Legendary recording artist Tina Turner passed away on May 23, 2022, at the age of 83. She was born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee, and began her career in the 1950s. While still attending high school in Illinois, she met Ike Turner at a New York City nightclub, who later became her husband. Together, they formed The Kings of Rhythm, which eventually became the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. The duo found success in the 1960s with their first R&B hit, “A Fool in Love.” However, behind the scenes, their relationship was tumultuous, with Ike being verbally and physically abusive towards Tina.
In her 2018 memoir, My Love Story, Tina recounted how Ike forced her to change her last name against her will. They married in 1962 in Tijuana, Mexico, and Tina was already a mother to Craig Raymond Turner, born in 1958. The couple’s first and only biological son, Ronnie Turner, was born in 1960. Ike also had two sons, Ike Turner Jr. and Michael Turner, with Lorraine Taylor, born in 1958 and 1959, respectively.
The Escape and Finding Real Love
As Tina and Ike’s fame and success grew, so did Ike’s abuse towards Tina. She eventually fled from him in 1976 after a blow-out fight en route to a Dallas hotel, seeking shelter at a Ramada Inn across the highway. She found success without Ike, earning the title Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll thanks to her breakthrough album, Private Dancer, in 1984.
Tina divorced Ike in 1978, released her first memoir, I, Tina: My Life Story, in 1986, and tried to take her own life in 1968 in an attempt to escape her husband’s abuse. She later found real love with music executive Erwin Bach, whom she was with for over thirty years before they married in 2013. They met at an airport in Germany in 1985 when her manager asked him to pick her up. Their love was different from what she had experienced with Ike, and he even donated a kidney to her when she struggled with kidney disease.
Tina’s life was one of triumphs and tragedies. Despite the abuse she endured, she rose to become one of the most successful recording artists of all time. Her music and legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.