At the age of 83, Tina Turner passed away on Tuesday in her home in Switzerland. Turner’s demise was a “personal loss,” according to music composer Vishal Dadlani.
In preparation for her role as “Shakti” in an Ismail Merchant-directed movie, Tina Turner, whose songs like “What’s Love Got to Do With It” had Indians of all ages dancing, made exploratory trips to Varanasi and Kerala. However, the early 2000s announcement of the movie never materialised. The Buddhist practising rock ‘n’ roll icon who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 83 at her home in Switzerland talked movingly of the project “The Goddess” and its “cosmic energy.”
“The cosmic energy of Shakti attracted me to this film and the film to me. It signifies a new energy, new abilities and new beginnings. I fed the desire in me which wanted me to feel the energy of thousands of people in a stadium. Now I want to go to another message,” Turner stated in an interview with the Eastern Eye in 2004.
Turner, who was 64 at the time, claimed that her trust in “prayer” and the curative effects of religion led her to accept the role.
“The epitome of my career was when I could fill a stadium of 190,000 people, but now I am ready to move into another kind of performance. I want to reinvent myself. Everyone expects Tina Turner to come back with a new album, but I will give them this movie,” She stated this to the UK-based magazine.
The movie, titled “The Goddess,” was to be produced by Merchant-Ivory Productions, which bears the names of the director and his business partner James Ivory. Right-wing groups in India objected to Turner portraying the Indian deity, which prompted protests.
The tragic death of Ismail Merchant in May 2005 following surgery prevented the movie from taking off.
Merchant remembered the moment Turner first entered his head for the character in an interview with Eastern Eye.
“… I saw Tina Turner at radio City Music Hall performing in front of thousands of people. She arrived magnificently on a crane and landed in the audience. People went berserk when she did this… I thought, if there was something this woman can do then it is to become the goddess Shakti,” Merchant had stated.
He took ten years to complete the script. Then and only then did he approach the musical legend. Despite criticism, Merchant was adamant about making the movie and defended his position in a statement he called “The Goddess”.
In a statement that is still accessible on the production house’s website, he claimed that the demonstrations were “based on misconception.”
Turner, who he referred to as “one of the great artists of our time,” committed herself “whole-heartedly” to the endeavour.
According to the director, “The Goddess” was not intended to be a precise portrayal of any one particular deity, including Kali, Laxmi, or Durga.
“She is Shakti, the feminine spirit that permeates all women on the globe and is represented by Mother Mary, Wicca, Kali, Durga, and Mother Theresa. The goal of the movie is to celebrate this energy, not to diminish it. According to sources, Turner reportedly planned to perform for the film in languages including English, Sanskrit, and Latin. Turner has credited Buddhism with helping her leave an abusive marriage to her previous spouse Ike Turner.
Although Turner’s relationship with India through a movie was impossible, the news of her passing caused many of her followers to reflect on the power of her music. Her admirers couldn’t get enough of her, and she had songs like “Proud Mary,” “Nutbush City Limits,” and “River Deep, Mountain High.”
The classic song “The Best” by Tina Turner was referenced in a tweet by actor Urmila Matondkar, who also included an old photo of herself standing with a billboard of the singer.
“You’re the greatest, hands down. superior than all others! Farewell, Tina Turner. May you continue to inspire countless numbers of people with your music, remarkable path from abuse to music superstardom, and unending zest for life! The actor added, “Rest in Power #Tina #TinaTurner. Pooja Bhatt, an actor, also paid tribute to the music legend through Twitter, mentioning how she overcome her own challenges and converted them into song.
In regards to the 2018 musical “Tina,” Turner stated, “This musical is not about my stardom.” “It concerns my travels to get there. Every night, I want viewers to leave the theatre with the knowledge that medicine may be made from poison. “Reign on, queen #TinaTurner,” Bhatt said.
Turner’s demise was a “personal loss,” according to music composer Vishal Dadlani.
A news story on Turner’s passing was posted on Instagram Stories by composer Salim Merchant to the tune of “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” Tina Turner, rest in power. Future generations will be inspired by your music and spirit forever #TinaTurner #RestInPower #MusicLegend,” Merchant said in the post.