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Simply The Best

Reflecting on the Buddhist life journey of Tina Turner.

Tina Turner performs onstage at the United Center in Chicago, Oct. 1, 2000. Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend Tina Turner and grateful for the time we had with her. While we all knew her as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” many of us in the Soka Gakkai Buddhist community also knew her as a longtime Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhist practitioner, and viewed her remarkable life as a very public example of “human revolution,” which, according to Buddhist teachings, each of us has the potential to undergo through our daily practice.

Ms. Turner spoke openly over the years about how encountering Nichiren Buddhism in 1973 in Los Angeles transformed her life and career. In “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” the biographical film details her being introduced to Nichiren Buddhism and the Soka Gakkai Buddhist community after leaving an abusive marriage and, thus, ending her successful music career as part of the duo, the Ike & Tina Turner Review.

The strength Ms. Turner gained from her Buddhist practice enabled her to build a solo music career that led to superstardom, culminating in 2009 with her “Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour,” the 15th highest-grossing tour of the 2000s. Her life also became the subject of the hit 2018 musical Tina.

In June 1993, when her biographical film debuted to critical and commercial success, it helped introduce millions to the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

In December 2020, Ms. Turner published the book Happiness Becomes You to specifically discuss her journey of finding inner strength and joy through her practice of Nichiren Buddhism.

In an interview with the World Tribune, she said that a number of experiences that could have destroyed her instead became steppingstones in her journey, thanks to her Buddhist practice.

“[A]fter having lived through years of abuse, I realized I had an inner strength that I could tap into,” she said. “If I could amplify it, I could make my dreams come true. Learning Buddhist principles gave me the tools to do exactly that, to increase my inner strength and clarity. That’s how I developed myself on the deepest levels and was finally able to see my life clearly. That is what allowed me to find a way around every obstacle.” (Nov. 13, 2020, World Tribune, pp. 6–7).

Read More:

Tina Turner on ‘Happiness Becomes You’

The Queen of Hope: Tina Turner

Advancing With Our Inspiring Fellow Members

Forging Ahead With the Spirit of the Oneness of Mentor and Disciple