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At Tennessee museum, fans remember Tina Turner's talent, strength, influence
May 25   

Eds: CORRECTS: that Turner died Wednesday. EDITS: Reorders photos. With AP Photos.

By ADRIAN SAINZ
Associated Press

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Standing in a Tennessee museum, near exhibits of shimmering dresses worn by Tina Turner, Lisa Lyons wiped tears from her cheeks as she remembered the impact the singer and actor had on her life.

Lyons recalled watching Turner's performance in the film "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" as Auntie Entity, the tyrannical leader of a post-apocalyptic civilization.

"She was fierce, and she was strong, and she was powerful, and that has stayed with me," said Lyons, who, like Turner, is Black. "As a little girl of color who didn't have that type of role model in real life, it has stuck with me all these years."

Turner, 83, died Wednesday, after a long illness in her home in Ksnacht near Zurich, according to her manager. Her Grammy-winning singing career includes the hit songs "Nutbush City Limits," ''Proud Mary," "What's Love Got To Do With It'' and "We Don't Need Another Hero," from "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.'' Her film credits also include "Tommy" and "Last Action Hero."

Lyons, 56, said she heard about Turner's death on Wednesday and drove to the museum in Brownsville, west of Jackson, where Lyons lives.

When it comes to her musical legacy in a region known for its blues, rock and roll, R&B and soul music, Turner was the "cream of the crop," Lyons said.

"She is the standard. She is the goal to aspire for," Lyons said. "She did it and she did it well, and she did it on her own terms."

The museum opened in 2014 inside the renovated Flagg Grove School at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Memphis. Turner attended school in the one-room building as a child growing up in nearby Nutbush, one of the small, rural towns that dot the farms and fields of West Tennessee.

The building was on farmland owned by Benjamin Flagg, who saw a need for a school for the area's black children and began building it in 1889. The school is representative of the schoolhouses for African-American children that sprang up in the rural South after the Civil War. By The Associated Press, Copyright 2023