I didn’t become aware of Tina Turner, not fully aware, at least, until she’d already launched her successful solo career in the 80s. At that time, I knew she was an amazing entertainer and that she was a Motown artist before she went solo. My folks filled me in a little on her ex-husband, Ike Turner. Then What’s Love Got to Do with It came out and I learned her story. Tina, 79, has been retired for 10 years. She lives in a rented residence in Switzerland that’s named Chateau Algonquin. She’s married to a German record-executive, Erwin Bach, who is 16 years her junior. They married in 2013 after 27 years together. One thing that comes across loud and clear in her profile iis that her husband adores her and knows to let her be the star (as it should be) even when she’s out of her wigs and costumes. What is also clear is that even though the world is still fascinated with her tumultuous past with Ike, she’s not comfortable talking about it.
On her retirement
“I don’t sing. I don’t dance. I don’t dress up. I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy. That’s all I’d ever done in my life.”
On the abuse in her marriage to Ike Turner
“I think I’m ashamed. I feel I told enough. I don’t know if I could ever forgive all that Ike ever did to me [but] Ike’s dead. So we don’t have to worry about him.”
“I don’t necessarily want to be a ‘strong’ person. I had a terrible life. I just kept going. You just keep going, and you hope that something will come.” She gestured around her. “This came.”
[From The NY Times]
The scene in What’s Love Got to Do with It when Angela Bassett as Tina raced into the motel, fearing for her life, and tried to trade her jewelry for a safe space is seared into my brain. I will never understand what Tina went through but she’s right, I have enough information on her abuse, she doesn’t owe me any more. It’s interesting to hear her discuss being strong vs. just surviving. I think I get it now. In the article, she said there was a time she couldn’t sit down in an interview without someone, even her friend Oprah, asking about the abuse. I think we all assumed she was talking about it because she was so strong but really, she was just answering the questions. I’m happy she’s found her peace and a partner who adores her. I’m happy she’s at a place that she doesn’t have to talk about her past when she doesn’t want to. She’s worked hard for her life, her independence and her money, she should absolutely enjoy every bit of it to the fullest extent.
The photos in this post are all of Tina attending various productions of Tina – The Tine Turner Musical, which will next come to Broadway. Tina loves the show and has worked with the directors and “Tinas” on getting her moves down right. The abuse is depicted but Tina said, ultimately, she laughed throughout the show. As she said, “Ike’s dead. So we don’t have to worry about him.”
Photo credit WENN Photos