Tina Turner 'turned her back on' three of her sons after ending abusive marriage to Ike in 1976
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll Tina Turner died on Wednesday, May 24, after battling various health issues for several years. As she is known for her classic canon of songs that include ‘Private Dancer’ and ‘The Best’ among many others, she is also equally famous for her tumultuous family life. It is also said that Turner, who was a mother-of-four, reportedly "neglected" three of her sons after ending her abusive marriage to her first husband, Ike.
Turner, whose original name was Anna Mae Bullock, married ‘Kings of Rhythm’ frontman Ike in 1962. Before their marriage, which also launched her career prominently, she was in a relationship with the band’s saxophonist Raymond Craig, with whom she had a son, Raymond Craig Hill, in 1958. After marrying Ike in 1962, he adopted Raymond, renaming him to Craig Raymond Turner. Turner also adopted Ike’s two sons with his previous partner, Lorraine Taylor, Ike Jr and Michael. Before their marriage, Ike and Turner welcomed their only biological son, Ronnie in 2016.
Tina Turner's cause of death revealed as world mourns loss of inspiring superstar
Tina Turner's last photo shows music legend reminiscing about 'some of the proudest moments' of her life
After her abusive marriage, which Turner said was “torture” in 1981, per Showbiz Cheatsheet, the ‘Addicted to Love’ singer divorced Ike in 1976. As she fled their home with just a few cents in her pocket, she grew very distant from her sons as well. Later, when she left the US for good and settled in Switzerland, she became much more distant from her sons, making them say, she turned her back on them.
Craig Raymond Turner
The only son with whom Turner reportedly kept in touch was her firstborn, Craig. In an interview with Spin in 1985, Ike Sr, revealed, “She’s convincing white people that she only cares about one of her kids, the one [Craig] she had before me,” adding, “Since we broke up, she’s saying that Craig is the only one she wanted to mother. This is the only time I’ve really been mad at her.”
Three months after Craig killed himself in 2018, Turner told BBC News, "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 also took to Instagram to post a tribute for him.
Ike Jr Turner
One of her adopted sons, Ike Jr, once revealed in an interview to Daily Mail, “Tina raised me from the age of two. She’s the only mother I’ve ever known. But I haven’t talked to my mother since God knows when – probably around 2000.” He claimed his brothers too did not have much of a relationship with Turner, who had been living in Europe since 1994, “I don't think any of my brothers have talked to her in a long time either. My mother is living her life - she has a new husband, and she's in Europe [and I think] she doesn't want to have anything to do with the past," he added.
Ike Jr further shared that even when their parents were together, they were mainly raised by housekeepers as Ike and Turner were on the road almost all-year round. “We were raised by housekeepers because my mother and father were gone 11 months out of a year,” Ike Jr said in an interview. However, he also shared that they were financially supported by Turner through trust funds.
In 1985, just after Turner launched her solo career in 1983, Ike Jr, who is also a musician, told Spin, "I know she's busy, but I don't know why she hasn't called. I love her, she brought me up, she's my mother," adding, "It kind of feels like she's neglecting us, at least us three, me, Michael and Ronnie."
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Ike Jr said, “My brothers are doing OK. They get money from a trust fund,” before giving a health update on Michael. He said, “Michael is in a convalescent home in Southern California and needs medical support. I’ve been to see him quite a few times. He’s doing great.” He highlighted that Turner doesn’t often pay them a visit saying, “No. All she does is send him money.”
In the 1985 interview to Spin, Ike Sr said, “Michael once tried to physically take me out of the studio to take him to see Tina. He desperately wanted to see her, so he went to her house, to bring her back to me, and she put him in a nut house [in Calabasas, California, a tiny highlands town north of Los Angeles].” He added, “The kids can’t even go to see her. They don’t have her phone number. They have to talk to her sister, Eileen. Tina won’t even talk to them. Tina’s changed so much, she’s changed so much… don’t know why she’s doing this.”
Ike Jr, insinuating the fact that Michael was the one who was most devastated by Turner and Ike's divorce, said, “Michael wanted my mother and father to get back together, and the next thing knew he was in the hospital. He was hurt by their being apart. I didn’t think he was crazy. They kept him in this place a long time. I thought he was normal. I don’t know why she did that.”
Ronnie was the only biological son Turner had with Ike. Ronnie, who appeared in the 1993 biopic of their mother, ‘What's Love Got to Do with It’ died in December 2022. While it is reported that Turner did not have much of a relationship with him either, posted an Instagram tribute upon his death. "Ronnie, you left the world far too early. In sorrow I close my eyes and think of you. My beloved son,” the legendary singer wrote on Instagram.