Not too long ago, while having a conversation with someone who has recently become engaged, she said something that inspired me to tackle this topic on a grander scale. As she was expressing all of the reasons why she loves her fiancé and is ready to share her life with him, towards the end, she said, “I just wish sex wasn’t so much of a big deal to him.”
*Car screeching* (you know, screeching in my mind). Then I heard myself say, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, he wants to have sex a couple of times a week and I’m like, ‘Why is sex all that you think about?’”
When I broke down to her that coitus with your long-term partner, a couple of times a week, is actually pretty normal, she kind of shrugged and said, “I guess. Sex just hasn’t really ever been my thing.” Ah. So now we’re getting somewhere. It’s not that her man is being over-the-top; it’s that sex isn’t something that is a real priority — to her.
While we — “we” as a whole — really need to stop deflecting from our own issues by acting like something is wrong with someone else when they happen to approach life differently than we do, that’s kind of another message for another time. Today, let’s get into what you should do if you read what sis said and you can totally relate. Because while “taking or leaving sex” doesn’t necessarily mean that something is “wrong” with you, if you plan on trying to make a relationship work or last, you should at least get to the root of why that happens to be the case.
Hopefully, the following five questions can help you to do just that.
1.Have You Ever Really Been “into Sex”?
There’s a guy that I know who is currently engaged to be married. I’ve known him for many years now and because my marriage life coaching mind rarely shuts off, he’s been on my “symbolic couch” many times when it comes to deep topics — sometimes, whether he truly wants to be or not. Anyway, something that he’s always told me about sex is it’s not something that’s really a big deal to him. When he does it, for the most part, he enjoys it; at the same time, though, he can think of dozens of other things that he’d rather be doing, shoot, most of the time.
When that came back up on the heels of him telling me that his wedding date had been set, I simply said, “I hope she knows all of this because sex in a marriage isn’t just a ‘fun activity’; it’s a ‘relational responsibility’ too” (umm, even the Bible says so — I Corinthians 7:5). Like the woman that I just mentioned, he also simply shrugged, said that she seemed to be fine with his attitude about it (even though he also admitted that her drive and desire are way higher than his) and then he changed the subject. Yeah, good luck with all-a-dat.
Listen, I’ve written articles on this platform about people who like to have sex but hate to kiss (check out “Umm, What's Up With These People Who Hate Kissing?”) along with people who enjoy intercourse but close-to-loathe oral sex (check out “Sooo...What If You HATE Oral?”). The conclusion that I’ve come to is, just because a lot of us really enjoy sex (some of us to the point of not being able to get enough of it), there are also a fairly large group of folks who don’t see it as being a huge priority in their life.
It’s not due to drama or trauma either — it’s just not what tops their list of favorite things. If that’s you and it’s always been that way, again, I get it. Just make sure that it’s really “just because” because the guy that I just mentioned has some sexual abuse in his history and the woman from the intro has been faking orgasms for years. Both of them should speak with a professional, just to make sure there aren’t some unattended wounds or issues that need to be addressed.
And you know what? If what I just said about them triggered you somehow…so should you.
2.Is It a Sex Issue or an Intimacy Issue? (Or Both?)
Another thing that is definitely worth exploring is if you have a ho-hum attitude about sex itself or if there is something about intimacy that you are kinda-sorta lukewarm about. The reason why it’s important to separate the two is because while, in an ideal world, the physical act of sex and the emotions that come with intimacy would go hand in hand in a relationship, sometimes they simply…don’t.
What I mean by that is, some people don’t enjoy the closeness of sex because there are certain things about sex that they’re not super fond of. It could be the wetness of it (sweat, bodily fluids on the sheets, etc.). It could be that penetration has never been all that appealing to or stimulating for them. It could be that, ever since they began having sex, it was more about doing it for someone else or doing it to maintain the expectations of a relationship, so they’ve never figured out what pleases them when it comes to the act. It could also be that they’ve never had an orgasm before, so they don’t really get what all of the hype is about (I’m sure you see where I’m going with this).
On the (emotional) intimacy side, it could be that they don’t like how “naked” sex makes them feel when it comes to having very little to hide because, if there’s anything that encourages people to shed it all — both externally as well as internally — in order to reveal who they truly are…sex would be it. That’s why, when I first heard Iyanla Vanzant say that intimacy is into-me-see, it resonated because when the clothes are off, the make-up is off — there’s just you.
This actually reminds me of something that recently transpired in a sensuality class that I was in. The instructor was encouraging us all to make noise while breathing (like when you yawn or stretch) and it was funny to see how some folks were stressing all the way out because of it. One of the students said that she felt self-conscious sharing that part of herself in front of other people.
Listen, I’m not sure how anyone has sex without some heavy breathing going on. Yet, since there is life inside of every breath (literally), ironically, there is an exchange of intimacy that transpires within those moments. If you’re not used to 1) letting your walls down and/or 2) revealing all of who you really and truly are, and/or 3) not just letting someone enter into your body but into your mind and feelings too — that could be why you try to avoid sex at every turn.
Hey, just something to think about.
3.What Are YOUR Expectations of Sex in a Dating Dynamic? How Realistic Are They?Giphy
There is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed and it quite possibly has something along the lines of a church choir robe on — if you’re running cold when it comes to sex due to your religious beliefs and convictions, that’s an entirely different matter. There’s no way around the fact that the Bible defines fornication as sex between people who aren’t married and that it frowns upon that activity (Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, I Corinthians 6:9-10). So, if that’s why you’re avoiding sex in your relationship, understood.
HOWEVER, what I will say is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and build a relationship with someone who doesn’t have a similar perspective and value system as you do. It’s also pretty manipulative to weaponize intimacy in the sense of using sex as a “bait carrot” to get someone to hurry up and commit to you. Bottom line, in this case, is, if you would rather do without physical intimacy due to your religious/spiritual stance, find someone who feels the same way. It’s easier on everyone involved if/when you do.
With that exception being out of the way, when it comes to “odd expectations” in this area, not too long ago, I watched a video that featured a young woman who said that while she engages in casual sex, when she’s actually interested in someone, she implements the 90-day rule because he needs to “earn” it.
Umm, maybe it’s just me but that sounds like there’s some real internal confusion and conflicted resolves going on — so, the guys you don’t really care about can get it randomly while the one you do has to work and wait? What an interesting world that we live in these days (it also sounds like she’s using sex in order to get something out of the person she’s interested in which is another low-key form of manipulation). If one person should have to earn it, everyone should. Shouldn’t they?
Anyway and again, religious beliefs (or even being atheistic or agnostic and still wanting to wait until a relationship has a full commitment attached to it) aside, a HUGE part of what takes a relationship from being “just friends” to being so much more than that is sexual intimacy; especially if you’re someone who expects sexual exclusivity with your partner. So, how much sense does it make to go into a relationship expecting your partner to have sex with no one else but you, and yet you barely want to have sex?
I can’t tell you how many wives I know who abuse sex in this way — they don’t want their man to cheat and yet they think that putting them through a sexless marriage (which is sex that is 10-15 times a year tops) shouldn’t be a problem. ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?
When you get a chance, go on over to Google and put “constructive abandonment” into the search field. It’s basically when a spouse can sue their partner for not fulfilling the obligations of marriage which include sex. Yep, that’s how serious sex can be. And that’s why, before even getting into a romantic relationship with someone, you should think long and hard about what your sexual expectations are in a relationship and what you would prefer your partner’s sexual expectations to be.
By the way, this isn’t something that you wait on until you’ve been dating for five months before talking about it either. Whether you’ve had sex already or not, when you both are ready to officially take things to the next level (check out “The 'Pre-Commitment Interview' Every Dating Couple Should Have”), sexual expectations need to be on the table — not what you think your partner wants or would like to hear…what is the absolute truth about where you stand…and why.
4.Are You Open to Evolving Your Views on Sex?Giphy
I’m gonna be honest with you — I’m not old but I have been around for a hot minute and with the line of work that I’m in (relationships), I’ve seen quite a bit. And when it comes to how men view sex — if they do have a religious conviction and are practicing abstinence, they don’t want to date for long and if they don’t, most are not interested in being in a relationship where sex isn’t, not just involved, but a constant in their dating dynamic (especially if they sign up to be exclusive with someone else).
So, if you’ve had a pretty nonchalant view of sex, the next thing to ponder is if you’re willing to evolve in that area. Because listen here, if there’s one thing that most men are not going to waver on, it’s their sexual appetite and needs — and at the end of the day, it’s not fair for you to expect them to just because you may be more “meh” about sex than they are.
It kind of reminds me of one of my favorite relationship quotes which says, “Relationships fail because people take their own insecurities and try and twist them into their partner’s flaws.” While having a lower libido, not being all that gung-ho about having sex, and/or being someone who likes it whenever you have it, but you’re cool going a while without it aren’t exactly “insecurities,” it’s not problematic when others have a high drive, have sex on their top five list of favorite things to do and want to have it often either.
That’s why it can really do you some good to do some sex journaling (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”) so that you can figure out why you feel the way that you do about sex, what’s open for compromise or negotiation and what would you be willing to evolve in under the right circumstances (along with what exactly those circumstances would be). Because even if you can “take or leave sex,” chances are, there are certain things that will cause you to change your perspective…even if it's just a lil’ bit.
5.Have You Shared All of This with Your Partner? If Not, Why Not?Giphy
A husband of over a couple of decades at this point told me that when he was dating his wife, she was initiating sex all of the time. After about two years of marriage, all of a sudden, she was trying to gaslight him into thinking that he had a sex addiction (?!) simply because he wanted to engage in copulation a couple of times a week.
UGH. She sounds ridiculous.
Another husband told me that while in premarital counseling, he expressed his desire for fellatio as his wife (fiancée at the time) said that she thoroughly enjoyed giving it. In eight years, he got it four times.
UGH. SHE LIED.
Moral of the story? You are doing no one any favors by being covert about your genuine feelings when it comes to sex — no matter what they are. And if a part of you is like, “But what if he’s perfect for me but we’re just not on the same page about sex?” Then I hate to break it to you but…he’s not as ideal of a fit as you think. Among the reasons for divorce, a lack of intimacy or incompatible intimacy continues to top the list; this means that you can’t expect to be in a romantic relationship and think that someone will be fine with no sex, “meh” sex or inconsistent sex; the sooner that gets discussed, the better.
So yes — I’ll close this out by saying, it is an absolute must that if you saw yourself in this piece that you speak with your partner. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you; however, it is wrong to hide your views and perspectives in order to accomplish some sort of relational goal.
And what if “taking or leaving sex” is something that you feel but you’re not sure why? Setting up an appointment with your doctor to get your hormone levels checked and/or seeing a reputable life coach/counselor/therapist to see if there is something mental or emotional going on couldn’t hurt.
Bottom line is — and it really can’t be said enough — not everyone sees fireworks when it comes to sex or wants to have it every other day and that’s okay. All I’m saying is if you’re in a relationship, you shouldn’t assume that others do or should feel like you do nor should you try and make them feel bad or dismiss their own sexual needs simply because they don’t.
A part of what comes with being in a healthy relational dynamic is compatibility. Including sex. Whatever attitude you and your partner may have about it…make sure you’re both in sync (especially prior to jumping the broom). It’s only fair…and right.
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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