How did Tina Turner's son Craig die? 'Queen of Rock n' Roll' was left devastated: ‘My saddest moment as a mother’
Tina Turner bid a final farewell to her fans in an emotional new film that shows how she overcame her painful past and finally found happiness. The HBO documentary, titled 'Tina' sees the renowned songstress reflect on her younger years that were mostly filled with pain and struggle. However, her greatest heartbreak came with the death of her beloved son Craig in 2018.
How did Craig die?
Tina has known trauma all her life. On July 3, 2018, her son Craig died by suicide in Los Angeles. Law enforcement said that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Studio City home in California, TMZ reported at the time. “My saddest moment as a mother," Tina said after scattering his ashes off the California coast. "He was 59 when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby.”
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Craig was born to 18-year-old Tina Turner and Raymond Hill, a saxophonist for Ike Turner's band the Kings of Rhythm. Tina and Raymond’s relationship soon fell apart, and the former began a relationship with Ike before joining his band and marrying him. Craig’s childhood was far from ideal. He grew up away from his biological father and in an environment where he constantly witnessed domestic abuse.
After Tina married Ike, he adopted Craig and raised him as his own son. Tina and Ike's marriage was far from peaceful and they bickered constantly, usually resulting in a black eye for Tina. When she couldn't take it anymore, Tina left Ike and her son Craig stayed behind, just as he was finishing up high school.
Craig also has a younger sibling named Ronnie Turner, 57, who is his half-brother. Ronnie is Tina and Ike’s son. He too was a musician and has performed with his parents several times. Tina also adopted two of Ike’s sons, Michael and Ike Turner Jr.
Back in 2005, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Tina opened up about the alleged abuse she suffered when she was with Ike. She also said that Ike’s abuse took a toll on Craig. She explained that Craig “was a very emotional kid.”
“He’d always look down in sadness,” she said of when he witnessed the alleged abuse himself. “One day when Ike was fighting me, Craig knocked on the door and said, ‘Mother, are you all right?’ I thought, ‘Oh, please, don’t beat me at home.’ I didn’t want my children to hear. I tried to have meals with the children, talk to them about life. But Ike had no sense of that. He'd always come home late from the studio. It was awful."
Tina Turner's first son, Craig Turner commits suicide at 59: https://t.co/wYLtVxDMpe pic.twitter.com/X2WZ2Jopr3— mayowa. (@Wana____) July 4, 2018
Pulled down by 'loneliness'
Tina had previously shared how she was shocked by Craig's death given he had a new girlfriend and a new job at the time. "I still don’t know what took him to the edge because, at that stage, he had said to me that he had never met a woman that he felt that way about," she told BBC News. "He was bringing her to meet me [for] his birthday in August. He had decorated his apartment that I bought him years ago. He had gotten a new job with a prominent real estate company in California [which] he was very happy with."
"I have no idea what pulled him down, except something that followed him with loneliness. I think it was something with being alone. But when I think that, why didn’t he call the new girlfriend that gave him the lift?" She continued, "He was an introverted person, he was very shy, so I didn’t know either, except now when I listen back to our last conversations, I notice a change. The last few times we talked, the conversations were different, and I didn’t know that until after the suicide."