Tina turner CD
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
March 20, 2021 ·  3 min read

81-Year-Old Tina Turner Says Farewell To Fans In Emotional New Doc: ‘It Wasn’t A Good Life’

It’s hard not to be a fan of Tina Turner. Even if you don’t like the rock icon’s music, you have to respect what she has done in the music industry. Now 81 years old, she recently released her new documentary Tina as a farewell to her fans. In it, she reveals how difficult her life has actually been. (1)

Tina Turner’s New Documentary Reveals How Tough Her Life Has Been

Tina Turner has knocked down many barriers throughout her music career. One of the biggest of these was when she came out about the sexual abuse she received from her ex-husband. Turner divorced her husband Ike Turner in 1978. Despite everything she had achieved thus far in her career, people were continuously asking her about her ex-husband. (1)

“After all the success I have had, people were still talking about Ike and Tina,” she said. “I wasn’t interested in telling that ridiculously embarrassing story of my life. But I felt that’s one way I could get the journalists off my back.” (1)

Turner’s ex-husband abused her sexually, physically, and emotionally. In the documentary, the rockstar opens up about how even now, over 40 years later, she still has flashbacks to those days. Suffering from PTSD from that marriage. Her current husband Erwin Bach compared her to a shell-shocked soldier. (1)

Her Early Life

Born Anna Mae Burlock, Turner was just a teenager when she first met her abusive ex-husband. She met Ike in Knoxville. Also a musician and singer, he invited her to join his band. Their romance began shortly after that. (1)

In the 60s and 70s, the pair became known as the Ike and Tina Revue. Though known for their music, no one knew that out of the public eye Ike was violently abusing Tina. (1)

“Busted lips, black eyes, dislocated joints, broken bones and psychological torment became a part of everyday life,” the singer wrote in her book. (1)

Try as she might, the cheating and abuse wore away at her mental health. In 1968 she attempted to commit suicide backstage before a concert. Thankfully the backstage crew realized something was wrong in time to rush her to the emergency room. (1)

Divorce and Buddhism

After the failed suicide attempt, Tina turned to Buddhism to find peace. She divorced Ike in 1978, and from there, her music career became even more successful than before. In 1984 at the age of 45, she released her album Private Dancer. (1)

After that album, she won several Grammys and met Bach, with who she is still happily married. (1)

Health Problems

Unfortunately for Tina, she has struggled with several health problems, including a stroke in 2013 and intestinal cancer in 2016. She also had kidney problems, which resulted in her husband donating one of his kidneys to her. (1)

Sadly, her first son Craig, who she had with a saxophone player before her marriage to Ike, committed suicide in 2018. He suffered from several mental health problems, including clinical depression and substance abuse. (1)

Tina Turner: A Trailblazer

Oprah Winfrey, who suffered sexual abuse as a child, called Tina Turner a trailblazer in the entertainment industry. Not just because she was a black middle-aged rock and roll icon, but for openly talking about her abuse. (1)

“Nobody talked about sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic abuse, abuse period,” Winfrey said. (1)

The documentary goes through several parts about Tina’s life, including (1): 

  • Her childhood growing up in poverty picking cotton in Tennessee
  • Living with parents who fought constantly and didn’t want her, the second child
  • Being sent to live with highly strict grandparents as a young child during the war
  • Her mom walking out on the family after the war
  • Her father’s second wife stabbed him during violent fights the couple had.
  • Their dad walking out on Tina and her sister before age 16

The documentary then goes through the details of how her music career began and how her abusive ex-husband ties into that. She speaks about how she was afraid that leaving Ike would end her music career. Thankfully, it did the opposite: She sored. (1)

You can watch the full documentary on HBO and SkyTV on March 27 and 28. (2)

Keep Reading: Bon Jovi’s 30-Year Marriage Is Proof That High-School Romances Can Turn Into Love That Lasts A Lifetime


  1. Tina Turner’s farewell to fans: Star, 81, takes a final bow with HBO documentary that reveals her ongoing PTSD battle after marriage to Ike and how ‘proud’ she is of her 60 years as a music icon.” Daliy Mail. Daliy Mail Reporter. March 2021.
  2. Twitter