Angela Bassett Reveals Tina Turner's Final Words to Her in Touching Tribute

The actress starred as the singer in the 1993 film 'What's Love Got to Do With It.'

Angela Bassett is remembering Tina Turner. In the wake of the iconic singer's death on Wednesday, the 64-year-old actress, who earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Turner in the 1993 film What's Love Got to Do With It, spoke out in a statement to ET.

"How do we say farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world?" Bassett's statement began. "Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like."

Bassett continued by referencing a piece of her final communication with Turner, which came when the icon penned a tribute for her after she was named to TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2023 list.

"Her final words to me -- for me -- were 'You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world,'" Bassett recalled. "I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days."

Bassett went on to note, "I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world."

"So on today, while we mourn the loss of this iconic voice and presence, she gave us more than we could have ever asked. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that that will always be 'simply the best,'" Bassett said in reference to Turner's 1989 hit, "The Best."

"Angels," Bassett concluded, "sing thee to thy rest…Queen."

Turner's TIME tribute to Bassett, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in What's Love Got to Do With It, was published on April 13.

"Someone's going to play me in What's Love Got to Do With It? I was a little bit skeptical when work began on the 1993 film. First of all, who are they going to find to sing, dance, and act like me?" Turner questioned in her tribute. "Then, I looked up, saw Angela, and immediately started to smile. Angela, the first time we met, you didn't look, sound, or move like me -- that came later after you worked so hard to make it happen. But even then, I could see that the young woman standing before me had strength, determination, and big, big dreams, just like me. 'She's perfect,' I said, and I was right."

"You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world. That's your gift, becoming your character with conviction, truth, dignity, and grace, even when it's painful, and takes everything you have and more. It's not just acting, it's being," she continued. "Whether you're Tina Turner or the Queen of Wakanda, we believe in you because you believe in yourself. You honor all the women you play, just as you honored me. And you're still perfect."

Basset's What's Love Got to Do With It co-star Lawrence Fishburne shared a statement with ET after Turner's death. 

"As a boy, Ike & Tina Turner hypnotized me with the intro to Proud Marry.  As a teenager, Tina bewitched me for life with her performance as the Acid Queen in Ken Russell’s film Tommy. Today we have lost a tremendous actor, a transcendent spirit and one of the greatest rock and roll singers of all time.  Long live the Queen," he said. 

Turner's rep confirmed the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll's death on Wednesday, revealing that she died peacefully after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. Turner's verified Instagram account also posted a statement confirming the tragic news. 

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow," the statement read. "Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly."