Tina Turner held many titles; Icon, Legend, Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but all of these were earned after a long career and through perseverance in the face of all the adversity she faced in her life.
One title she earned at the age of 18 was unrelated to her career, the title of Mom. Turner was a proud mother to four sons up until her death in May 2023.
Tina’s first child, Raymond Craig, was born in 1958 to Turner and Kings of Rhythm saxophonist Raymond Hill. Later when Turner would marry Ike Turner, the lead man of the Kings of Rhythm; and Ike would adopt Craig and raise him alongside his two children he brought with him from previous relationships.
According to Turner, her son Craig was ‘highly emotional’ regarding the abuse she faced at the hands of Ike Turner. “He’d always look down in sadness,” Turner recalled. “One day when Ike was fighting me, Craig knocked on the door and said, ‘Mother, are you all right?’ I thought, ‘Oh, please, don’t beat me at home.’ I didn’t want my children to hear.”
At the time Tina left Ike, Craig graduated high school and Turne revealed in an interview with Oprah that he served in the Navy before becoming a real estate agent in California. Sadly Turner would lose her first son to suicide at the age of 59, and in July 2018 Turner shared an emotional tweet revealing that she’d scattered her son’s ashes across the Californian coast saying that it was the saddest moment of her life as a mother and, tearfully adding, that Craig would always be her baby.
Tragedy would strike four years following Craig’s death with Turner losing yet another son. Ike and Tina shared one biological child together who would follow in their musical tracks. Ronnie Turner was born in 1960 and would become a bassist in the band Manufactured Funk. Turner told Rolling Stone that as an adult Ronnie ran into legal issues and that “California wasn’t good for him; he was very influenced by drugs and didn’t want to go back there because of that reason.”
Eleven years after the 1986 Rolling Stone article, Turner revealed to Larry King that her children were doing better and that there were few problems with drugs regarding Ronnie. Sadly, Ronnie would succumb to a battle with metastatic colon cancer at the age of 62 in October 2022.
Turner, then 83, shared a tribute to her son on social media saying, “Ronnie, you left the world far too early. In sorrow I close my eyes and think of you, my beloved son.”
The two sons Turner adopted from Ike Turner’s previous relationship, Ike Turner Jr. and Michael, and raised them like her own. But finally her split from Ike Turner, Turner allegadely stopped keeping in contact with the two men. According to Ike Jr, Michael was deeply impacted by his parents divorce and wanted his mother and father to be together again.
Ike Jr. would go on to follow in his parent’s musical footsteps and ultimately win a Grammy for best traditional blues album with his father. Michael suffered multiple health issues including strokes and seizures. Ike Jr. revealed in 2018 that his brother was doing great and living in a convalescent home in Southern California and that while Tina Turner did not visit Michael, she finically supported him.