If you spend even 15 minutes a day online, you're likely to run across at least two dozen relationship articles. So, what makes this one any different? It's actually a particular word that's in the title. Did you peep how I didn't use words like "good", "healthy" or "long-lasting"? Yeah, what separates this piece from many of the others is the operative word—intimate.
When you think of intimacy, what immediately comes to your mind? Closeness? Sex? While those kinds of things can—and should—certainly come out of an intimate relationship, there are some core characteristics that need to be put into place—first.
Whether you've been seeing someone for a few weeks now and you're hoping it will turn into something more or you've been making this love thing work for a while now but you need a "gut check", just to make sure that you and yours are still on the right track, here are eight things that, based on the definitions of intimate, you need to have in your relationship in order for it to be truly and authentically intimate.
The Signs Of A Truly Intimate Relationship
To me, the foundation of every great relationship is friendship. At the same time, the reason why I think that not nearly enough people make this a priority is because either they don't value friendship as much as they should or they've never been in a relationship where friendship was the cornerstone of it. I have. I also know married couples who are the very best of friends and when I tell you that it makes loving someone—and staying with them—so much easier to do? Words fully cannot express.
It's really kind of sad that "friendship" isn't synonymous with "intimacy" for a lot of us because to be in a friendship is one of the very definitions of what it means to be intimate with someone. When you're with someone who loves, respects, supports and celebrates you; when you're with someone who makes you and your needs a priority and therefore, also makes themselves available to you, even when it's not always the most convenient to do so, and when you know you're with someone you can trust with your heart, your secrets, your resources and pretty much your life, in general? ((Exhale)) Does it really get any more intimate than that? I seriously doubt it.
Sooner than later, I'll be sharing an article about what it means to have a man in your life who is good for you rather than merely good to you. I got the concept from a male friend of mine who once told me something about a guy that I was crushin' on at the time. What he said was spot-on and the ultimate reality check; that doesn't mean that a sistah wanted to hear it, though. Anyway, after my friend ran down all of the reasons why he thought the guy wasn't as into me as I wanted to believe that he was, when I jumped about 65 percent on the defensive, my friend said, "If all you eat is cake, you're gonna get sick. Take this medicine, girl. Learn to embrace what's good for you even if it doesn't seem good to you at the time." Ouch.
Medicine can taste nasty, but its objective is to make you better. That's how I look at raw honesty and its purpose. The reason why I use the word "raw" instead of "brutal" is because I really like the Scripture in the Good Book that talks about speaking truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
When someone loves you and you love them, the truth doesn't have to be weaponized. You can be direct and forthcoming without breaking their spirit in the process.
That being said, truly intimate people don't want to see the ones they love make poor decisions or to continue doing things that are emotionally, financially, relationally, spiritually or personally counterproductive. If that requires lovingly calling them out on their ish sometimes, so be it. The connection is solid enough to where the person on the receiving end can receive it—also in love.
I personally think that one of the most underrated definitions of intimacy is warmth. Not to go all church on you today, but I must admit that when I think of the word "warm", the first thing that comes to my mind is this—"Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?" (Ecclesiastes 4:11—NKJV) Warmth is support. Warmth is kindness. Warmth is being generous and giving. Warmth is—and this is a good one—empathy.
To me, warmth is about having a hard day at work, coming home and immediately feeling safe because you know that if there is one place in the world that can serve as a place of refuge, it's within the presence of your partner. No matter how cold the world may be, when you're with them, there's comfort—and warmth.
Whenever I hear about a celebrity getting divorced for what seems like the billionth time, one of the first things that crosses my mind is not if they had a prenup in place, but if they had some sort of NDA (nondisclosure agreement) signed. I don't know about you, but a part of what would motivate me to stay with my future spouse until death parts us is the fact that they know basically all of my business; I don't want to have five different husbands having access to such personal information.
Yep. Another clear indication of intimacy is to know and to be known—not just physically but mentally and emotionally too. It's about being able to share any and everything, knowing that it won't be used against you and that it won't get out in the streets, whether it's to a work associate, a close friend or even (eh hem) somebody's mama.
There are people I am no longer friends with who, when we were close, they shared some things with me that I would still never reveal. Why? Because it was confidential information. The status of the relationship hasn't changed that fact.
There can be no true intimacy without some level of confidentiality being involved. Don't @ me on this.
"Affection" is such a sweet word. It speaks to being loving, devoted, sentimental and attached. When someone is being affectionate with someone else, they are being caring and endearing. They go out of their way to show kindness and concern. They are devoted in a way that is lasting and loyal.
That's why it kind of gets on my nerves when people try and equate sex—at least casual sex—with affection. Well, let me back up a bit. While once reading an article on whether men think that oral sex is more intimate than intercourse, a commenter by the name of Jeremy Glenesk replied by saying this: "This is really a subjective question. For me, personally, I would say yes. I find something very intimate about using my face to pleasure my partner. My penis is just an appendage (and not a terribly attractive one), but my face is me. It's the part of myself that I associate with my self. As such, using the part of me that I most associate with myself as a person to pleasure my partner makes the experience much more intimate for me. I'm not just experiencing a pleasant touch (as would be the case through my penis), but also scent and taste as well, that I wouldn't experience otherwise." (Take heed, ladies. A LOT of men think of intercourse in the way that he expressed it.)
This is how I see the act of sex (minus the emotional connection) vs. affection. Someone can have sex with someone else, just to get off. But it's very hard to be affectionate towards another individual and be selfish at the same time. Affection is about being gentle and, to a certain degree, even vulnerable. It's about sharing the sentimental side of your being. A relationship that is affectionate is a relationship that is truly invaluable (and I doubt is lacking in the sex department either!).
This is another word that gets slept on way too much when it comes to associating it with intimacy. I think it's because a lot of us think of nurture as it relates to parenting; you know, "to bring up; train; educate" and NO ONE wants to be trained by their romantic partner.
But there are other definitions of nurture that I think definitely do apply to intimate relationships. Nurture also means to feed and protect which makes me think of an episode of A Different World when Dwayne told Whitley that "good love is like good grub". He followed that up by saying to her, "You need someone who's gonna feed you, Whitley."
Nurture also means to encourage and develop. The reason why I think this is paramount is because I am not of the belief that the purpose of long-term relationships is for two people to change one another. At the same time, what I do think, is when the relationship is healthy and purpose-filled, two individuals can't help but to improve one another. The core of them remains the same, but they continue to become "2.0 versions" of themselves. To me, mutual nurturing facilitates this. It's one of the greatest rewards that comes as the result of being intimate with another human being.
In a nutshell, our spirituality is our spiritual character. People who are spiritual have profound respect for a higher power in their life. People who are spiritual have respect for all living beings. People who are spiritual esteem qualities like humility, honesty and generosity. People who are spiritual tend to value wisdom and knowledge more than fortune and fame. People who are spiritual know that it's more blessed to give than to receive.
People who are spiritual understand that love requires words and actions. No wonder spirituality is something that is a signature trait of a truly intimate relationship.
I once read an article that said when you're in an authentically spiritual relationship with someone else, evidence of that is the fact that you both practice compassion in favor of judgment and forgiveness instead of grudges. Plus, you desire, more than anything else, to be fully present, with your partner, in the relationship—mind, body and soul.
I don't know about you, but I would think that the only way to fully enjoy true and lasting intimacy, on any level, with someone is by first making sure that you are spiritually in sync…first.
Most folks, when they think of the word "faithful", what comes to mind is someone who won't cheat, whether it's physically or emotionally. But it's a word that is a lot bigger than fidelity. When someone is faithful, they keep their word (across the board). They are loyal and reliable. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Faithful people are also super thorough. If they tell you, "I am in this and I'm committed", they are gonna make sure you feel it and know it every single day that you are with them.
I don't know about you, but probably the sexiest trait of intimacy is faithfulness. Any man who is devoted, loving, sincere, consistent, trustworthy and genuine is the kind of man that doesn't have to worry about getting his fill of intimacy, in every room of the house. That's for daggum sure. Faithfulness is the epitome of intimacy. Full stop.
Featured image by Getty Images
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
I Took A Sexercise Class With My Husband
4 Easy Ways To Build Intimacy In A Relationship Without Sex
10 Sex Resolutions Every Married Couple Should Make
Unpopular Opinion: Men And Women CAN Really Be 'Just Friends'
- Signs You Respect Your Spouse - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Signs You Respect Your Spouse - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 6. Intimacy Is Also Being Cultivated Outside of the Bedroom - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Tranquility - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Identify 5 Signs of Emotional Intimacy and Why You Must Build It for ... ›
- 10 Signs You and Your Partner Are a Great Match | Women's Health ›
- Is Your Relationship Truly Intimate? 7 Ways To Tell ›
- Intimate relationship between instability and degenerative signs at ... ›
- 5 Signs You're In A Spiritually Intimate Relationship ›
- 8 Signs Your Relationship Lacks Emotional Intimacy ›
- 5 Stages Of Intimacy In A Relationship & How To Tell Which Stage ... ›
- Signs You're in a Healthy Intimate Relationship (and What to Do if Not) ›
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.”
Director of Content: Jasmine Grant
Campaign Manager: Chantal Gainous
Managing Editor: Sheriden Garrett
Creative Director/Executive Producer: Tracey Woods
Cover Designer: Tierra Taylor
Photographer: Ally Green
Photo Assistant: Avery Mulally
Digital Tech: Kim Tran
Video by Third and Sunset
DP & Editor: Sam Akinyele
2nd Camera: Skylar Smith
Camera Assistant: Charles Belcher
Stylist: Casey Billingsley
Hairstylist: DaVonte Blanton
Makeup Artist: Drini Marie
Production Assistants: Gade De Santana, Apu Gomes
Powered by: European Wax Center
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)
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Paul Natkin/Getty Images