Tina Turner discusses surviving her abusive marriage to Ike

Tina Turner has spoken about surviving her abusive marriage to Ike Turner and how she ‘summoned her inner lion’ to overcome her numerous health problems.

The iconic singer, 81, credits Buddhism for encouraging her to ‘live life’ to the fullest and overcome the domestic violence she suffered during her marriage to the musician which lasted from 1962-1978.

The Best hitmaker has also battled numerous health issues, including a stroke in 2013 just weeks after her wedding to husband Erwin Bach and being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016. 

Icon: Tina Turner has spoken about surviving her abusive marriage to Ike Turner and how she 'summoned her inner lion' to overcome her numerous health problems (pictured 2017)

Icon: Tina Turner has spoken about surviving her abusive marriage to Ike Turner and how she 'summoned her inner lion' to overcome her numerous health problems (pictured 2017)

Icon: Tina Turner has spoken about surviving her abusive marriage to Ike Turner and how she ‘summoned her inner lion’ to overcome her numerous health problems (pictured 2017)

Speaking to the Guardian, she said: ‘Over the years I have summoned up my inner lion and overcome each health problem. Illness has given me a greater appreciation for health and reminds me to live each day to its fullest. 

‘Buddhism found me. The abuse I endured in my 20s and 30s had become obvious to people around me, and at different times a number of them suggested that I learn about Buddhism.

She added that she had ‘nothing to lose’ and while it took time for her to learn how to stand up for herself, she was able to ‘leave the unhealthy environment with no regrets.’ 

The couple became known in the 60s and 70s for The Ike and Tina Revue – but behind closed doors Ike was inflicting sickening violence on Tina. 

She added: ‘Now that I’m in my 80s, resilience and endurance are still my strongest assets. I’ll tell you a secret to joyful endurance. It’s to never complain, no matter what challenges life sends your way’ adding that she believes complaints ‘erase good fortune.’ 

Violence: The iconic singer, 81, credits Buddhism for encouraging her to 'live life' to the fullest and overcome the domestic violence she suffered during her marriage to the musician which lasted from 1962-1978 (pictured in 1964)

Violence: The iconic singer, 81, credits Buddhism for encouraging her to 'live life' to the fullest and overcome the domestic violence she suffered during her marriage to the musician which lasted from 1962-1978 (pictured in 1964)

Violence: The iconic singer, 81, credits Buddhism for encouraging her to ‘live life’ to the fullest and overcome the domestic violence she suffered during her marriage to the musician which lasted from 1962-1978 (pictured in 1964)

The music legend said changing the way she perceived herself had worked wonders for her career and mindset, adding that when she was younger she ‘didn’t care’ for the way she looks’ and hated her iconic legs.   

A brief romance in Knoxville with sax player, Raymond Hill produced her first son Craig – before musician and singer Ike Turner invited her to join his band and then his bed.

Later came well known years of domestic violence. ‘Busted lips, black eyes, dislocated joints, broken bones and psychological torment became a part of everyday life,’ she writes. 

‘I tried to keep myself sane while managing his insanity,’ Tina adds.

But her depression and despondency from Ike’s abusiveness and infidelities led Tina to attempt suicide in 1968 by downing 50 sleeping pills backstage before a concert. 

Fame: The couple became known in the 60s and 70s for The Ike and Tina Revue - but behind closed doors Ike was inflicting sickening violence on Tina. She walked out on him in 1976 (pictured 1970s)

Fame: The couple became known in the 60s and 70s for The Ike and Tina Revue - but behind closed doors Ike was inflicting sickening violence on Tina. She walked out on him in 1976 (pictured 1970s)

Fame: The couple became known in the 60s and 70s for The Ike and Tina Revue – but behind closed doors Ike was inflicting sickening violence on Tina. She walked out on him in 1976 (pictured 1970s)

The music crew backstage realized something was wrong and rushed her to the hospital to save her life.

Initially disappointed to wake up, she decided to just make the most of her life,  but where she was headed she didn’t know – until a sound engineer suggested she try chanting.  

‘Wasn’t that for hippies?’ she thought – until her youngest son brought home Buddhist chanting beads and suggested she chant ‘Namu-myoho-renge-kyo’.

‘These are words chanted with all forms of Nichiren Buddhism, and according to the faith, enables us to summon forth wisdom to surmount all adversity,’ she writes. 

Wow: It would take time but Tina found greater success than she had ever experienced in her youth with the release of her 1984 album Private Dancer when she was aged 45 (pictured 2009)

Wow: It would take time but Tina found greater success than she had ever experienced in her youth with the release of her 1984 album Private Dancer when she was aged 45 (pictured 2009)

Wow: It would take time but Tina found greater success than she had ever experienced in her youth with the release of her 1984 album Private Dancer when she was aged 45 (pictured 2009)

Ronnie also suggest they go to a chanting meeting but since Ike wouldn’t let her out of the house, Tina told Ronnie to bring the Buddhists to the house.

It was a quick path to reading books on Buddhist wisdom – and learning how to transform poisonous destructive negativity into creative positivity that gave her the strength to finally leave Ike Turner and file for divorce in 1976 – when she had just 36 cents to her name.

Speaking from her home in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, Tina also spoke about how surviving Ike’s abuse had given her an unshakable resilience.

She told the Mirror: ‘I wouldn’t change a thing. I embrace the entirety of my life’s journey. Each part has contributed to me becoming who I am today, and I’m very happy now.’  

Heartbreak: Tina's beloved son Craig committed suicide in 2018 amid a battle with mental health problems

Heartbreak: Tina's beloved son Craig committed suicide in 2018 amid a battle with mental health problems

Heartbreak: Tina’s beloved son Craig committed suicide in 2018 amid a battle with mental health problems

‘There were a number of difficult experiences that could have shattered me, but instead became fuel for my journey, propelling me upward.”  

‘After surviving years of abuse, I knew I had an innate resilience I could tap into. If I could increase that, I knew I could become unshakably happy and make my dreams come true.  

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock, and still just a teenager when she met the man who would change her life, Ike Turner. 

It would take time but Tina found greater success than she had ever experienced in her youth with the release of  her 1984 album Private Dancer when she was aged 45.

Grammys, sold-out tours and even love quickly followed for Turner, who in 1986 began a relationship with German record executive Erwin Bach.

The two were married seven years ago, and he even gave her one of his kidneys. 

It has not been smooth sailing however for Turner, who in 2018 lost her son Craig to suicide at the age of 59.     

Hill could not overcome mental health issues and committed suicide suffering clinical depression and loneliness which exacerbated a drinking problem. 

Meeting Erwin Bach at an airport in Germany while on a concert tour in 1985, she felt an instant emotional connect to the young music executive from the record company – which she attributes to her faith and being open to the gifts of the universe. 

Now in her 80s, she is fulfilling a long-held dream to teach – with the writing of this book and hoping it inspires readers to pursue Buddhism.

She now forgives Ike for his brutal treatment of her and has come to terms with the death of her first son, Craig. 

The Best: Tina has been married to German music exec Erwin Bach since 2013 - she has called him her 'soulmate' (pictured 2018)

The Best: Tina has been married to German music exec Erwin Bach since 2013 - she has called him her 'soulmate' (pictured 2018)

The Best: Tina has been married to German music exec Erwin Bach since 2013 – she has called him her ‘soulmate’ (pictured 2018)

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