
If you're rejecting someone simply because you don't think they are good enough to "validate" you, that really has very little to do with them and their appearance and more to do with you and your own self-image. And if that's the case, it would be best to be single and get your own self together for a while; to not be out here dating anyone—your type or otherwise.
3. Have you considered that ole’ boy serves a purpose that you can’t see—yet?
It's kind of interesting that, when we're not physically attracted to someone, sometimes we can repel them as if they've got some sort of plague or something. You like me, I'm not interested. Please stop talking to me. But y'all, one of my closest friends is someone who used to be attracted to me, although I was never attracted to him. Had I left it at that, I wouldn't have the blessings in my life that come as the direct result of him being a part of my world.
Not everyone is meant to be "the one". But there are a lot of people who do serve a purpose in our life. If a guy is interested in you and the only reason that you're considering not going out with him is because you're not physically attracted, you could be missing out on him becoming a part of your life for other reasons. But hey, you won't ever know this if all you're thinking about is attraction without factoring in connection. This brings me to my final question and point.
4. C’mon. What would just one date hurt?
If you check out "My Eureka Moment For Why I'm Not Into 'Nice Guys'", you'll see that I get what it's like for someone to like you, for others to like that person for you, only for you to convince yourself to go against your better judgment and then later regret it. So, please hear me when I say that I am not like the church ladies who say, "Who cares if he repulses you? Chile, you might be missing out on your husband." Look, I am a huge fan of sex, marital coitus more than anything, and you can't enjoy that if you're not attracted to your partner. I would scream that point at the top of my lungs if I could.
At the same time, happily married people tell me all of the time that, while their spouse is not someone who initially caught their eye, by going on a few dates and getting to know them better, they ended up becoming the most beautiful, interesting and sexy person they've ever known. They wouldn't have found this out without going on a first date.
It took a hot minute to get us here, but the title of the article is a question, right? My answer is this—in my opinion, should you consider dating someone you aren't attracted to? If we can change "dating" for "going on a date", the answer is a firm "yes". One date is just that…one date. And who knows? By stepping out and spending quality time with that individual, you just might discover that you're more attracted to them than you thought. That they are someone you could be connected to. All because you went past the surface and looked for something deeper. Good for you, girl. Good. For. You.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
7 Ways To Have An Incredible First Date
Why We Love Men Who Are Absolutely No Good For Us
Unpopular Opinion: Men And Women CAN Really Be "Just Friends"
Feature image by Giphy
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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The 7 Best Tina Turner Quotes About Love, Life, And Legacy
The world has become a little less brighter following the loss of the indomitable force known as Tina Turner.
The legendary singer --who was crowned the Queen of Rock 'N' Roll after captivating many hearts for six decades with her electrifying raspy voice, explosive dance moves, empowering life story, and much more-- died on May 24 at the age of 83 after battling a long illness. Turner's passing was confirmed in a statement released by the star's publicist Bernard Doherty.
In a statement to People magazine, Doherty revealed that Turner had "died peacefully" in her home in Switzerland, which she shared with her husband, music producer Erwin Bach. Doherty also announced that a private funeral service would be held at an undisclosed date for Turner's close family and friends.
"Tina Turner, the 'Queen of Rock'n' Roll,' has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model. There will be a private funeral ceremony attended by close friends and family. Please respect the privacy of her family at this difficult time," the statement read.
Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images
In addition to the public statement, Turner's passing was also confirmed on her social media accounts. Although, at the time, details surrounding Turner's cause of death were limited, it was ultimately revealed that the "River Deep Mountain High" songstress passed away from natural causes. This comes years after Turner underwent a kidney transplant, which her husband donated, and suffering from various health issues. The list included high blood pressure, stroke, and intestinal cancer.
As the news circulated online, many of Turner's close friends and fans paid homage to the icon by expressing how much she meant to them. The list included Angela Bassett --who played Turner in the 1993 film What's Love Got To Do With It-- Beyoncé, Dionne Warwick, Mariah Carey, Ciara, and longtime friend Oprah Winfrey.
In an Instagram post, Winfrey recounted how her friendship with Turner started. The 69-year-old explained that she was a massive fan of the "Proud Mary" vocalist, and upon meeting, the pair's bond would blossom into a decades-long sisterhood.
During that time, Winfrey shared that she was in awe of Turner's resilience from her past childhood traumas and being abandoned by both her parents to how she overcame her violent relationship with ex-husband Ike Turner. The former television host added that Turner's ability to preserve through life's hardships inspired an entire nation.
"I started out as a fan of Tina Turner, then a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country, and then, eventually, we became real friends. 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," Winfrey wrote while honoring her longtime friend.
Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns
"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 Manolo's and a leather miniskirt."
Winfrey wrapped up her words by recalling her conversation with Turner regarding death. The Oprah Winfrey Show host revealed that Turner embraced it because "she had learned how to live surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends."
"She once shared with me that when her time came to leave this earth, she would not be afraid, but excited and curious. Because she had learned how to LIVE surrounded by her beloved husband, Erwin, and friends. I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best," Winfrey stated.
With Turner's untimely death, the "What's Love Got To Do With It" singer leaves behind an immaculate career spanning over 60 years. Alongside her countless hit songs, Turner's past accolades consist of eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Grammy Hall of Fame for three of her songs.
"The Best" songstress' other achievements included Turner earning her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming a double inductee in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame once in 1991 with Ike Turner, and again in 2021 as a solo artist, etc.
Turner is survived by her husband, Erwin Bach, many friends, and fans. Turner had four sons, two of whom she adopted while married to Ike. Her biological sons, Craig and Ronnie, both sadly passed away in recent years. To date, it is unclear if Turner has mended her relationship with her two adopted sons, who belonged to her ex-husband Ike Turner.
Turner’s music has impacted many people thanks to the beautiful storytelling and powerful words. In honor of Turner's legacy, xoNecole is looking back at her most memorable quotes on life, love, aging, and beauty over the years.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Tina On Life
"If you are unhappy with anything…Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self, comes out."
-via 1986 interview with Ebony magazine.
Tina On Love
"He [Erwin] shows me that true love doesn't require the dimming of my light so that he can shine. On the contrary, we are the light of each other's lives, and we want to shine as bright as we can, together."
via Turner's book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good.
Tina On Her Greatest Beauty Secret
"My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. It's a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look has to do with how you feel about yourself and your life."
-via 2016 interview with Woman & Homemagazine.
Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It (Official Music Video)
Tina On Aging
"Fifty is the new 30. Seventy is the new 50. There are no rules that say you have to dress a certain way, or be a certain way. We are living in exciting times for women. Keep up with fashion, keep up with your figure and the clothes you wear. If you look good and you can still do it, then go and do it. I have never worried about age."
-via 2009 interview with the Daily Express.
Tina On Death
"Even when it's time to go and leave to another planet, I'm excited about that because I'm curious to know what it is 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 [time for] pleasure. I've got great friends. I have a great man in my life now. I have a great husband, and I'm happy."
-via 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Tina On The Legacy She's Leaving Behind
"My legacy is that I stayed on course from the beginning to the end because I believed in something inside of me that told me that it can get better…So my legacy is a person that strived for wanting it better and got it."
-via 2013 Oprah interview.
Tina On How She Would Want To Be Remembered
"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."
via April 2023 interview with The Guardian.
Although xoNecole and the world are mourning the loss of the incredible Tina Turner, it is humbling to know that she accomplished so many things, personally and professionally, during her time here and continues to show why she was, in fact, "simply the best," even after death.
We will miss you, Queen. Rest in Power!
Tina Turner - The Best (Official Music Video)
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Feature image by Paul Natkin/Getty Images