Tina Turner: Embracing the Cosmic Energy as Shakti in ‘The Goddess’

Tina Turner

Tina Turner, the iconic queen of rock ‘n’ roll, had an extraordinary connection with India that was poised to manifest in a groundbreaking film titled “The Goddess.” Under the direction of renowned filmmaker Ismail Merchant, Turner was set to portray the embodiment of Shakti, the universal feminine energy. However, despite Turner’s enthusiasm and determination, the film faced protests from conservative groups in India, delaying its production.

The film’s concept originated in Merchant’s mind as he witnessed Turner’s mesmerizing performance at Radio City Music Hall, where she descended from a crane into a frenzied crowd. Inspired by her larger-than-life presence, he believed that she had the power to embody the divine essence of Shakti. After a decade of script development, Merchant finally approached Turner, who wholeheartedly embraced the project.

In the face of objections and misconceptions, Merchant staunchly defended his choice of Turner for the role. He emphasized that the film celebrated the universal energy of Shakti, rather than representing a specific deity. Turner’s own spiritual journey, rooted in her Buddhist beliefs, resonated with the healing power of faith and prayer, motivating her to accept the character.

“The Goddess” was intended to be a cinematic celebration of India’s rich cultural heritage, with Turner immersing herself in the country’s traditions during her exploratory trip to Varanasi and Kerala. She expressed her desire to reinvent herself through this film, transcending her previous stadium-filling performances and delving into a different kind of artistic expression.

Unfortunately, the project faced a devastating setback when Ismail Merchant passed away in 2005, leaving the film’s future uncertain. Despite the film never materializing, Turner’s association with India left a lasting impact on her fans, who recognized the profound influence of her music and her remarkable journey from abuse to music superstardom.

As news of Tina Turner’s passing spread, tributes poured in from fans and industry peers alike, acknowledging her extraordinary talent and indomitable spirit. Her ability to transform personal struggles into music resonated deeply with audiences, and her message of turning poison into medicine remained an inspiration.

Though “The Goddess” never graced the silver screen, Tina Turner’s brief encounter with India and her envisioned portrayal of Shakti will forever be a testament to her artistic versatility, her unwavering dedication, and her ability to transcend boundaries through the power of music and cosmic energy.


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