After her last-ever concert series, the "Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour," wrapped up in 2009, Tina Turner officially retired. But she didn't disappear from public life at that time. Her autobiography, Tina Turner: My Love Story, came out in 2018. She also appeared on various TV shows to promote a musical dedicated to her extraordinary life story, Tina — The Tina Turner Musical, and in 2021, HBO released a documentary about her life and career titled Tina.
But in recent years, Tina Turner had been living quietly and staying mostly out of the spotlight. Before the singer's death at the age of 83 in May 2023, fans were eager to get a glimpse of the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll.
Tina Turner died in May 2023. Had she stepped out of the public eye?
While Tina maintained an Instagram page in her later years, she mostly shared older, nostalgia-tinged selfies and photographs. She did a few interviews — she featured on CBS Sunday Morning in 2019, for instance — but other than that, Tina had been living a quiet life.
It felt to many like Tina became much more protective of her private life after her last tour came to an end. She lived with her husband, Erwin Bach, in Switzerland, which is where she died on May 24, 2023.
Tina Turner suffered a stroke just a few years after her official retirement.
Tina suffered a stroke in 2013. In 2016, she was diagnosed with kidney failure and intestinal cancer. For a while, she considered assisted suicide, which is legal in her chosen country of Switzerland. Eventually, her second husband, Erwin Bach, offered to donate one of his kidneys.
"We call it "the Baby" because it's like me being pregnant — it's a part of him, kind of a baby from Erwin! It's over here somewhere,' she points to her lower right abdomen. 'So I have three kidneys and he only has one,'" she explained in a 2018 interview with The Daily Mail.
Just when things were about to look up, Tina received horrible news again. In July 2018, just a few months before her autobiography, Tina Turner: My Love Story, came out, the singer learned that her son, Craig, took his life.
As she described in a rare interview with BBC at the time, she spoke to Craig several times in the weeks leading up to his tragic death. He took these conversations as opportunities to tell her about his new job and new partner.
"I still don't know what took him to the edge," Tina told the BBC.
"I have no idea what pulled him down, except something that followed him with loneliness. I think it was something with being alone. [...] But when I think that, why didn't he call the new girlfriend?" Tina added.
Tina Turner was an icon.
The HBO documentary Tina follows the life and career of the iconic singer, including some of the more unsavory parts that many fans might not know about. "I had an abusive life," Tina explains in the trailer. "There's no other way to tell the story."
The documentary features archival footage spanning more than 60 years and includes interviews with Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, Erwin Bach, and many others. Tina Turner was a powerhouse and a giant talent, and she will be greatly missed.