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Career

Tina Turner reflects on her roller coaster life and the peace that has come with retirement

Tina, now 80, has been retired for 10 years and says she doesn't miss her former glitzy life at all.

Tina Turner can forgive most – but forgiving ex-husband Ike Turner is something she'll never be able to do.
On the eve of her milestone 80th birthday, Tina says she no longer thinks much about the man who abused and controlled her for much of her career.
"I don't know if I could ever forgive all that Ike ever did to me," she tells.
"But Ike's dead, so we don't have to worry about him."
Yes, a worry-free life is Tina's greatest reward for her legendary time in the sun – and she intends to make the most of it as she enters her ninth decade and celebrates 10 years of retirement.
Tina performs onstage at the Park West, Chicago, Illinois, August 2, 1984 Getty Images
Holed up in her luxurious Swiss chalet much of the time, these days she's taking it easy – with the rough times firmly in the rear-view mirror.
"I don't sing. I don't dance. I don't dress up," says Tina.
She misses nothing of her former glitzy life – not the performing, not the sparkly dresses, the heels or even the adoration.
She says that when she embarked on her final farewell tour 10 years ago, she was "fanaticising about redecorating my house".
Her pride and joy is now Switzerland, her sprawling estate that overlooks Lake Geneva, and her German husband Erwin Bach.
They married in 2003 after nearly 30 years together, and just three years later, Erwin donated a kidney to his wife following her battle with illness.
On a night out with Erwin in 1985 – 30 years on, he saved Tina's life by donating his kidney. Getty Images
Tina's health problems of recent years have been frequent – and the Proud Mary singer says they began just days after her honeymoon when she experienced a "painful feeling" in her chest.
"Two days later, the stroke came," she recalls. "That was the beginning of the sickness.
"In the hospital, I didn't believe that I couldn't walk. I said, 'Bull crap!' Then I stepped out of the bed and flopped to the floor and said, 'Oh my God, what have I done?' But I wasn't depressed, I was just determined to fix it."
It's a determination that she's carried with her during the seemingly endless heartbreaks of her life – her mother Zelma abandoned the family to escape her husband Floyd's abuse, the trauma Ike inflicted and being left with 36 cents in her pocket as she fled her marriage, and most recently, the devastating suicide of her son Craig last year – her "saddest moment as a mother".
"Well, at first I didn't believe it because not long ago, Craig told me, 'Mother, I'm really happy now.' He had a new woman in his life and he'd just redecorated his apartment," she tells.
"But during our last talk, he said, 'I just want to hear your voice and that laugh.' He had never said something like that.
"I think that was his goodbye to me, but I didn't realise it at the time. I'm still trying to find out why he did it. Maybe something from his childhood followed him through life and was still weighing on him, and he just couldn't handle it any more. I don't know."
Through it all, Tina's been comforted by her Buddhist beliefs. She began practising the religion in 1973.
She also appreciates the Swiss and German tendency for order and calm – something Erwin also exudes.
It was Tina that chased him after first seeing him in Cologne – he, the professional music producer, would never dream of romancing an artist.
But Tina persisted, and at a fancy dinner over a glass of Champagne, turned to Erwin and said, "I want you to make love to me."
The rest, they say, was history, and Tina finally embarked on the fairy-tale chapter of her turbulent life in gratitude.
And, fittingly as she celebrates her 80 years, Tina says she's proud – and most of all, she's grateful for her attitude to life.
"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.
"I survived without hating or blaming anyone," she nods.
"I'm very grateful that I had really honest, good, genuine people to help me."

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