The legendary artist took the stage at the BET Awards to pay tribute to the late Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, but the performance went awry.
LaBelle took the stage to honor the incomparable Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, paying tribute to the late Turner with a rendition of "The Best." Wearing a sparkly fringe minidress reminiscent of Turner's signature style, the Godmother of Soul showed off her powerhouse vocals as she belted out the song's lyrics -- but not without a stumble here and there as she struggled to keep up with the teleprompter used to guide her through the song's entirety.
Although LaBelle's vocals were solid, she admitted she wasn't able to see the lyrics on the teleprompter throughout the tribute, telling the crowd, "I can't see the words and I don't know. I'm tryin', y'all!"
At one point, LaBelle asked, "Where are my background singers?" referencing her infamous performance of "This Christmas" at the 1996 National Tree Lighting Ceremony, where the "Lady Marmalade" singer's cue cards were out of order.
Still, LaBelle powered through her stumbles and got back in sync with her background singers as the audience sang and danced along and ended the tribute with a standing ovation. "God bless you, Tina Turner," she exclaimed on stage.
LaBelle spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier backstage after her performance and opened up about why it was so important for her to honor Turner at the event and what it meant to her.
"It meant no matter what voice I'm in -- I'm hoarse, I have a cold -- but whatever, I had to, I was giving it up for Tina Turner, 'cause she's simply the best," LaBelle said, as she got a bit emotional thinking about the late icon. "So you heard a little tweak every now and then out there, but I love her, and I did my best."
Turner died peacefully after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, last month. She was 83.
Turner's rep confirmed the sad news in a statement to ET and reflected on the "Proud Mary" singer's unique legacy and the impact she made on rock music.
"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," the statement read.
"Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, USA. She became famous in the late 60s as the singer of the band Ike & Tina Turner Revue, but later she became successful worldwide as a solo artist. With her music and her inexhaustible vitality, Tina Turner thrilled millions of fans and inspired many artists of subsequent generations," the statement continued. "Global hits like 'What's Love Got To Do With it,' 'Private Dancer' and 'The Best,' more than 180 million albums sold, 12 GRAMMY Awards and over three decades of sold-out stadium tours around the world are just part of her unique legacy."
Oprah Winfrey; Beyonce; Cher; Angela Bassett, who played Turner in the 1993 biographical film, What's Love Got to Do With It; Diana Ross; Barack Obama; Dolly Parton; Mick Jagger; and more stars remembered the music icon.
And on May 25, BET paid tribute to the singer with an exclusive Entertainment Tonight news special, BET & ET Present Tina Turner: Life and Legacy.
The one-hour special featured over 40 years of archival footage from ET's vault and highlights from more than 30 interviews with the 12-time GRAMMY winner and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee at various stages of her life and career. It also recounted definitive moments in Turner's life, including how she didn't think her 1984 best-selling single, "What's Love Got to Do With It," would become a worldwide hit, her dream of becoming an actor and never giving up on finding true love.
Turner is survived by her husband, German music executive Erwin Bach, whom she married in 2013, and adopted sons Michael and Ike Jr. Her sons, Ronnie Turner and Craig Turner, died in December 2022 and July 2018, respectively.