Following Tina Turner’s passing, here’s everything to know about her marriage to the German music executive and her past relationship with Ike Turner.
- Tina Turner was wed twice in her life: first to Ike Turner and then again to Erwin Bach.
- Tina and Erwin were together beginning in 1986, but they got married in 2013.
- Tina died at 83 on May 24, 2023.
Tina Turner’s relationship with her husband Erwin Bach was one of the most lasting romances in the history of rock music. While they married in 2013, the pair were together from the mid-80s, until Tina’s death on May 24, 2023. The iconic singer died at 83 following a “long illness” at her home in Switzerland.
Tina’s team confirmed her passing in a statement on her Facebook page. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family,” they said.
Before marrying Erwin, Tina was also married to her former collaborator Ike Turner from 1962 until she left him in 1976. The couple’s divorce was finalized in 1978. While Erwin was mostly private, he did give in-depth interviews about his wife as part of the 2021 documentary Tina on HBO. Find out more about Erwin and both of Tina’s marriages here.
What does Erwin Bach do?
Born in Germany, the 67-year-old is a former music executive who worked for the British record company, EMI. While EMI eventually split into different labels, it was a leading record company for years, with major acts like Queen and Radiohead signed to it.
How long were Erwin and Tina together?
In the HBO documentary, Tina described meeting her future husband, revealing that it was love at first sight when he came to pick her up at a German airport in 1985. “He was younger. He was 30-years-old at the time,” she says. “The prettiest face. I mean you cannot… He was really so good-looking. My heart went bah-boom. It means that a soul has met. And my hands were shaking.”
The relationship quickly progressed, despite the 16-year age gap, with Tina making her feelings clear pretty swiftly. “When he found out that I liked him, he came to America,” she says. “We were in Nashville… And I said to him. ‘When you come to LA, I want you to make love to me…’”
“He was just so, so different,” she later says about what she loves about her husband. “So laid back. So comfortable. So unpretentious.”
When did Erwin and Tina get married?
Despite meeting in the 1980s, Tina and Erwin didn’t wed until 2013 in Switzerland on the couple’s lavish estate. Guests included Oprah Winfrey, David Bowie and Sade. That same year, Tina also became a Swiss citizen, relinquishing her American citizenship.
He admitted it’s hard to hear Tina discuss her abusive marriage to Ike Turner
Erwin even admitted during a 2013 interview with Oprah that he hasn’t read his wife’s bestselling memoir, I, Tina: My Life Story because of it. “I didn’t read the book. It’s hard to hear and read the past of the person you love when this comes up,” he told the media mogul. “So I always think that Tina one day will erase this, reset this.” He went on to say, “[I] think it’s time to close the book and close the chapter… because everything is said.”
Erwin donated a kidney to Tina when hers started failing
The singer wrote about her husband’s generous offer in her 2018 book, My Love Story. In an excerpt published in the Daily Mail, Tina revealed that by December 2016, following health complications with high blood pressure, her kidneys were functioning at just 20 percent “and plunging rapidly.” She faced a choice – dialysis or a kidney transplant.
But Erwin shocked his wife who admitted that she had started to “think about death.” “He said that he wanted to give me one of his kidneys,” she wrote. “I was overwhelmed by the enormity of his offer.”
In her 2020 book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide To Changing Your Life For Good, Tina gave fans an update on her health, writing: “I’m happy to say that, thanks to my dear husband, Erwin, giving me one of his kidneys, the gift of life, I’m in good health and loving life every day.”
Tina’s marriage to Ike Turner
Long before she met Erwin, Tina was in a well-documented relationship with Ike Turner. She began her music career with him and his band Kings of Rhythm. After her initial success, they rebranded into the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. They continued making music together until Tina left him in 1976, filing for divorce under “irreconcilable differences.” Their divorce was finalized in 1978, with Tina receiving ownership of the songs she wrote, while Ike retained ownership of his pieces. During their relationship, they had one son Ronnie together, and Tina adopted Ike’s two sons from a previous relationship. Ronnie died from complications from colon cancer in December 2022.
After their split, Tina accused Ike of being abusive, cheating, and physically hitting her. She shared her experiences in her memoir I, Tina. Their relationship was also the inspiration for the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne as Tina and Ike, respectively. “It was my relationship with Ike that made me most unhappy. At first, I had really been in love with him. Look what he’d done for me. But he was totally unpredictable,” she wrote in her memoir.