The legendary singer’s journey through motherhood marked by joy, tragedy, and complexity.
The world mourned the loss of rock ‘n’ roll legend Tina Turner on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at the age of 83. While her extraordinary career and indomitable spirit have left an indelible mark on the music industry, Tina also found immense joy and challenges in her role as a mother. Tina Turner was a mom of four, two biological sons and two adopted sons from her tumultuous marriage with Ike Turner. In this story, we delve into the lives of Tina Turner’s children, celebrating their accomplishments, acknowledging their struggles, and paying tribute to their mother’s enduring legacy.
Craig Raymond Turner (August 29, 1958–July 3, 2018):
Craig Turner was Tina’s first child, born when she was just 18 years old to musician Raymond Hill, a saxophonist in Ike Turner’s band, Kings of Rhythm. Ike later adopted Craig upon marrying Tina in 1962. In a 2005 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Tina revealed the emotional toll her abusive marriage took on Craig. After high school, Craig served in the U.S. Navy and pursued a career in real estate. Tragically, he took his own life on July 3, 2018, at the age of 59. Tina shared the poignant details of their final conversation, hinting at the unresolved pain from his childhood.
Ike Turner Jr. (Circa 1958–present):
Ike Jr. was Tina’s stepson, born to Ike Turner and Lorraine Taylor, and was adopted by Tina. His life was marred by the tumultuous relationship between his parents. Ike Sr. pulled him out of school at just 13 to tour together, and Ike Jr. became a talented musician. However, he alleged that his father physically abused him with a gun in an attempt to sever his relationship with Tina. Ike Jr. went on to win a Grammy and now plays in a tribute band. Despite their shared history, he lost touch with Tina by 1985, revealing that his mother had moved on to a new life in Europe.
Michael Turner (Circa 1959–present):
Michael, Ike Turner and Lorraine Taylor’s second son, was also adopted by Tina. His life was similarly affected by his parents’ tumultuous divorce. Although not much is known about his professional life, he struggled with addiction as an adult. In a 2017 interview, Ike Jr. disclosed that Michael had faced health challenges, including strokes and seizures, requiring a wheelchair. Tina continued to support Michael financially but did not visit him in a Southern California convalescent home.
Ronnie Turner (October 27, 1960–December 8, 2022):
Ronnie was the only biological child of Ike and Tina Turner. He pursued a career in music and played bass in a group called Manufactured Funk, even making a cameo in the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got to Do with It” about his parents. However, Ronnie’s life took a self-destructive turn, marked by legal issues and struggles with drugs. By 2000, he was a father of two children. In March 2007, he married French singer Afida Turner. Tragically, Ronnie succumbed to complications of colon cancer and cardiovascular disease on December 8, 2022. Tina paid a heartfelt tribute to her beloved son, reflecting on his life cut short.
Tina Turner’s journey as a mother was a complex one, filled with both the joys of motherhood and the challenges her children faced due to their tumultuous family history. Her legacy as a rock ‘n’ roll icon will forever be celebrated, but it’s essential to remember the human side of this legendary singer—a mother who cherished her children and navigated the intricate tapestry of family life.