Tina Turner reveals how she planned for assisted suicide after cancer diagnosis but was saved by her husband’s kidney
TINA TURNER has revealed she was so ill she considered assisted suicide — until her husband saved her life by donating his kidney.
The soul icon fell in love with music producer Erwin Bach, 16 years her junior, in 1985 after suffering years of ill-treatment at the hands of ex-lover Ike.
Tina Turner reveals how she found happiness in her new auto-biography My Love StoryGetty – Contributor
Tying the knot 28 years later, the singer says their 2013 wedding was one of the happiest days of her life.
But, in her new autobiography — My Love Story, out later this month — Tina, 78, revealed how she started feeling faint during that day as the party gathered for photos.
It was the first sign of an impending stroke.
Just three months later, she woke up and felt a lightning bolt in her head and right leg.
Tina was married to Ike Turner, suffering domestic abuse and reveals she was beaten on the head by a wooden spoon1964 GAB Archive
Tina said: “I tried to speak but I couldn’t get any words out.
I was having a stroke.”
It left Tina unable to walk or use her right arm.
And, to add to her troubles, doctors also found she had high blood pressure which left her kidneys working at just 35 per cent of their normal function.
Yet Tina now admits she “foolishly” scuppered her treatment by ditching her medication and instead turned to homeopathy — a decision which almost cost her her life.
Her homeopath had claimed toxins in the water near her Château Algonquin home in Switzerland were damaging her body, so she set about replacing the water pipes and having the water purified by crystals.
‘I was overwhelmed by the enormity of his offer’
But the blunder sapped her strength, leaving her unable to walk from room-to-room.
Another shock diagnosis, early stage intestinal cancer, led to part of her intestine being removed.
By 2016, Tina’s kidney function was down to 20 per cent, leaving her unable to eat.
Tina admits at one point she thought of assisted suicide — legal in Switzerland — and signed up to be a member of Exit, “just in case”.
Ms Turner here poses with her late son Craig who took his own lifeFacebook
She said: “I think that’s when the idea of my death became a reality for Erwin.
He was very emotional about not wanting to lose me, not wanting me to leave.
“He said he didn’t want another woman, or another life; we were happy and he’d do anything to keep us together.
Then he shocked me.
Erwin Bach and Tina married in 2013 after Mr. Bach proposed three timesGetty – Contributor
“He said he wanted to give me one of his kidneys.
“I was overwhelmed by the enormity of his offer.”
Tina, who has notched up 200million in record sales, is no stranger to struggle.
Hers has been an extraordinary journey, from being an unwanted child picking cotton in the tiny segregated backwater of Nutbush, Tennessee, to years of being too afraid to leave her abusive first husband Ike.
When Tina went on stage the first time with Ike she thought he was ‘real ugly’Getty – Contributor
She once said: “My struggle started inside my mother’s womb.
I suffered all the way from childhood right up until the end of Ike.
“What kept me on course was me, it was something I was born with.”
In July this year, that strength was tested again.
After she left Ike her career stalled buy then the album Private Dance launched her into the mainstreamnot known check with features
As the chart queen posed for photographers on the red carpet outside a fashion show in Paris, her eldest son Craig, 59, was in Los Angeles, about to turn a gun on himself.
Eight days later, Tina posted a picture of herself scattering her boy’s ashes off the coast of California, accompanied by the words: “My saddest moment as a mother.”
Tina, who was born Anna Mae Bullock, was just 18 years old when she gave birth to Craig in 1958.
She was determined to be a good mother, having been deserted by her own mum Zelma at ten.
Her father left three years later.
Tina performed with Mick Jagger in Live aid to sold out crowds in 1985Rex Features
The baby’s father was the saxophonist in a band she became obsessed with after moving to St Louis, Missouri.
Its frontman was Ike Turner.
One night when she was in the audience, he invited her on stage and, wowed by her voice, later asked her to tour with them.
There was no romantic attraction initially.
Tina has performed at the Grammy’s a number of times including sharing the stage with Beyonce in 2008AP:Associated Press
It was only when she was trying to escape the advances of another musician she found herself in Ike’s bed — even though she knew then: “He wasn’t right for me”.
In 1960, the pair had son Ronnie.
Two years later they wed.
In 1966, they hit the big time with single River Deep Mountain High, which hit No3 in the UK.
Ms Turner’s singing career began with Ike but after leaving him she became a household nameAP:Associated Press
More hits followed, along with the first of Tina’s eight Grammy awards.
But at home, she was nothing but a punchbag for cocaine addict Ike.
Describing the first beating at his hands, she recalled: “It was against the head, always against the head.”
But it was not until July 1976 that she finally fled with just 36 cents in her pocket.
Tina performed with Mel Gibson in Mad Max Beyond ThunderdomeCorbis – Getty
For a few years, her career stalled — but then in 1984 came her solo album Private Dancer.
The album sold 20million copies and gave her her first US No1 single with What’s Love Got To Do With It.
In 1985 she starred in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with Mel Gibson — the same year she met German-born record executive Erwin, after he picked her up at an airport.
Tina recalled: “My heart was going da-dum.
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I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is love at first sight.’”
They have been together since. The secret, according to Tina, is simple. She noted a few years ago: “What’s love got to do with it? A lot!”