Tina Turner Looks Majorly Transformed As She Turns 82

Nov 26, 2021 by apost team

Even as Tina Turner turns 82 today, there's still something so electrifying about the rock ‘n' roll legend. With a long, impressive list of iconic hits and international successes, the singer has undeniably left her mark with her five-decade-long career, and it's no surprise as to why she was dubbed "The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll." With hits such as "What's Love Got To Do With It," "We Don't Need Another Hero," "A Fool In Love" and "Proud Mary" Tina Turner has become a cross-generational cultural icon.

However, Tina Turner didn't always have it easy. The singer experienced many hardships and hurdles along the way to her ubiquitous success. Between drama with her mother, an abusive ex-husband and the pressure of the music industry, Tina Turner has overcome a plethora of challenges.

Through sheer will and determination, Tina Turner was able to overcome many challenges in her life and turn things around for herself. Even when faced with a looming failure, she rose up every time she was knocked down to become one of this generation's most celebrated artists. 

However, now that most of life's ups and downs are mostly over for Tina Turner, she's taken on new hobbies — and even a whole new religion. The powerhouse vocalist has also started a new chapter in her life, with a new husband and a new place of residence outside of the United States. On Tina Turner's 82nd birthday, we're taking a look back at the remarkable life of this iconic musician and what she's been up to 11 years after she retired.

Tina Turner (1964) (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Born Anna Mae Bullock in 1939, Tina Turner had lived a somewhat comfortable life as a child with her parents Floyd and Zelma Bullock. Both sharecroppers, her parents were able to provide a substantial home for the family and always had food on the table. According to Tina, her mother and father were both “church people,” well-spoken and neat. But at home, they were struggling with a tumultuous marriage. 

"My mother and father didn't love each other, so they were always fighting," Tina told Rolling Stone in a 1986 interview. Her mother would eventually just up and leave and take Tina and her sister, Alline, along with her. Eventually, Zelma Bullock would return when her husband came around and convinced her to make it work. However, one day, Tina's mother left — this time leaving her girls behind — and never came back. Tina was just 10 years old at the time. That experience left her feeling hurt, although, as she explained, more so because she felt unloved rather than because her mother had left. 

"I was different, because I've always been a loner," she explained. "It mattered that she'd left – but it also didn't matter. What I simply missed was that she didn't love me."

Three years later, her father left the family as well, and Tina and her sister would move in with their grandmother. As a teenager, she would attend school and work as a babysitter in the afternoon for the Henderson family, whose matriarch, Tina said, became something of a role model for her.


Tina Turner (1966) (David Redfern/Redferns/GettyImages)

Tina had even fallen in love for the first time with a boy named Harry, whom she saw one day in her high school gym and knew instantly that she wanted him. "It was love at first sight," she recounted. That fling would only be brief, however, as Harry ended up impregnating another girl in the school and marrying her, with Tina only finding out through her classmate's gossip.

Then, at age 16, Tina’s life was once again turned upside down when her grandmother died. With nowhere to go, the singer and her sister moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to reunite with their mother. Now in the big city, the two teens would frequent the clubs and mingle with the local music scene, where Tina eventually met her first husband, Ike Turner. "... boy, could he play that music," she recalled. "The place just started rocking. I wanted to get up there and sing sooooo bad. But that took an entire year." But when that time finally came, Tina blew Ike and his band away with her voice and eventually started performing with them.

Around that same time, she began dating another band member, saxophonist Raymond Hill, with whom she fell pregnant at 18 years old. Hill had not been around to raise Tina's son, however, so the young singer raised him with her mother and sister's help for the first two years while working at a hospital to support herself. Then, at age 20, a record company became enthralled with Tina's voice after the label owner heard a tape of Tina’s song, “A Fool In Love,” sent in by Ike, and together the two began performing as “Ike and Tina.” 

Michael Turner, Ike Turner, Jr., Ike Turner, Craig Hill, Ronnie Turner (1972), (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In the meantime, Tina and Ike Turner also started a romantic relationship, with Tina taking in and raising his two sons from a previous relationship. After “A Fool In Love's" success, the Ike and Tina act would become the hottest R&B ensemble, releasing numerous records and singles and effortlessly topping the charts. But while the couple had enjoyed great success with their music, their relationship took a dark turn at home, as Ike began abusing his wife physically. Tina became trapped. 

"It was a thoroughly unhappy situation I was in, but I was too far gone. I was trapped into really caring about Ike," Tina explained. "If I left him, what was he going to do? Go back to St. Louis? I didn't want to let him down. As horrible as he treated me, I still felt responsible for letting him down. That was a mental problem I had at the time. And I was afraid to leave."

Then in 1976 — after 16 years in an abusive marriage, taking no money with her and having no concrete plan — Tina finally found the courage to leave. The singer eventually found a home for herself and was reunited with all four of the children to whom she was a mother. Tina used food stamps and got help from her family in order to keep food on the table. Their divorce was long, hard, public and messy, but after it was all over, Tina was able to stand on her own two feet again and began a solo career for which she would become incredibly famous.

Tina Turner (1978) (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The first couple of years after the Ike and Tina act dissolved proved difficult for Tina career-wise, with subsequent albums and singles enjoying lukewarm success. By the early '80s, she was already considered a 'nostalgia act, until she released her cover for  Al Green'sLet's Stay Together,” which made the singer make a comeback on the International charts — even reaching No. 6 in the UK. One year later, she reached No.1 on the Billboard 100 with her timeless hit, “What's Love Got To Do With It,” and with it turned a new chapter in her career.

In Tina’s second memoir, “My Love Story,” the legendary musician wrote of her capitalizing on her powerful voice and energetic personality, creating a strategic brand that aided her success. According to The Washington Post, few things were random when it came to her image — from her wig to her clothes to her musical collaborations. It was all "a critical part of the Tina Turner look," she wrote

Her rock ‘n' roll image and tremendous talent saw Tina win accolade after accolade — including countless Grammy awards and nominations — and become a household name in a genre that had been dominated by mainly white men at the time. She paved the way for future musicians like her to succeed in the industry, most notably Beyoncé, who even paid homage to Tina at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2005. 

"Every now and then, when I think of inspiration, I think of the two Tinas in my life – that's my mother, Tina, and of course, the amazing Tina Turner," Beyoncé said, according to the Guardian.

Tina Turner (1984) Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 2009, after embarking on her “Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour,” Tina decided it was finally time to retire. Four years later, the now-retired superstar married her German-born partner of over 20 years, Erwin Bach, in an intimate ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland. Three weeks following their wedding, she suffered a stroke, which forced her to learn to walk again. 

"In the hospital, I didn't believe that I couldn't walk," the singer recounted to Oprah in 2018. "Then I stepped out of bed and flopped to the floor and said, 'Oh my God, what have I done?' But I wasn't depressed — I was just determined to fix it." 

Then, as Tina was still undergoing rigorous physiotherapy and retraining herself to walk, came another tragedy. In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, with doctors telling her both her kidneys were failing. Distressing as the news might have been, Tina tells Oprah she was at peace with her fate and felt she had lived a long enough life. She was not keen on going on "being on a machine" for the rest of her years, but her husband was not having any of it. "Erwin chimed in, very emotional, and said, 'I don't want another partner,'" Tina shared. "He was 150 percent ready to give me his kidney."

The retired singer also wrote extensively about her health scares in her memoir, expressing her gratitude for still being alive to see another day. "I know that my medical adventure is far from over," Tina wrote, according to People. "But I'm still here — we're still here, closer than we ever imagined. I can look back and understand why my karma was the way it was. Good came out of bad. Joy came out of pain. And I have never been so completely happy as I am today."



Tina Turner (1987), (Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

To mark her milestone 80th birthday back in 2019, Tina took to Twitter to post an upbeat update to her fans, showing that she was both happy, healthy, and "looked great."

"Yes, I'm 80," Tina says in the video. "How did I think I would be at 80? Not like this."

"How is this?" she chuckled. "Well, I look great, I feel good, I've gone through some very serious sicknesses that I'm overcoming. So it's like having a second chance at life. I'm happy to be an 80-year-old woman."

Now in her eighties, the icon lives her best life in Switzerland with her husband and says she's found her "ideal version of happiness."

"My life over the past 10 years has been my ideal version of happiness," Tina said in an interview with 'The Guardian' in December of 2020. "That may come as a surprise to some, since I had serious health challenges. But real joy doesn't mean having a problem-free life. True and lasting happiness comes from having an unshakeable, hopeful spirit that can shine, no matter what. That's what I've achieved, and it is my greatest wish to help others become truly happy as well."

Tina also touched upon her age in the interview and even shared her advice on how to be joyful through times of endurance. She said:

"Now that I’m in my 80s, resilience and endurance are still my strongest assets. I’ll tell you a secret to joyful endurance. It’s to never complain, no matter what challenges life sends your way...Complaining is a waste of precious time, doesn’t solve anything, and only brings you down. We can transform any situation by changing ourselves first, opening our hearts ever wider and increasing our compassion."



Tina Turner (1984), (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Tina is helping others achieve that goal with her new book “Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good,” which came out on Oct. 27, 2020. In the book, the 82-year-old icon spoke to her belief in Buddhism, her spirituality, and the many obstacles she has overcome.

In an interview with Variety in December 2020, Tina opened up about her new memoir, sharing her thoughts on mental health and the importance of creating a “mission statement” for your life. Tina explains that after getting out of her toxic relationship with Ike, friends Ana and Wayne Shorter suggested the “mission statement” as a way to help guide her life.

“That was very helpful advice, and I think it’s a positive thing for people to do. Because until you can articulate what you want in life, it’s hard to start the work necessary to achieve it,” Tina told the publication over email.

“Naturally, over time the things we want in life change, and so do our goals and desires, so you can update it as you evolve," Tina explained. "When you create a mission statement for your life, there may be a big gap between reality and your dreams, and that’s fine. I think that’s how it should be. It means you’re reaching for improvement. Keep dreaming, keep growing and never give up on yourself and your aspirations.”

Tina added that Buddhism has not only helped the singer achieve her goals and improve her well-being, but it has also helped her come to terms with her past trauma. As the interviewer wrote, Buddhist practice seems to have helped Tina be “completely at peace.”

Tina Turner, Erwin Bach (2015), (Jacopo Raule/Getty Images for Giorgio Armani/Getty Images)

“When I was young, there were often negative voices in my head, echoes from the trauma of my childhood, that caused self-doubt and pushed down my sense of self-worth,” Tina explained. Tina went on:

“This kept me trapped in unhealthy circumstances for a long time. Not only was it scary, it eventually led to me attempting to take my own life. But later, as I learned Buddhist principles and adopted them in my mindset, I was able to take back my power from that negativity and stand up for my life. Eventually, I silenced that negativity for good.”

Apart from her Buddhist practice, which includes chanting and meditation, Tina said in the interview that she’s enjoyed working with the Beyond project, an interfaith musical series. According to Buddhist Door, the Beyond project is a musical quartet consisting of "a “Baptist-Buddhist,” a Hindu, a Christian, and a Tibetan Buddhist." When asked about being a part of the project, Tina remarked on the project's potential to have a global impact:

"What this project hopefully will do is to teach people to find out what they are born with, to use it, and to help the world. If we can tap into that inner peaceful space, like we plug in a lamp for light and spread it, there will be more world peace, I think.”

However, Tina also added that she’s pretty much done releasing her own music:

“I’m happy watching others perform now. There’s a time and place for everything, and this is my wonderful retirement time. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”



Happy Birthday, Tina Turner! We're so happy to see that Tina Turner is still kicking and looking as beautiful as ever! What is your favorite Tina Turner song? Let us know your thoughts, and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family.

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