Tina Turner farewells fans and recalls difficult past: ‘It wasn’t a good life’

Mar 17, 2021
Tina Turner with second husband Erwin Bach in 2015. Source: Getty

Legendary singer Tina Turner has announced that she will be farewelling her fans in a new documentary recounting her journey from trauma and rebirth, to the man who finally brought her happiness.

The feature-length film titled Tina, follows her final days in the limelight, and will mark the end of the reclusive singer’s career.

In the trailer for the film, Tina opens up about her life, describing it as “abusive,” but also reflects on finally finding happiness with her second husband, German music producer Erwin Bach, who she married in 2013.

“It wasn’t a good life. The good did not balance the bad,” she said. “I had an abusive 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.”

The film tells of the pain and trauma of her younger years, and the fame and love she found during middle-age, with the singer saying she wants the third and final chapter of her life to be out of the spotlight.

The 81-year-old has been plagued by ill health, including a stroke, intestinal cancer and kidney failure, which led to her husband Bach donating his kidney to save her life in 2017.

During the film, it’s also revealed that she has a form of post-traumatic stress disorder from the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her first husband and music partner, Ike Turner, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007.

“For a long time I did hate Ike, I have to say that,” she said. “But then, after he died, I really realised 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.”

Tina also opens up about her tumultuous relationship with her mother, Zelma, who suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her father, Floyd Bullock, before both parents abandoned her as a child.

Tina was later reunited with her mother when she was a superstar, however Tina revealed Zelma was cold and unloving. “Mum 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,” she said. “I was trying to make her comfortable because she didn’t have a husband, she was alone, but she still didn’t like me.”

Despite Tina’s fame, she revealed her immense loneliness, which only ended after meeting her second husband, Bach, who she described as love at first sight.

“He had the prettiest face,” she said. “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’.”

The documentary shows Tina and Bach, 65, making a farewell trip to the US for the Broadway premiere of her stage show, The Tina Turner Story. Speaking in the documentary, Bach reveals she knew it was her farewell trip to the US. “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,” he said.

Tina is bringing down the curtain on a career she says she’s “proud of”, one that saw her sell more than 100 million records, sell out arenas around the globe, 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.

“Some people say the life that I lived and the performances that I gave, the appreciation, is lasting with the people. And yeah, I should be proud of that. I am,” she said. “But when do you stop being proud? I mean, when do you, how do you bow out slowly? Just go away?”

Tina now lives in Switzerland with Bach, and has renounced her US citizenship.

The documentary premieres express from the US on Sunday, March 28, at 11am AEDT, with a primetime encore at 8.30pm AEDT on the Foxtel Movies Premiere channel, and will be available On Demand.

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