Tina Turner's Husband Stayed with Her until the End - Timeline of Her 37-Year Romance with 'True Love' Erwin Bach
- The music icon Tina Turner passed away on Wednesday, leaving her beloved husband behind.
- The vocalist went through a tough divorce before she met Erwin Bach.
- Bach stuck with Turner until her final days, writing love letters to her for over 30 years.
Tina Turner, an icon in the music industry, tragically passed away on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Throughout her life, Tina set the bar for numerous other musicians hoping to do what she did, eventually earning herself the monicker the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll." Despite her successes, the singer had to overcome many challenges.
One of the most significant blows in Tina's past was surely the end of her first marriage with her co-star Ike Turner. The decision to leave him came after years of making music together, but Turner revealed things weren't as rosy as their famous R&B double act had suggested.
July 27, 1976: Tina Divorces Ike
Although things ended on a more-than-surly note, Tina and her first husband, Ike, were together for a long time, having first met each other in St. Louis in the '50s. Tina first showed up at one of Ike's shows, and she stunned him with her vocal prowess. Not long after their first meeting, he invited her to join his band.
After a long and fruitful career, Turner eventually chose her love for Erwin over her career.
Tina started playing weekly gigs with Ike and the rest of the band when she was only 17, and by 1960, the ensemble bore her name with the title the Ike & Tina Turner Review. The new band name came with a proposal, which Tina gladly accepted. The young singer was on her way to fame, but it came at a dear price.
After Tina and Ike married in 1962, the marriage became something of a trap, according to Tina. She revealed that Ike became increasingly abusive, often assaulting her physically and controlling her finances and career options. The singer confessed that his repeated violent behavior greatly affected her mental health.
The singer confessed that she couldn't get herself to leave Ike. Although she wanted to get away, she was scared of what Ike might do. At the same time, she knew her leaving would be the end of Ike's career, and she truly didn't want to do that to him. So, she stayed with him.
However, on July 27, Tina finally filed the divorce papers. The entire ordeal had left Tina shaken and intimidated, but she stuck to her guns and got herself out of her marriage with Ike. He had half the rights to their music, but Tina only wanted her stage name so she could reinvent herself. With no money and lacking a studio, Tina began again.
1986: When Tina Met Erwin
Having separated from Ike and restarted her career, Tina was on her way up once more. Almost ten years after ending her abusive first marriage, Tina had built a successful solo music career for herself, and she was attracting the attention of huge record labels, most notably the European label EMI.
In 1985, Tina arrived in Düsseldorf, Germany, having been flown in by EMI to talk business. It was a big break for the singer, since EMI signed internationally famous acts such as Queen and Radiohead. It was safe to say Tina had made it to the big leagues. Waiting at the airport to pick her up was a young Erwin Bach. Tina recalled:
"The day I first met Erwin, at an airport in Germany, I should have been too tired from my flight, too preoccupied with thoughts of my concert tour. But I did notice him ... That simple first meeting led to a long, beautiful relationship — and my one true marriage."
When the two first started dating in 1986, Erwin was 30, while Tina was 47, and they spent 27 years together before they tied the knot. After they wed in 2013, this age gap caused much skepticism about their relationship, with many people believing Erwin only married her for her money. They ignored the whispers as they knew they had found true love.
Tina's New Life with a New Love - Happiness from Hardships and Sacrifices
In 1986, Tina and Erwin had grown steadily closer. One evening, they were at a dinner party together, and by the end, Tina had enjoyed Erwin's company so much that she invited him back to California. Slowly, the two fell deeper and deeper in love, spending the next 27 years in each other's company.
In 2013, she gave up her American citizenship, choosing to live out her life with her beloved Erwin in Switzerland.
After a long and fruitful career, Turner eventually chose her love for Erwin over her career. The couple moved to Switzerland to live out the rest of their days together. For the 30 years they spent together, Erwin kept writing Turner heartfelt love letters to let her know how much she meant to him.
Tina Turner and Erwin Bach in Berlin, 1992 | Source: Getty Images
1989: The First Proposal
Erwin and Tina were madly in love for the three decades they spent together but didn't get married until 2013. However, the music producer recalled that he had to propose to the singer more than once before she finally agreed to marry him. In an interview, Erwin recalled the first time he proposed:
"I think when a woman turns 50 she should have a commitment from her partner. I was committed and I wanted to show this, so I went down on my knee. I never did that before in my life, I was never married before. And I had my ring ready ... I had everything ready."
Tina had no idea how to respond to Erwin's first proposal. She didn't want to say yes, but she didn't want the relationship to end either, so she said nothing. Luckily, Erwin understood what she meant, and he happily stuck with Tina for close to three decades before they finally tied the knot.
Tina Turner with Erwin Bach in November 1989, London | Source: Getty Images
1995: Tina and Erwin Move to Switzerland
In 1995, Tina and Erwin decided to move to Switzerland. The singer opened up about her choice in 2019, saying the life of a musician had become too much for her. The musician commented, "I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy. That's all I'd ever done in my life."I don't sing. I don't dance. I don't dress up."
After hanging up her hat, Tina focused on her life with Erwin.
In 2013, she gave up her American citizenship, choosing to live out her life with her beloved Erwin in Switzerland. They kept their relationship private, but they were obviously happy together. In 2021, Tina even decided to let her music rights go, selling everything, including the rights to her image, name, and likeness to BMG.
Tina Turner and Erwin Bach in Hockenheim, Germany, 1999 | Source: Getty Images
2009: Turner Retired
Tina performed her very last tour in 2007, stunning audiences with breathtaking performances. When she finished her final show, Tina felt like she could relax. After the show, she got onto her plane and realized that she was finally done with her musical career, releasing a sigh of relief. She recalled:
"I got on that plane, and I took a deep breath and I said, 'It's over.' I really felt like it's over, and I'm glad it's over. And I went home."
Although Tina is aware that people were sad to see her career end, she knew it was the right thing to do. She loved performing, but by 2009 she wanted to settle down. She commented that even though people missed her, she was glad she ended her career where she did.
Tina Turner and Erwin Bach in Köln, 2006 | Source: Getty Images
2013: Tina and Erwin Get Married
After hanging up her hat, Tina focused on her life with Erwin. Tina agreed to marry Erwin after all those years together, and the two finally said their vows in 2013. To Tina, it was the first time she was really married. Looking back at her time with Ike wasn't a fond experience, so she chose to look at life with Erwin as her first real go at married life.
They were struggling to find her a donor, and Tina was sure the kidney failure would be her end.
Tina confessed that she felt obligated to say yes when Ike asked her to marry him because declining the request would have led to conflict. She also recalled that her first marriage wasn't what she had had in mind for a wedding at all. Luckily, her second wedding was much happier.
2017: Bach Donates a Kidney to Turner
Although her wedding day was filled with celebration and happiness, Tina felt fatigued during the ceremony. Three weeks after the wedding, she woke up, unable to talk. Naturally, Erwin rushed her to the hospital, where doctors informed them she had suffered a mild stroke. Luckily, therapy helped restore her dexterity and motor functions.
In 2016, more tragedy struck when the vocalist was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. The cancer treatment wreaked havoc on her system, so she switched to homeopathic remedies. These had their own drawbacks, and Tina's kidneys failed as a result.
They were struggling to find her a donor, and Tina was sure the kidney failure would be her end. Erwin, on the other hand, wouldn't let his wife pass away and decided to step in. He volunteered one of his own kidneys as a transplant, and when he was cleared as a match, they were both wheeled into surgery.
After the kidney transplant, Erwin rolled into her room in his wheelchair, smiling and greeting her with a happy, "Hi, darling!" In an Instagram post, Tina reflected on their life together, saying Erwin had written love letters to her all 30 years they were together. The dedicated husband even kept doing so after they were married.
Tina was always highly candid about her health problems. Besides her health, Tina also faced tragedy in her family in her last days. The music icon tragically lost two of the four children she raised with her first husband, Ike, between 2018 and 2022.
Tina spent her final days in her house in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, with her beloved Erwin by her side.
Tina welcomed her oldest son, Craig Turner, when she was 18 years old with the musician Raymond Hill, the saxophonist for the Kings of Rhythm. Although Tina and Ike raised their four kids together, they only shared one biological son, Ronnie Turner.
2018 and 2022: Losing Sons
In 2018, Tina faced one of the most challenging things of her life when her oldest son, Craig, tragically died by suicide. Tina opened up about Craig, saying he had been an emotional child and struggled with the trauma of seeing how Ike had treated his mother.
On one July day, Craig took his own life. Tina shared an image on Instagram to commemorate the death of her son. The picture showed Tina, Erwin, and other family members on the hull of a ship, while the grieving mother held a rose out over the ocean. Tina wrote:
"On Thursday, July 19, 2018, I said my final goodbye to my son, Craig Raymond Turner, when I gathered with family and friends to scatter his ashes off the coast of California. He was fifty-nine when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby."
In 2022, Tina lost another son when her and Ike's only biological child, Ronnie, passed away due to complications of metastatic colon carcinoma. Tina lamented, "Ronnie, you left the world far too early. In sorrow I close my eyes and think of you, my beloved son."
2023: Turner Dies at 83
For the last part of her life, Tina had to ensure she was taking good care of her transplanted kidney. She commented that her kidney failure was a direct consequence of her not looking after her body. She noted that she should have realized her constant high blood pressure would affect her sometime in the future.
On May 24, 2023, Tina passed away after struggling with her health and living through the death of two of her children. The music legend died at the age of 83, having spent her last few years with her husband. Although she faced many challenges in her final years, she was quite content with her life.
The vocalist commented that there was nothing more she could possibly want from life. She confessed that she was "serene" after her retirement. Even though she had a life filled with seemingly impossible challenges, Tina was proud of the fact that she lived through them all.
Tina spent her final days in her house in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, with her beloved Erwin by her side. Reports indicate the singer passed away peacefully. In the last letter Erwin wrote to Tina, he finished with, "All my love always your loving husband."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.
news.AmoMama.com does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. news.AmoMama.com speaks out against the above mentioned and news.AmoMama.com advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.