"My heart [was beating fast], and it means that a soul has met, and my hands were shaking," Tina Turner said of her first meeting with Erwin Bach.
Trigger Warning: The following contains details of intimate partner abuse which some readers may find distressing.
Tina Turner's rise to stardom in the 1960s was accompanied by a tumultuous personal life.
As part of the popular duo with Ike Turner, she achieved success with hits throughout the 1960s. Their first song together, A Fool in Love, was released in 1960, and they got married two years later. In her book Tina Turner: My Love Story, she wrote, per TODAY, "He needed to control me, economically and psychologically, so I could never leave him."
Reflecting on the abuse she endured, Tina shared the horrors she faced, "He threw hot coffee in my face, giving me third-degree burns... 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."
Recommending the movie— KIARA🥲 (@kikiwannakaikai) May 24, 2023
"What's Love Got to do With it" (1993), Angela Basset was simply the BEST casting choice
"The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from her abusive husband, Ike Turner" — IMDb
Available on @DisneyPlus pic.twitter.com/wcUL4GgW5c
The breaking point came when Ike violently attacked Tina before a Dallas concert in 1976. Tina managed to escape with "36 cents and a Mobil credit card", per CBS News, spending months in hiding as she embarked on a new life alone. Though the journey was not without challenges, it marked a significant improvement from her past.
Recognizing the need for change, she remarked, "I started really seeing that I had to make a change... In the divorce, I got nothing. No money, no house. So I said, 'I'll just take my name [that I rose to fame with].'"
“TINA” (2021 HBO Doc): The story of Tina Turner’s love life has largely been defined by the first half of her life and her abusive relationship with Ike Turner, but the longest, most enduring relationship was the nearly 40 years she spent with her partner Erwin Bach. pic.twitter.com/mAy24AbYe6— Rom Com Historian (@romcomhistory) May 24, 2023
While she recovered, love presented her with a second chance when she locked eyes with Erwin Bach at Düsseldorf Airport in Germany, she shared talking to PEOPLE. Recounting their meeting, she reminisced, "He was [16 years] younger [than me]. He was 30 years old at the time and had the prettiest face. I mean, you cannot [describe] it. It was like insane. [I thought], 'Where did he come from?' He was really so good-looking. My heart [was beating fast], and it means that a soul has met, and my hands were shaking."
"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," Turner wroter in her book Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good. She remembers not paying too much attention to Erwin when they 1st met. "But I did notice him, and I instantly felt an emotional connection," she continued.
Tina Turner on Erwin Bach and 'my one true marriage.' RIP. (Photo: Franziska Krug) pic.twitter.com/EAsq0XzSQr— Nick Spence (@Nickfromupnorth) May 24, 2023
In 2013, Tina suffered a stroke shortly after marrying Erwin Bach. Dissatisfied with the side effects of her initial treatment, she turned to homeopathic remedies, which led to total kidney failure. Reflecting on this challenging time, Tina appreciated her husband's support, "[Erwin] never reproached me for my mistake. Instead, he was loyal, kind, and understanding — and determined to help me get through all this alive."
Bach and Tina's marriage was so good that he stepped up to selflessly donate one of his kidneys to Tina in April 2017. Although Tina still experienced mild symptoms such as nausea and dizziness, she remained optimistic, per PEOPLE. In her book Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, she expressed gratitude for Erwin, stating, "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."
Tina Turner's husband Erwin Bach (16years younger) who she married in 2013 after dating for 27years gave her one of his kidneys last year. pic.twitter.com/VcvQcX31S2— Wale Gates (@walegates) November 26, 2018
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jacopo Raule