Tina Turner’s tragic past from her abusive marriage to the death of her two sons

Music legend Tina Turner, who has been hailed as the “Queen of Rock and Roll”, has sadly died at the age of 83 after a long illness. While the world-famous vocalist had the power to light up a whole stadium, she suffered through plenty of dark times during her illustrious career.

In fact, Tina was plagued by a series of personal tragedies starting from early childhood up until the very end of her life.

The musician, who had suffered a number of health issues in recent years including cancer, a stroke and kidney failure, will undoubtedly be remembered as immeasurably brave, uniquely talented and one of the hardest-working stars on the planet.

In a statement following her death, a spokesperson for the singer said: “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 Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.”

From her abusive first marriage to the death of her two sons, Express.co.uk looks back on some of the toughest times the star faced throughout her life.

Tina was introduced to abuse and abandonment at an early age 


The rock star had a difficult start in life, growing up in a poverty-stricken household in Nutbush, Tennessee.

Born Anna Mae Bullock, young Tina witnessed her mother Zelma suffer domestic abuse at the hands of her father, Floyd Bullock.

When she was just 11 years old, her mother abandoned the family to free herself from the abusive marriage and relocated to St. Louis.

Soon afterwards, her father married another woman, abandoning Tina and her sisters, who were sent to live with their maternal grandmother, Georgeanna Currie, in Brownsville, Tennesse.

In her autobiography, I, Tina, the star admitted she believed her mother “never loved her” and that her parents didn’t want her.

Tina’s violent first marriage left her with burns and broken bones


Like her mother before her, a then-22-year-old Tina also became a victim of domestic abuse in 1962 when she married fellow musician Ike Turner, who was eight years older than her.

The pair rose to prominence as the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, before she was able to launch a successful career as a solo performer following their split in 1976.

Ike abused Tina throughout their relationship, as the star constantly subjected her to beatings and manipulation.

The singer would often be left with broken bones and, on one occasion, third-degree burns when he poured burning hot coffee on her face.

Despite their turbulent relationship, the pair welcomed two sons together: Ronald Renelle and Raymond Craig Turner.

She also had an older son named Craig from her relationship with former bandmate Raymond Hill, whom she saw before marrying Ike.

In addition, Tina had two adopted sons, Ike Jr and Michael, Ike’s children from a previous relationship.

The star found happiness in her love life after divorcing Ike and marrying German music executive Erwin Bac in 2013.

Erwin donated his kidney to Tina in 2017 after she was told she was suffering from kidney failure.

Tina face yet more tragedy when her eldest son died by suicide 


In 2018, Tina was left devastated after her eldest son Craig died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Tina was close to Craig, who worked in real estate in Beverly Hills, and the star described his death as her “saddest moment”.

In July of that year, it was reported that the 59-year-old had been found dead in his apartment in California, where authorities confirmed it was the result of suicide.

After scattering his ashes off the coastline of California, she lamented: “My saddest moment as a mother. He was 59 when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby.”

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Tina was left heartbroken last year after losing her second son


Just last year, Tina faced more heartbreak when it was announced that her second-born son, Ronnie, had suddenly died at the age of 62.

At the time, police received a 911 call from someone who reported Ronnie was struggling to breathe outside their home.

While paramedics arrived on the scene in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, soon afterwards, he could not be saved and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Like his mother, Ronnie also took to the spotlight before his death, playing a part in the biopic of his mother’s life, What’s Love Got To Do With It? in 1992.

His wife, Afida Turner, described him as “a true angel, huge soul and a highly spiritual individual.”

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