Tina Turner suffered a significant loss when she lost her eldest son, Craig Raymond Turner, to suicide a few years ago. She believed being lonely was the leading cause of his death.
Legendary musician Tina Turner, 81, was only 18 when she gave birth to the Kings of Rhythm saxophonist Raymond Hill’s son on August 20, 1958. Craig Raymond Turner became the singer’s first child and only son.
Sadly, her relationship with Hill failed to last, and Tina ended up leaving him and later married the Kings of Rhythm frontman Ike Turner. Craig ended up getting legally adopted by the infamous musician.
Tina Turner poses at a photocall for "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" at The Hospital Club on October 17, 2017, in London, England | Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
TINA’S SECOND BIOLOGICAL SON
In her 16 year marriage to Ike, Tina gave birth to Ronald "Ronnie" Renelle Turner on October 27, 1960, in Los Angeles. He’s since followed in his parent’s footsteps by becoming a bass player.
After his parents divorced, he played the instrument in his mother’s band. He later played in Ike’s band, and currently, he’s married to Afida Turner, a French-American singer.
Ike and Tina Turner pose for a portrait in circa 1972 | Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
ADOPTING IKE’S KIDS
While married to Ike, Tina adopted his children, Ike Turner Jr. and Michael Turner, and raised them as her own. Ike Jr. and Michael’s mother were their father’s live-in girlfriend, Lorraine Taylor.
Michael has chosen to stay out of the spotlight, unlike the rest of his famous family. However, Ike Jr. joined the music industry and worked as a sound engineer for Tina and then at Bolic Sound before winning an award.
He won a Grammy Award for producing Ike Sr.'s album "Risin' with the Blues." Ike Jr. now tours with his father's former bandmate, Randi Love, as Sweet Randi Love and the Love Thang Band.
CRAIG SAW TINA’S ABUSE
During a previous interview with Oprah Winfrey, Tina confessed that Ike’s children never reacted to the abuse she endured from him. However, Craig had been an emotional child who didn’t handle it well.
The musician recalled an incident when Ike fought with her, and Craig knocked on their door to determine if everything was okay. Tina even asked her husband not to beat her at home to prevent the children from hearing.
TINA LEFT IKE
After being with the abusive musician for years, Tina finally found the strength to leave him even though she was afraid. She feared he would track her down like he had done many times before, and her instincts were right.
When he found her, Ike asked to talk in a car, but she exited the vehicle before he could become abusive again. She later revealed Ike was glad she escaped when she did because he’d brought a gun during that incident.
FILING FOR DIVORCE
Eventually, Tina managed to divorce Ike and later got the children too. However, later in life, she allegedly started neglecting the children and got married to Erwin Bach and has lived with him in Switzerland since 1994.
TENSE RELATIONSHIP WITH KIDS
Ike Jr. once claimed he hadn't spoken to Tina since around 2000. He also suspected none of his other brothers had spoken to her in a long time as she continued living her life in Europe, stating:
“She doesn’t want to have anything to do with the past."
In March 2021, the documentary “Tina,” about the famous singer's life, was released. A family source told Fox News the next month that one thing left out of it was Tina's stormy relationship with her sons.
Ike Jr. and Michael Turner were reportedly "devastated" by mainly being left out of the series. Even Ronnie barely featured in the two-hour HBO Max documentary, which was produced by Bach.
By the time Tina left Ike, Craig had already graduated from high school. He worked as a real estate agent for Rodeo Realty based in Beverly Hills before his sudden death on July 3, 2018, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Craig, 59, was found dead at his California Studio City home. His death was ruled a suicide, and weeks later, Tina shared a social media photo of herself and family members scattering his ashes off the California coast.
Tina said the July 27, 2018, farewell ceremony was the saddest moment for her as a mother in the post's caption. A year after Craig’s death, the singer told CBS News that she thought what killed her son was loneliness.
Tina [Turner] allegedly felt [Dorothea “Coco”] Fletcher looked so much like her in promotional posters…
TRYING TO FIND ANSWERS
Tina couldn’t understand what had led to her son's suicide even though she believed he was in a better place. She revealed before he died, he’d just landed a new job with a prestigious real estate company in California.
Craig was also involved with a new romantic partner, and it seemed serious. She claimed once confessed to her that his feelings for his new partner were strong and something he'd never felt before with anyone else.
On his birthday in August 2018, Craig was set to introduce his new love to Tina. In her 2020 memoir, “Happiness Becomes You,” she said she believed he had suffered from serious mental health issues and clinical depression.
SUING A LOOK-ALIKE ARTIST
In more recent news, in November 2021, Daily Mail noted that Tina was suing a tribute act based in Germany for looking too much like her. Dorothy “Coco” Fletcher, in her 30s, would perform in the show titled “Simply The Best.”
Tina allegedly felt Fletcher looked so much like her in promotional posters that fans could mistakenly assume the real star was in the production. The case was set for a ruling sometime next year.