Tina Turner’s candid new documentary explores the lows and highs of her life and explains to fans why she’s now had enough.
Tina Turner is hoping a new documentary will help fans accept her desire to ease into retirement.
The singer, 81, quit touring in 2009, 10 years after her final studio album was released.
She is now based in Zurich with husband of 27 years Erwin Bach, who features in and is an executive producer on the documentary, titled Tina.
The candid documentary premieres on Foxtel Movies at 11am Sunday March 28 and is available to watch on demand.
“I think my farewell started already in 2009 when I retired from performing,” Turner told News Corp exclusively.
“The documentary gives me a chance to complete the telling of my story – it’s out there now for everyone to see and I hope it answers all the questions. But my fans and I will always have a special relationship that lives on in the music and memories. The feelings we share aren’t going away.
“In the past years I reflected on my life from different angles. First came the books (My Love Story, Happiness Becomes You and That’s My Life) then the musical Tina, and now, the documentary. I’m 81 and I started working when I was a teenager. I think I’ve earned a rest!
“I keep saying I want to relax with my husband, enjoy my garden, and do as little as possible. That’s my idea of the perfect retirement, but it’s been a long time coming. One day soon, I hope to experience it!”
In My Love Story, Turner revealed she suffered from a stroke in 2013 and had to learn how to walk again and was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016.
After considering assisted suicide due to kidney failure, her husband donated a kidney which she had transplanted in surgery in 2017.
The documentary details into her abusive relationship with musician Ike Turner who beat the singer for 16 years until she divorced him and left with nothing but her stage name.
Tina (born Anna Mae Bullock) recalls getting third degree burns after Ike threw boiling hot coffee on her in front of her son and attempted suicide before a show to try and escape Ike, who died in 2007 of cocaine toxicity.
“For a long time I did hate Ike,” Turner says in Tina. “After he died I realised he was a sick person, an ill person at the soul. He did get me started, he was good to me in the beginning, so I do have some good thoughts …”
Turner, whose hits include The Best – recently reborn through Schitt’s Creek – and What’s Love Got To Do With It, has PTSD and night terrors when she was made to relive Ike’s abuse to journalists according to Bach.
“It hurts to have to remember those times,” Turner says in the documentary. “But at a certain stage forgiveness takes over, forgiving means not to hold on, you let it go, because it only hurts you. I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story, it’s a reality, it’s the truth, you have to accept it.”
In 1981 she opened up about surviving her domestic abuse and leaving her abuser, which was seen as groundbreaking and influential.
Now a Buddhist, Turner says she is moved when people find meaning in her story.
“So many people have reached out to me to say that ‘If Tina could do it, I think maybe I can do it.’ But what’s most important is to find your own voice, your own path through your own obstacles. Every life is different.
“I don’t look back. I don’t dwell. I wouldn’t change anything because every experience, good or bad, has made me the person I am today. Buddhism has taught me that life is a process.
“We evolve. The lotus starts out in mud then blooms into a beautiful flower. I’m still growing and blooming and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
“We can only lead by example. The life I’ve led, my determination to survive and thrive, with strong winds against me, is the best lesson I can offer.”
Promoter Paul Dainty will bring the Tina musical to Australia next year – the show has been a major hit on Broadway and London.
As well as having an Australian manager Roger Davies (who also manages Pink and Cher), Turner recorded the iconic NRL anthem Simply the Best with Jimmy Barnes, which turns 30 this year.
“I have so many happy connections to Australia – my concerts, filming Mad Max, and the Nutbush City Limits line dance always makes me smile! But becoming the voice of the NRL, that was truly an honour, then and now.”