To Tina, who never gave up on life

From Vincent Pienaar

Leftfield producer and singer Lee Hazlewood wrote a soul song for singer Nancy Sinatra called Friday’s Child. It may have been written for Tina Turner.

“Friday’s child, hard luck is her brother

Friday’s child, her sister’s misery

Friday’s child, that’s me.”

If ever anybody had an excuse to give up on life — to be a Friday’s Child — it was Tina Turner. Yet we celebrate her for carving a life of joy and success that could so easily have ended in disaster.

Coming from a sharecropping background in Tennessee, Anna Mae Bullock, was only 16 when she went to St Louis. There she became Tina and hooked up with the band, Kings of Rhythm, led by Ike Turner, whom she married. 

It was the beginning of a life of hell for the young girl who only wanted to sing and make people happy.

Rumours abounded, but it took 20 years for the truth to come out about their relationship in 1977 when they got divorced. The truth of Ike’s abuse was confirmed by Tina herself in her 1986 book, “I, Tina”.

While Tina’s career took off, specifically with her album Private Dancer in 1982, Ike didn’t do too well. Addicted to cocaine, he was convicted of drug offences and served 18 months in prison. He died of a drug overdose in 2007.

Tragedy came to Tina’s door in July 2018, when her son Craig died of an apparent suicide. In 2022 her other son, Ronnie Turner died, aged 62, of colon cancer.

Yet Tina insisted on seeing the bright side of life as evidenced in her books, “My Love Story” and her self-help book “Happiness Becomes You”.

There was, however, one bright shining and consistent light in her life. Tina found true love with music executive Erwin Bach, a decade after divorcing Ike. 

Turner and Bach, many years her junior, were together for 30 years before they finally married — a marriage that lasted until her death on Wednesday, May 24 at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich in Switzerland.

She will not be remembered as somebody who lived a life against the wind. 

Tina will be remembered as somebody who searched for and found joy and love. 

Pictured above: Tina Turner

Image source: Twitter

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