Tina Turner's Dramatic Escape and Triumphant Return

By Jack Ripley | November 8, 2023

Tina Suffers In Silence, 1960s-1970s

The legendary Tina Turner, renowned for her explosive voice and electrifying stage presence, did not always bask in the spotlight's warm glow. In the heart of her story lies a harrowing struggle - one where she faced the daunting challenge of an abusive relationship and a fight for personal and professional freedom.

Our gallery takes you through the various stages of her journey, presenting a poignant exploration of her life off-stage. We begin with Tina's early years with Ike Turner, a chapter marked by both professional growth and personal turmoil. Tina's story serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit of a woman who refused to be defined by her circumstances. She was a beacon of resilience, strength, and unstoppable talent: Miss Tina Turner! 

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While her career in music thrived, Tina was suffering in her day-to-day life with Ike. He was reportedly not only unfaithful but incredibly abusive, both verbally and physically, throughout their relationship. Tina eventually even attempted suicide to escape, but was unsuccessful:

It was my relationship with Ike that made me most unhappy. At first, I had really been in love with him. Look what he'd done for me. But he was totally unpredictable...Busted lips, black eyes, dislocated joints, broken bones and psychological torment became a part of everyday life...At my lowest, I convinced myself that death was my only way out. I actually tried to kill myself. But I came out of the darkness believing I was meant to survive.

She's Been a Practicing Buddhist Since 1973

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(Johnson Publishing Company Archive)

Tina Turner has practiced Nichiren Buddhism, a branch of Buddhism that originated in Japan, since the mid '7. A central practice of Nichiren Buddhism is chanting the phrase "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo," which is believed to enable individuals to tap into their inner life force and potential. In interviews, Turner has spoken about how she would chant for hours, seeking to transform her life circumstances. She credits her Buddhist practice with helping her find the courage to leave Ike Turner and subsequently reinvent her career. Her faith also helped her endure and overcome health struggles, including a stroke and cancer:

 I used to be baffled about why I had to endure so much abuse, because I hadn't done anything to deserve it. After I began practicing Buddhism, I realized that my hardships could give me a mission—a purpose.