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How Tina Turner's 2nd Husband Erwin Bach Literally Saved Her Life

Oyin Balogun
Jun 17, 2019
04:10 A.M.
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Tina Turner is an undisputable music icon, but she also suffered an abusive marriage that made her wary of giving love a second chance. When Tina eventually did, it was to the man she dated for nearly three decades and who would later save her life.


Tina found fame while performing alongside her late ex-husband, Ike Turner, but their marriage also counts as one of her life’s worst experiences.


Last year, Tina, now 79, opened up about taking a second shot at love in her memoir “My Love Story.” In excerpts obtained by PEOPLE, the “What’s Love Got To Do With It” singer recalled meeting German record executive Erwin Bach in 1985.

Erwin was 16 years younger than Tina who also confessed to having issues with self-confidence, but the couple began dating shortly after.


By the early ‘90s, the globally acclaimed Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll was sharing a home with Erwin in Germany and would later move with him to Switzerland where they currently reside.

Tina reportedly turned down Erwin’s first marriage proposal, and it wasn’t until 2013, after 27 years of being a couple, that the lovebirds finally tied the knot.


According to E! News, Tina, and Erwin tied the knot in a quiet civil ceremony in July of 2013 at Lake Zurick in Küsnacht, Northern Switzerland. The couple also reportedly celebrated their union with an intimate Buddhist ceremony in honor of Tina’s faith.


Unfortunately, Tina (birth name Anna Mae Bullock) suffered a stroke less than one month after the wedding. Her condition was so severe that she couldn’t stand on her own.


“Legs for days and muscles of steel from dancing, but I didn’t have the strength to get up,” wrote the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. “Terrified, I dragged myself over to a sofa, all the while thinking that I couldn’t imagine Tina Turner paralyzed.”

After recovering from the stroke, Tina got another scary diagnosis in 2016 — intestinal cancer. Through it all, Erwin remained her pillar of support.



“Erwin always radiated confidence, optimism and joie de vivre,” she penned. “With his help, I tried to keep calm.”

Not even when Tina’s decision to go with homeopathic remedies made matters worse did Erwin turn against or criticize her.


The 12-time Grammy winner’s decision led to her next life-threatening medical battle: kidney failure. That was when Erwin stepped in and literally saved Tina’s life.

While writing of Erwin’s decision to donate a kidney for her, Tina mused about some of the challenges their relationship has faced so far:  

“I wondered if anyone would think that Erwin’s living donation was transactional in some way. Incredibly, considering how long we had been together, there were still people who wanted to believe that Erwin married me for my money and fame. What else would a younger man want with an older woman? Erwin always ignored the rumors.”



Tina seems to have ignored the rumors as well, choosing only to focus on what makes her happy now.

“I lived through a hellish marriage that almost destroyed me, but I went on,” she wrote in her book. “I can look back and understand why my karma was the way it was. Good came out of bad. Joy came out of pain. And I have never been so pleased as I am today.”



Tina married Ike in 1962 and filed for divorce in 1976 after fleeing from the physically abusive singer. They had one son together, Ronnie, while Tina had a son and Ike had five children from previous relationships.

Sadly, the "Proud Mary" singer experienced tragedy again last July when her other son, Craig, committed suicide

“I have no idea what pulled him down, except something that followed him with loneliness,” Tina said in October.

And she is right, no one deserves to be happier!