November 1996 Report
Turner has lived in Europe for more than a decade. In Europe, she became a bigger
star than she ever was in the United States. "Yeah, no one in America knows that," she says. "Success in America - what I find with my homeland, nothing lasts very long. Europe is different. You're right there with them until you come back."
How American is she?
"Still very much American. I don't speak the foreign tongues over here yet. I'm paying American taxes. I have property in America. All of my business is run from America," she says.
in her heart, she says she doesn't think she will go back home.
Her love affair with Europe was only the latest chapter of a remarkable life.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tenn., she picked cotton as a child and planned on becoming a nurse when, at 18, St. Louis musician Ike Turner discovered her unique voice. He hired her, married her and renamed her Tina Turner. They became the Ike and Tina Turner revue.
For the next 16 years, Turner created a reputation as one of the most dynamic performers of her time, while Ike Turner created his own reputation as one of the most abusive husbands in show business.
She finally left him in 1976, struggled on the lounge circuit for years, until 1984 when her comeback album, Private Dancer, sold 10 million copies and garnered four Grammy awards. And then her very candid autobiography detailed the years of physical abuse that she suffered from Ike, abuse graphically documented in the 1993 film What's Love Got to Do with It, starring Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.
The violent history with Ike left hidden physical scars long after their divorce. Did cosmetic surgery play a part in her remarkably youthful appearance?
"It's a difference in cosmetic surgery and corrective surgery, right? Let's talk about cosmetic for beauty. I have had, basically, my face bashed in, and I never did anything about it," she says. "I just went through my life because I was all right. And then I started to have problems traveling with my sinuses, and I found that how my nose had healed many times," Turner explains.
says Ike busted her nose "many times."
"But it was never really, really broken, but, I guess, damaged to a point that it started to heal and the healing process started to interfere with the sinuses. So when they went in to correct it, I ended up with…another nose," she says.
Her home in the south of France has breathtaking views of the French Riviera, a spectacular pool and all the creature comforts she needs. When asked if she deserved all this luxury, Turner responds, "I deserve more "
Hidden away on the second floor is a Buddhist shrine. This born Baptist credits
Buddhism with giving her the strength that she needed to get through the rough times. And she continues to chant daily.
As for the man in her life, her only serious relationship since Ike Turner has been with Erwin Bach, a German-born record company executive 16 years her junior. At the time of the 1996 interview, they had lived together for 10 years.
"I'm not in love with the rock act," Bach said. "I'm in love with the human being."
He thinks Turner is in charge. "I think she is the boss, yeah. I'm second
to the boss, but she's the boss," he says.
And being the boss comes with all the toys she wants. She has a customized Lamborghini jeep and, when on tour, a chartered private jet.
But Turner is able to imagine an end to her performing career. "I could say it now, but I don't think it's time," she says. "Most people
think that I could not retire right now. I could. I'm pleased with my life, with the journey. I'm perfectly fine now if I never went on stage again."
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