Tina Turner bids a final farewell to her fans in a touching new film that shows how she has overcome her painful past and finally found happiness.
In the feature-length documentary, simply titled “Tina,” the singer looks back on camera for the first time at her younger years filled with struggle and pain, then the true love and global fame she found as a middle-aged woman. Now 81 and plagued by ill health, including a and , the soul and rock music legend also suffered failure that led to a transplant in 2017.
In the film, she tells how she wants to enter the third and final chapter of her life out of the spotlight, and it is revealed that she has a form of post- stress disorder from the she suffered at the hands of her first husband and music partner, Ike Turner. Looking back, Tina reflects: “It wasn’t a good life. The good did not balance the bad. “I had an life, there’s no other way to tell the story.
It’s a reality. It’s a truth. That’s what you’ve got, so you have to accept it.
“Some people say the life that I lived and the performances that I gave, the appreciation, is blasting with the people. And yeah, I should be proud of that. I am. “But when do you stop being proud? I mean, when do you, how do you bow out slowly? Just go away?” In the documentary, which airs this month, Tina is seen for the first time talking with the man who finally brought her happiness, her second husband, Erwin Bach. The couple make a farewell trip to the US for the Broadway premiere of her stage show, “The Tina Turner Story,” and Bach, 65, reveals on camera: “She said, ‘I’m going to America to say goodbye to my American fans and I’ll wrap it up.’ And I think this documentary and the play, this is it — it’s a closure.” The details of Tina’s life have been chronicled before, first in her 1986 autobiography, “I, Tina,” and in the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” with Angela Bassett as Tina.
But Tina has always been loath to discuss them on camera until now. This documentary will have been painful to make, but is a parting gift to her global army of fans. She is bringing down the curtain on a career that saw her sell more than 100 million records, and at her peak in the ’80s sell out arenas around the globe. Tina was born Anna Mae Bullock, and her childhood was filled with poverty and misery, picking cotton in the fields around Nutbush, Tennessee.
Her mother, Zelma, suffered at the hands of her father, Floyd Bullock, before they both her as a child. Even when Tina was reunited with her mother when she was a superstar, Zelma was cold and unloving. Tina says in the documentary: “Mom was not kind. When I became a star, of course back then she was happy because I bought her a house. I did all kinds of things for her, she was my mother. “I was trying to make her comfortable because she didn’t have a husband, she was alone, but she still didn’t like me.
“Even after I became Tina, Ma was still a little bit like, ‘Who did that?’ and ‘Who did this?’ And I said, ‘I did that, Mom!’ I was happy to show my mother what I did. I had a house, I had got a car, and she said, ‘No, I don’t believe it. No, you’re my daughter, no you didn’t!’ “She didn’t want me, she didn’t want to be around me, even though she wanted my success. But I did for her as if she loved me.” This childhood filled with cruelty and may explain why Tina initially seemed to accept the mental and physical torture she put up with after she married Ike in 1962.
The marriage saw Anna Mae Bullock reborn as Tina Turner, in a duo who would become soul stars for almost three decades. Her new name was so important to her that when she finally found the will to start proceedings against Ike in 1976 — after years of beatings and psychological torture — it was all she asked to take from their stormy union.
Leaving him was made harder by the fact that they had a son, Ronnie, and she adopted two of Ike’s children, Ike Jr. and Michael, from his previous relationship. She already had a son, Craig, from a previous relationship. Bach tells the program she still has nightmares about those dark days and is suffering from something similar to the post- stress disorder that cripples veterans. He says: “She has dreams about it, they’re not pleasant. It’s like when soldiers come back from the . It’s not an easy time to have those in your memory and then try to forget.”
Tina, who first tried to escape from Ike with a sleeping pill overdose in 1968, admits: “That scene comes back. You’re dreaming it. The real picture is there, it’s like a curse.” But the greatest antidote to the trauma is forgiveness, and she claims to be at peace with Ike, who of an accidental overdose in 2007. Tina says: “For a long time I did hate Ike, I have to say that. But then, after he , I really realized that he was an ill person. He did get me started and he was good to me in the beginning.
So I have some good thoughts. Maybe it was a good thing that I met him, that I don’t know. “It hurts to have to remember those times, but at a certain stage forgiveness takes over, forgiving means not having to hold on.
“It was letting go, because it only hurts you. By not forgiving, you suffer, because you think about it over and over. And for what?” In the ’80s, Tina reinvented herself as a solo artist. With albums such as “Private Dancer” and “ Every Rule,” she joined the pantheon of global music icons. She even became a film star, appearing with Mel Gibson in the 1985 action movie “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” Her career has seen her win a dozen Grammy Awards, get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and become the first black artist and first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
But in 1986 — at the peak of her fame — she was incredibly lonely.
Tina recalls: “He had the prettiest face.
It was like, ‘Where did he come from?’ He was so good-looking. My heart went ba-bum. It means that a soul has met. When he found out that I liked him, he came to America and we were in Nashville and I said to him, ‘When you come to LA, I want you to make love to me.’ “I thought that I could say that because I was a free woman, I didn’t have a boyfriend, I liked him. “There was nothing wrong with it — it was just . And he looked at me as if he didn’t believe what he was hearing.
“He was just so different, so laid back, so comfortable, so unpretentious, and that was the beginning of our relationship.” As love blossomed, Tina started to wind up her recording career, making her last album in 1999, at age 59.
She gave her final performance in 2009. Last year, at 80, she briefly returned to recording, collaborating with producer Kygo on a dance reinvention of her 1984 anthem, “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” The documentary also explores how originally she was deeply unsure about recording the song — which went on to be her only US solo No. 1 — as it was a pop track first recorded by British Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz.
Nowadays Tina spends most of her time with Bach in Switzerland, where she lives permanently, having renounced her US citizenship. But she has still known trauma in her life. In 2018, her son Craig committed in Los Angeles, and after she scattered his ashes off the California coast, she said: “My saddest moment as a mother. He was 59 when he so tragically, but he will always be my baby.” Her most recent illness led to her transplant, with Bach the donor. It was a risky process for such an elderly couple, but an inevitability, given that they remain madly in love.
Bach says: “It’s something we both have for each other. I always refer to it as an electrical charge.
I still have it.” Before the operation, Tina had been so ill that she was considering assisted — which is legal in Switzerland, where she now has full citizenship. She joined the assisted- organization Exit, and recalled in a book three years ago: “It wasn’t my idea of life but the toxins in my body had started taking over. I couldn’t eat. “I was surviving, but not living. I began to think about . If my kidneys were going, and it was time for me to , I could accept that, it was OK. When it’s time, it’s really time.”
The new documentary gives a glimpse inside the couple’s beautiful house on the edge of Lake Zurich. Filled with homey furniture, flower arrangements and ornaments, it looks a million miles from the dusty tracks of Tennessee or the glitzy homes of Tinseltown.
But there is also a wall filled with gold discs and shelves covered with awards — a reminder that Tina will always be a star, in or out of the spotlight.
You were always the best performer sorry you had to endure all the hard times in your life God bless you Tina
Hi beautiful Tina, Hope you read this. Glad you have forgiven your past, I to had to, because if we don't forgive we get dis ease of the body (disease) causing Cancer etc, forgiveness is the only way to stop getting that. We can't always forget, but we are finally free...to move on. Thank you God for Erwin Bach, you have a beautiful Soul to retire with, be happy and please Lord Bless them both with good health, love, and happiness Amen. I'm learning to read the Bible, means (Basic, Instructions, Before, Leaving, Earth) God is the only one to save our soul from the devil, through his Son Jesus Christ. Keep your Faith, I love you Tina, you are an Inspiration to us all, through thick and thin your past has made you who you are today, stay strong, stay happy and enjoy the rest of your life with knowing "You're Simply The Best". God Bless always <3 xo
God who made you is with you n will not abandon you. His time is he's. Commune with God in prayer n he will do the best at the right time. Thank God you've forgiven n move on. Stay blessed
I love her story.
So true you do start healing when you start forgiveing...my ex and so called son and his girlfriend committed to me...elder financial abuse...and physical abuse...and mental abuse...AMEN
If You forgive you heal more..Tina healed n accepted by forgiving the past.
I'm so proud of Tina she's come so far in life. I'm glad she's happy. I wish her the best. Much love Vern from Detroit Michigan ❤️🙏🙏
Hi, so good that you had forgiven all...this is also what I did to go on with my life...a gospel singer in several worship teams in New Zealand and I have recorded songs with my husband...I too had a life of violence up to the age of 15 when I hit the streets but within a year I was nursing...a complete stranger took me in and at 25 I actually received Jesus as my Saviour and the healing slowly began....Knowing Christ as my personal Saviour and Friend has changed my life....the disturbing thoughts of the past are very real....and I speak to those thoughts...and say 'that was then this is now' it seems to help and enjoying our lives is so important...God bless you
She's a powerful woman and very talented! I love her songs and movies, too! I've seen the movie of her life with Ike, I could see that over and over again! I will keep her in my prayers and be strong don't give up your a strong woman, blessings ❤
Amen I pray that God continues to bless her and help her overcome any obstacles 🙏 🤲 ❤ 😍
She is a great singer and star, so glad she overcame her past and is happy now. I admire her!
Tina, if you read this. I love you ! I remember when I discovered your great records . Notably private dancer. I was stuck on train through mountains. It made me smile. So take time, you know we love you
Life is about change and loss. It's so hard to say goodbye, so I'll just say, see you later. She has earned the right to relax.
Tina's not going anywhere, she just bowing out quietly so she just going to relax and enjoy her life, she's not passing away. she's not going anywhere. she is such a beautiful person inside and out through all the stuff that she went through and she was able to overcome that God bless her and continue to live your life she's my role model. I just love her.
I love Tina Turner. I had the pleasure of meeting her once and chatting with her for half an hour or so. What a wonderful, kind and humble woman she is. I was awe stricken by her absolute acceptance of me, her gentleness and brilliance. I then got to watch her show from the front of the arena. What an excellent experience, I will never forget it. I have been feeling sadness for months knowing that Tina has been suffering but I know that she is strong and brave and will transition with grace. I hope she will meet up with Freddie Mercury and he finally will get to fulfill his wish to sing with Tina and Aretha.