Beyoncé made an amendment to the setlist of her “Renaissance Tour” (grab tickets here) in light of last week’s passing of Tina Turner. During the “Opening Act” section of her first show in London Monday night, Queen Bey honored the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll with a cover of “River Deep – Mountain High.”
Released in 1966, “River Deep – Mountain High” came to be one of Turner’s defining songs — and among the best in her expansive discography. Although the track is credited under Ike & Tina Turner, Ike — whose years of abuse cast a harrowingly dark shadow on his wife’s career — doesn’t perform on the original recording at all. Tina’s vocals take the lead, making it the perfect song for Beyoncé to tribute her with.
Beyoncé, who performed with Turner at the 2008 Grammys, shared some emotional words on social media shortly after the news broke of Turner’s death: “My beloved queen. I love you endlessly. I’m so grateful for your inspiration, and all the ways you have paved the way,” she wrote. “You are strength and resilience. You are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will forever remain. Thank you for all you have done.”
Bey also paused her Paris show last week to remember Turner: “If you’re a fan of mine, you’re a fan of Tina Turner,” she said. “I wouldn’t be on this stage without Tina Turner, so I want you guys to just scream, so she can feel your love … I feel so blessed that I was allowed to witness her brilliance.” Watch some clips of Beyoncé singing “River Deep – Mountain High” below.
At her recent Phoenix show, Lizzo also honored Turner with a brief rendition of “Proud Mary”: “As a Black girl in a rock band, I would not exist if it was not for the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the “About Damn Time” singer told the crowd. Oprah — whose love of Turner once spawned a perfect internet meme — recounted Turner’s tumultuous health issues in a new interview with CBS This Morning, saying the musician’s “extraordinary” widower Edwin Bach “literally willed her to live.”
Beyoncé pays homage to the late, great Tina Turner in #London, with a performance of “River Deep, Mountain High.”
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) May 29, 2023
— Amy Charlotte Kean (@keano81) May 30, 2023
| Beyoncé covering “RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH” by Tina Turner 🤍
— Beyoncé Press. | Fan Account (@beyoncepress) May 29, 2023