One of the most notable survivors of domestic violence, Tina Turner, called the “Queen of Rock N Roll” not only emerged from a horrific marriage, but went on to rebuild her career.
She started her musical career with her husband Ike Turner, as a member of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. The couple were successful professional but their personal life was a mess.
From Wikipedia, is the sordid story of how a world renowned superstar was trapped in a violent and controlling marriage.
Ike acted as the group’s manager and musical director, making all decisions and ruling the act with an iron fist. While he was a fine musician and an early rock ‘n’ roll influence, Ike’s control of the Revue’s management, recording contracts and performances eventually led to their decline as his drug abuse worsened. This controlling (and often violent) atmosphere caused the musicians and backup singers to come and go frequently. Tina later reported being isolated and physically abused by Ike on a regular basis for most of their marriage.
By the 1970s, Tina’s personal life and marriage were falling apart. Ike’s drug use led to increasingly erratic and physically abusive behavior. Their act was losing speed largely due to Ike’s refusal to accept outside management of their recording or touring, as well as the cost of maintaining his allegedly voracious cocaine habit. Touring dates began to decline and record sales were low; their last success was “Nutbush City Limits“, a song penned by Tina Turner about her home town, that reached No. 22 on the Hot 100 and No. 4 in the United Kingdom in 1973.
Having opened his own recording studio, Bolic Sound, following the lucrative success of “Proud Mary”, Ike produced Tina’s first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On in 1974. It failed to make an impact on the charts, as did Tina’s follow-up solo album Acid Queen (1975), which was released to tie in with Tina’s critically acclaimed big-screen debut in the The Who‘s rock opera, Tommy.
Tina and Ike had a violent fight before an appearance at the Dallas Statler Hilton in July 1976, where Tina was again physically abused. She left Ike that day, fleeing with nothing more than thirty-six cents and a Mobil gas station credit card in her possession. She spent the next few months hiding from Ike while staying with various friends.”
Associated Press: “In her 1987 autobiography, I, Tina, she narrated a harrowing tale of abuse, including suffering a broken nose. She said that cycle ended after a vicious fight between the pair in the back seat of a car in Las Vegas, where they were scheduled to perform. It was the only time she ever fought back against her husband.”
Source: Cnn.com. 12/12/2007.
Ike has been quoted saying, “All the fights Tina and I had were about her being sad about something. I get real emotional if you’re worrying and don’t tell me what it is. Then I can’t think about nothing else. So I’d slap her or something like that … If I owe anybody an apology, that would be Tina. I put her through hell with other women. I regret it today, but I can’t undo it.”
The couple divorced in 1978, after which Tina disappeared completely from the music scene. She came back in 1983 with her single Let’s Stay Together and her career skyrocketed with the 1984 album Private Dancer.
She sought refuge in the Buddhist faith and gained strength from chanting. She credits the Buddhist faith with giving her the strength to walk out of the violent and controlling marriage. She did not take any money from Ike, and said, “It’s not about leaving with money. You leave with knowledge. Inner strength. All the discipline I have to have now came from being with that man … I knew what I was doing, and I knew why, and I got out. You don’t step out and do what I did with my life if you don’t have some control there.”
And in the end, what she made of her life, after violence, and abuse and being controlled is what makes her a survivor every domestic violence victims should look upto.
“[Tina] overcame bankruptcy and a violent marriage to orchestrate the most amazing comeback in the history of rock.”
“It’s not about leaving with money. You leave with knowledge. Inner strength.”