One of the reasons she could continue her musical journey for as long as she wanted before retiring was that she had a loving partner to support her.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 3, 2020. It has since been updated.
Some people don't find the love of their life until their later years. They may not have known what true love feels like until after they found it much later. They may have dated or even been married but to the wrong person.
Tina Turner was a powerhouse performer, and even in her 80s, she was still full of creativity. One of the reasons she could continue her musical journey for as long as she wanted before retiring was that she had a loving partner to support her. Erwin Bach, 64, a famous millionaire, who was a music executive working in her record company, has been the most supportive partner. Her first husband all but broke her spirit after abusing her for years.
In her book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, the legendary singer credited her husband of seven years, Erwin Bach, for teaching her how "to love without giving up who I am."
"We grant each other freedom and space to be individuals at the same time we are a couple," the What’s Love Got to Do With It songstress wrote in the book, as per People. "Erwin, who is a force of nature in his own right, has never been the least bit intimidated by my career, my talents, or my fame. He shows me that true love doesn't require the dimming of my light so that he can shine. On the contrary, we are the light of each other's lives, and we want to shine as bright as we can, together."
The best kind of marriages are where both partners are equals who make a whole, and this couple has been lifting each other up for more than 30 years. They started dating in 1986, a decade after Turner left her abusive first husband, Ike Turner. Bach may be more than a dozen years younger than her but Turner said that they felt a connection immediately. They married many years later in 2013.
"Falling in love with my husband, Erwin, was another exercise in leaving my comfort zone, of being open to the unexpected gifts that life has to offer," wrote the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome actress. "The day I first met Erwin, at an airport in Germany, I should have been too tired from my flight, too preoccupied with thoughts of my concert tour, and in too much of a hurry to get to my hotel to pay much attention to the young music executive who came from my record company to welcome me."
The late singer said that she did "notice" Bach and felt a connection to him. Falling in love has a lot to do with the right timing and it worked perfectly for this couple. "Even then, I could have ignored what I felt — I could have listened to the ghost voices in my head telling me that I didn’t look good that day, or that I shouldn't be thinking about romance because it never ends well. Instead, I listened to my heart. I left my comfort zone and made it a priority to get to know Erwin. That simple first meeting led to a long, beautiful relationship — and my one true marriage," she wrote.
Turner and Ike were a hit professionally but her first husband hurt her physically multiple times. In her 2018 memoir My Love Story, she revealed the hard past with Ike, whom she will never forgive. "He threw hot coffee in my face, giving me third-degree burns," she wrote, reported USA Today. "He used my nose as a punching bag so many times that I could taste blood running down my throat when I sang. He broke my jaw. And I couldn’t remember what it was like not to have a black eye."
In contrast, Bach saved her life, literally, by giving her his kidney when she needed a transplant in 2017. She expressed gratitude to her second husband in the new book. "I'm happy to say that, thanks to my beloved husband, Erwin, giving me one of his kidneys, the gift of life, I'm in good health and loving life every day," Turner writes. "I'm also thankful that I've not only survived, but thrived so that I can pass on to you this book containing precious gifts that were given to me — the greatest gifts I can offer."
She didn't let age stand in the way of her happiness. She was a fighter and continued to live her life fully while living with Bach in Zurich, Switzerland until her death on May 24, 2023, at the age of 83.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Jacopo M. Raule (R) Stuart C. Wilson