Tina Turner is truly an entertainment industry legend. Few musical artists have the sublime staying power of the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Whether she’s belting out a ferocious, no-holds-barred rendition of “Proud Mary,” playing the Acid Queen in the film version of the Who’s rock opera Tommy, or performing crowd-pleasing favorites such as “Private Dancer” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” Tina Turner, an eight-time Grammy winner, is in a class all by herself.
She survived a reportedly abusive marriage, the scourge of racism, career highs and lows, cancer, and a stroke. Through it all, Tina never allowed anything to stop her. Her allegedly stormy relationship with her husband Ike has been widely chronicled, but her role as a mother is less well-known.
Here’s more about her children, what they are doing now, and her relationship with them.
Tina Turner Shares Four Children With Two Men
Turner’s first-born son, Craig Raymond, was the son of Raymond Hill, a saxophonist in Ike Turner’s band, Kings of Rhythm. She adopted two of Ike Turner’s sons, Ike Jr. and Michael. She and Ike shared her youngest son, Ronald “Ronnie” Renelle.
Craig Tragically Took His Own Life In 2018
Turner was only 18 when she had Craig on August 20, 1958. His 2018 death from a reported self-inflicted gunshot at the age of 59 was a shattering blow for her. She said she was unaware that he was troubled. In fact, BBC News reported that Turner said Craig was seeing a woman he was interested in and intended to introduce them.
“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,” Turner told BBC News.
Craig had apparently been deeply affected early on by his stepfather Ike’s alleged abuse of Tina. She told Oprah Winfrey in 2005 that Craig, whom she described as “a very emotional kid,” realized the marital troubles his mother and Ike were having and seemed very concerned about her well-being on at least one occasion.
According to Turner, Craig once asked her, “Mother, are you all right [sic]?” after an especially intense fight between the couple.
She scattered Craig’s ashes off the California coast, describing it as her “saddest moment as a mother.”
Ike Jr. Followed His Parents Into The Music Industry
Born October 3, 1958, Ike Jr. evidently inherited his parents’ passion for music. He worked as a sound engineer at Bolic Sound and won a Grammy for producing Ike’s album Risin’ with the Blues.
According to CelebrityMirror, Ike Jr. had a bumpy childhood. His dad removed him from school when he was 13 and he subsequently worked in Ike Sr.’s recording studio. Ike Jr. formed a band called The Love Thang along with former Ikette Randi Love of The Ike Turner Revue. In 2017, The Love Thang had a single titled “Freaky!”
Ike Jr. reportedly alleged that his father pistol-whipped him for working for his mother after the two divorced. Ike Jr. also said that Ike Sr. and Tina were frequently on the road and away from him and the other Turner kids.
“We were raised by housekeepers because my mother and father were gone 11 months out of a year,” Ike Jr. told the 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 continued. “I don’t think any of my brothers have talked to her in a long time either.”
Ike Jr. and Ike Sr. apparently made amends before Ike Sr.’s 2007 death, which was attributed to a cocaine overdose.
Michael Prefers To Stay Out Of The Limelight
Very little is known about Michael, who was born on February 23, 1960. Ike Jr. reportedly said that Michael was in a California convalescent home as of 2018. He added that Tina does not visit Michael, she just sends him money.
Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Renelle Shared His Parents’ Musical Talents
Born on October 27, 1960, Ronnie married French-American singer Afida Turner in 2007. They had two children.
He played in both of his parents’ bands and played bass guitar in a band called Manufactured Funk. He also appeared as a member of The Revue in the film about his mother’s life, What’s Love Got to Do with It? (1993).
According to an archived version of a July 1989 article in TV Week, Tina pushed back against Ike Sr.’s assertions that she was an ineffective parent to her children, most of all to Ronnie. “He gave me those children and not a penny to look after them with,” she countered. “I was left trying to take care of his kids and mine.”
As for Ronnie’s upbringing, Tina said he had an excellent education in private schools, clothes, allowances, and more. Nevertheless, she said Ronnie “was determined to be self-destructive.” Tina mentioned that she would help him out financially when he was in dire need, but added, “I’m not going to be a bank for a nearly 30-year-old man.”
Sadly, after years of reported health issues, Ronnie died in 2022 at age 62.
Is Tina Turner Estranged From Her Children?
Tina married Erwin Bach, a German music producer, in 2013 and lives in Switzerland. In 2018, Ike Jr. told the Daily Mail that since remarrying, Tina has largely walked away from her children. “My mother is living her life—she has a new husband and she’s in Europe,” he said. “She doesn’t want to have anything to do with the past.”
He mentioned that his brothers “get money from a trust fund.”
In her autobiography I, Tina: My Life Story, Tina acknowledged that she is “a little bit estranged” from all her sons with the exception of Craig. Three years later, she told TV Week that she “supported Ronnie well into his 20s, but they all recently got cut off. I’m still there for the boys, but I’m not going to let them use me.”
Tina Turner’s life story is awe-inspiring. She has been down, gotten up again, and reached the pinnacle of success.
Her relationships with her sons seem to have been problematic and presently rather distant. The connection she has with them today, if it still exists at all, appears tenuous.
Turner seems to draw a clear line as to how far she will go, financially and emotionally, for them. Her existence now seems centered around her current husband and the life they have built together.