Around the world, legendary singer Tina Turner will be eternally remembered due to her great artistic talent which gave her the nickname of “The Queen of Rock N Roll”.
After her death last Wednesday, May 24, millions of fans mourned her passing.
Her hits such as 'What's Love Got to Do With It', 'The Acid Queen', “Proud Mary”, among others, are well known, but few people know that this famous singer got married for the first time in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
After a difficult childhood, Anna Mae Bullock (her birth name) met Ike Turner, a young man who had also gone through a rough childhood (in a very racist environment), who, little by little, was making a name for himself playing blues and rock and roll with his band.
In 1957, Ike Turner witnessed the voice and stage presence of this young woman who was only 17 years old. After several artistic collaborations with his band, they formed a duo. Anne Mae was nicknamed Tina and became a part of Ike & Tina Turner, which is the name she would be known by for the rest of her life.
Their relationship went beyond the arts and, in 1962, when she was 22 years old, they got married in Tijuana, Mexico.
However, this event and their sentimental relationship hid many negative aspects.
In her autobiography, 'My Love Story', Tina Turner says that her relationship and marriage with Ike was filled with abuse and mistreatment, including on their wedding day.
In 1962, when they formalized their relationship, Tina couldn’t imagine that Ike had decided to drive from California, USA to Tijuana, Mexico for a “quick ceremony, with someone who wouldn’t ask for blood tests or marriage certificates”, the singer said. She also added:
In a small and dirty office, a man threw some papers on a desk so that we would sign them and that was it. I had no experience with weddings, but I knew that they were supposed to be an emotional and happy occasion. There was nothing like that. Nobody said, “You can kiss the bride.” No toast. No congratulations. Nobody said anything about living happily ever after.
To contextualize, back then, at Tijuana’s Historic Center, there were Las Vegas-style agencies that performed express weddings of dubious legal standing.
She said that she had no way to question her partner’s decisions due to how afraid she was of him:
He would have simply gone crazy. It could have ended with him beating me and I did definitely not want a black eye on my wedding day.
On top of that, the moments after their wedding weren’t any better as their next stop was a brothel in the city, where Tina Turner had to see how her husband was having fun looking at and touching other women.
While they were together, the couple had four children. As part of her relationship with saxophone player Raymond Hill, Tina gave birth when she was 18 years old to Craig, who Ike subsequently adopted as his son. In addition, Tina also adopted Ike’s sons, who he had had as part of a previous relationship: Ike Jr. and Michael. Biologically, Ike and Turner conceived Ronald.
This era of Tina’s life lasted until 1976, when she separated from her abusive husband. She got a legal divorce in 1978.
Despite the fact that Ike Turner repeatedly said that they were not legally married, it is known that they went through a separation of property process.
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