Most of the married couples I work with, after a while, they become almost like family. It's mostly because, on average, I'm rockin' with them at least a couple of years. Most stints are two-hour sessions, twice a month. Yeah, being a marriage life coach has taught me a ton (it's honestly a part of the reason why I'm still single because it's revealed some truths about relationships that I don't think I would've discovered any other way). One of the main lessons is that a couple's sex life—or lack thereof—can reveal volumes about how happy and healthy two people truly are when it comes to their relationship.
Take this one couple that I worked with for almost four years. During their "exit interview", I asked them how content they were in various areas of their marriage. When I got to the topic of sex, the wife said, "I know I'm tired of using my own spit to get myself wet." Umm…come again? No really…come. Again. That one statement alone resulted in us resuming our sessions for six more months. It also taught me that, when it comes to sexual fulfillment, getting on the same page as your partner is not just about certain positions or various techniques. Good sex is about clear and consistent communication; a part of what comes with that is asking the right questions along with listening—and I mean, really listening—to the answers your partner provides.
A screenwriter by the name of J. Michael Straczynski once said, "Your assumption and the truth, dine at totally different tables." So true. If you want to know if your partner is good, in the sense of being satisfied, in the coitus department, never just assume that they are. Ask. Ask what? These 9 questions will reveal a lot, for starters.
9 Sex Questions To Ask Your Partner
1. "How Do You Feel Our Sex Life Has Been Lately?"
To me, I think one of the most important questions to ask your partner is how they feel sex has been lately between the two of you. Have things been going great? Is it just the same ole' same ole'? Or worse, have they not really given it too much thought at all? Why do I say "worse" as it relates to that last question? Simple. Since we reportedly have somewhere around 50,000 thoughts a day, if your partner can't remember the last time one of those thoughts was even remotely related to y'all's intimacy—at best, they are indifferent and at worst, they are disconnected. Neither are attitudes that make for a fulfilling sex life.
That's why this lil' questionnaire is starting off with this type of inquiry.
The truth is, some people find themselves in a rut or ho-hum routine because, when it comes to sex, they haven't really processed if they are actually pleased or not.
Hmph. No time like the present for you and yours to find that out.
2. "Are Your Sexual Needs Consistently Being Met?"
Whenever I listen to married couples express their sexual frustrations, a pattern that I tend to notice is they oftentimes have a hard time discerning the difference between what they want to happen vs. what they need to happen in the bedroom. Take one husband in particular. He wants to have sex twice a day, every day. But he doesn't need that; he needs to not go a week without getting some. On the flip side, his wife wants more sexual spontaneity but what she needs is more foreplay ('cause, especially when it comes to women and how our bodies are made, sex isn't much fun without foreplay; just from the lubrication that it provides alone).
A need, by definition, is something that is necessary. When something is necessary, it is essential and when something is essential, it is the very essence of a thing. In a perfect world, whenever we have sex, both our wants and needs would be met. But this world ain't perfect and neither are our sex partners. Still, if you want to have a healthy sex life, it is important that the two of you are super intentional about knowing what one another's needs are and then doing all that you can to meet them; not some of the time. Consistently so.
3. "What’s Your Favorite Sex-Related Memory of Us?"
I recently read an article on The New York Times site entitled, "Take a Walk Down Memory Lane. It Can Be Healthy." One of the points that it made is nostalgia is considered to be a phenomenon that creates "a high-order emotional experience more on par with love than, say, fear". That said, I'm sure you can see why, off the rip, I recommend asking your partner what their favorite sex-related memory of the two of you are. Not only can it mentally seduce them to say it and you to hear it, the literal recollection can spark an emotional high that makes you feel more loving and passionate towards your partner too.
As a bonus, if you've been feeling like sex is cool but also really predictable, the memory can take you both back to a time when you were hanging off of the chandeliers. It can serve as a great reminder to you both that you've got the ability to pull that out of one another—even now.
4. "What's a Fantasy You've Never Shared Before?"
In the article, "What Exactly Does It Mean To Be Sexually Compatible?" that's featured on this site, one of the things that I touch on is how important it is to be open to exploring you and your partner's sexual fantasies. For one thing, it helps to keep the bedroom action fresh and new. Another benefit is it can tap into you two's imaginative side that may not always come out during usual sexual activity.
Sometimes, women especially, will tell me that they are not comfortable with sharing their fantasies with their partner. The main reason is because, based on how "buck wild" it is, they feel like their partner may see them in a different light. First of all, that's can be a good thing because everything about us, including our sexual nature, has layers. And second, to this day, I don't think I've heard one man tell me that their lady's desires totally turned them off. Besides, no one is saying that you have to act on everything that comes to your mind.
The main point in sharing fantasies is they can help you to see other sides of one another; they can help you to explore—mentally and possibly physically—where you want to go in order to take things to a new level and dimension. You should never feel self-conscious about that.
5. "What Can We Do to Make Foreplay Better?"
You know what's interesting? Whenever wives talk about foreplay with me, if they have a gripe, the issue isn't that they aren't getting enough of it; the real issue is that the foreplay has become predictable…mechanical even. As a result, they end up becoming bored to tears. It's no secret that men, on average, are able to climax in around five minutes while women, on average, need between 20-25 (this includes foreplay). But sometimes, the mistake that men make is, once they know what "buttons to push", they just keep doing the same things over and over…and over and over…and over again instead of thinking outside of the box.
A good lover, whether it is a man or a woman, knows that the prelude to intercourse is just as relevant and wonderful as intercourse itself. Whether it's discovering new erogenous zones; extending the kissing time; doing a lil' sexting; shooting him an online gift card to a lingerie shop so that he can pick out something he would like to see you in; giving one another a sensual massage; waking up early in the morning for a little oral and then "finishing things off" once you get back home—be open to saying and listening to what would make foreplay that much hotter for you both.
Back when I was gettin' it in, it was my personal experience that if the foreplay was off-the-charts, it was almost a definite that the sex was gonna be good. But when the foreplay sucked? Sometimes I would rather have a V-8 than complete the act (and I hate tomato juice).
6. "What Can We Do to Make Sex Even Better?"
In Science Alert's article "More Adults Than You Think Are Avoiding Having Sex. Here's Why", it shares some interesting points. Points like 40 percent of women avoid having sex altogether at some point in their lives, the main reasons why some relationships become sexless is due to health-related issues and, a lack of sleep plays its part in a lack of sex too. So yeah, when it comes to this particular question, if your partner seems to have a lot of excuses for why they don't want to have sex lately, it's a good idea to ask why. If neither of you have had a physical in a while, there's no time like the present to make an appointment with your physician. If you're averaging less than six hours of sleep a night, you are working against your libido; you might wanna change that.
Simple adjustments like these can automatically improve your sex life. So can asking your partner if there is something that you can do in the oral, technique or sexual positions department. Believe me when I say that some people consider their sex life to be pretty uneventful; still, they don't do much to change it because they feel like any sex is better than nothing. Eh. I believe that you should think more of your partner and your sex life overall by not settling for less than awesome copulation. You can start getting there by asking you partner what they feel will make the literal act of sex better for them—which ultimately means better for you.
7. "Is There Something You Would Like Me to Change or Switch Up?"
One husband I know, he has said in sessions that, while he loves the sex that he has with his wife, what he hates is that her vagina doesn't have any hair on it; because of that—and this is a quote—"I feel like I'm having sex with a teenager or something." A single woman recently told me that she is in an exclusive sexual relationship with someone. When I asked her if there was anything that she wished he would do differently, she said that she hated that his initial go-to position was always doggy style. A male friend of mine said he wished that his steady partner would get out of the bedroom more often, while a wife recently told me that she wanted her husband to perform cunnilingus—not more but better.
We all know the saying—closed mouths don't get fed. More times than not, they don't get off either. While a great sex partner does make it a point to be in tune with the person they are having sex with, at the same time, it isn't fair to expect them to be mind-readers either.
The only way to know if your partner would like some adjustments to be made is to ask them. And then check your ego at the door, so that you can receive their response.
8. "What Can I Do Outside of the Bedroom to Make Sex More Satisfying for You?"
There are plenty of articles out in cyberspace that says the biggest sex organ is our brain (you can check out a few of them here, here and here). You know what this means—in order to feel truly connected during sex, you need to be willing to do some things for your partner that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Maybe it's going on dates more. Maybe it's speaking your partner's love language more fluently. Perhaps it's helping out more around the house, setting healthy boundaries with family members and/or friends, or being intentional about listening to your partner more.
Some people have less-than-stellar sex lives, not because the act of sex isn't good; it's actually because their partner doesn't feel nurtured and supported enough in all of the other room of the house. When that happens, sex feels more like going through the motions than anything else. And who wants to say that their sex life is not much more than that?
9. "Is Sex Intimate, Sexual or Both for You Right Now?"
An author by the name of John O'Donohue once said, "Real intimacy is a sacred experience. It never exposes its secret trust and belonging to the voyeuristic eye of a neon culture. Real intimacy is of the soul, and the soul is reserved." Another author by the name of M. J. Abraham once stated, "A physical attraction is often desired above many things, but you'll discover it to be short-lived. Find yourself someone that gets under your skin, seduces the dusty corners of your heart, and provides you with a mental connection. That is when you'll know true intimacy." Former porn star (and author) Jenna Jameson once said, "The best sex takes place in the mind first." What all of these statements reveal is we should never assume that just because the physical act of sex is transpiring that real intimacy is taking place as well.
In the article, "The Signs Of A Truly Intimate Relationship", things like mutual honesty, warmth, affection and spirituality are used to express what authentic intimacy is. You know, one of my favorite documentaries of all time is51 Birch Street. As a son was discovering all of the unknown dysfunction and unhappiness of his parent's marriage, he decided to ask his own wife if she was happy in hers. He was shocked to hear that she wasn't. Moral to the story—just because two people aren't abusing one another, just because a couple doesn't have any real drama, that doesn't mean that they are being intimate with one another—even if they are having sex on a regular (or semi-regular) basis.
Most married people will say that there are times when sex is more sexual (physical) than intimate (mental, emotional and spiritual). In the grand scheme of things, there's nothing wrong with that. When you should be concerned is if your partner feels like sex is merely a physical act most of the time. If that is the case, it's time to reconnect on an intimate level. But you'll never know if that's what's going on—watch how this article comes full circle—unless you ask them. Do your relationship and your sex life a big favor—ask them. Tonight, if you can.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
I Only Have One Rule In The Bedroom: I Come First.
10 Things You Didn't Know About The Male And Female Orgasm
These Are The Deal-Breakers You Shouldn't Hesitate To Have In The Bedroom
What You Should Do If You Find Yourself In A Sexless Marriage
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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 (email@example.com) 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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