Everyone is buzzing about the new Tina Turner documentary, now streaming on HBO.
The new feature-length film, simply titled Tina, is a revealing and intimate look at the life and career of the musical icon, charting her improbable rise to early fame, her personal and professional struggles throughout her life and her resurgence as a global phenomenon in the 1980s.
Now, at 81, and plagued by a number of health issues, the powerhouse performer is saying goodbye to her fans.
In the film, Turner and her husband, Erwin Bach make a trip from Switzerland, where they live, to the U.S. for the Broadway premiere of her stage show, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, and Bach, 65, reveals on camera that it was a farewell trip.
“She said, ‘I’m going to America to say goodbye to my American fans and I’ll wrap it up,’" said the German record producer. "And I think this documentary and the play, this is it — it’s a closure."
Turner, who was was born Anna Mae Bullock, revealed in her 2018 memoir My Love Story that she had suffered multiple life-threatening illnesses. In 2013, three weeks after her wedding to Bach, she suffered a stroke and had to learn to walk again. In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer.
The 12-time Grammy Award winner opted for homeopathic remedies to treat her high blood pressure that resulted in damage to her kidneys and eventual kidney failure. Her chances of receiving a kidney were low, and so Bach offered to donate one of his. She ended up having kidney transplant surgery on April 7, 2017.
Before the operation, Turner had been so ill that she was considering assisted suicide — which is legal in Switzerland, where she now has full citizenship. She even joined the assisted-suicide organization Exit.
“It wasn’t my idea of life but the toxins in my body had started taking over. I couldn’t eat," she recalled in her book three years ago. “I was surviving, but not living. I began to think about death. If my kidneys were going, and it was time for me to die, I could accept that, it was OK. When it’s time, it’s really time.”
The documentary also reveals that Turner, who has sold over 100 million records, suffers from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder from the domestic abuse she endured at the hands of her first husband and music partner, Ike Turner.
“It wasn’t a good life," she admits. "The good did not balance the bad. I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story. It’s a reality. It’s a truth. That’s what you’ve got, so you have to accept it."
The details of Turner's life have been chronicled before on the big screen. In 1993, Angela Bassett stared as the music icon in the hit biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It?.