It’s a celebration of a quite remarkable life, a victory for talent over poverty and abuse.
The new highly acclaimed West End show Tina: The Musical portrays Tina Turner’s famous escape from violent husband Ike and her rise to stardom as a solo performer.
Yet there is another, more troubling side to her success, according to her adopted son – one that is not portrayed on stage.
Tina Turner has been accused of abandoning her four fully grown children in the US
Because Ike Turner Jnr has claimed that his superstar mother has all but abandoned her family in the US.
‘Tina raised me from the age of two. She’s the only mother I’ve ever known,’ the musician told The Mail on Sunday. ‘But I haven’t talked to my mother since God knows when – probably around 2000. I don’t think any of my brothers have talked to her in a long time either.
‘My mother is living her life – she has a new husband and she’s in Europe. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with the past.’
According to Ike Jnr, Tina, 78, has distanced herself from the part of her life spent with his father and has cut herself off from her children.
Ike Turner Jnr has claimed he hasn’t seen his mother since the year 2000
Tina has four children: Craig, now 60, born after she had a fling with a saxophonist as a teenager; Ronnie, 57, her and Ike’s only child together; and Ike Jnr, 59, and Michael, 58, born to Ike Snr and his first wife but adopted by Tina when she married the star in 1962.
The turbulent story of Ike and Tina is part of music history. The drug addict son of a Mississippi preacher, Ike regularly beat up Tina until, after 16 years, she fled in the middle of the night in a bloodstained white suit with just 36 cents in her pocket.
She has lived in Switzerland since 1994 with German music producer Erwin Bach. The couple married five years ago.
Ike Jnr said: ‘My brothers are doing OK. They get money from a trust fund.
‘I talk to Ronnie periodically – he’s in great health and married to singer Afida Turner. Craig is in real estate. They both live in LA.
‘Michael is in a convalescent home in Southern California and needs medical support. I’ve been to see him quite a few times. He’s doing great.’ Asked if Tina ever visits Michael, Ike Jnr replied: ‘No. All she does is send him money.’
On the subject of his father’s violence – something Ike Snr often denied – Ike Jnr is cagey: ‘My mother and father had no more fights than the people next door to you. I think their problem was her mouth and his mouth – my father didn’t take s*** from nobody.’
Tina announced to rapturous applause at the new musical’s London premiere that she has finally forgiven her ex-husband.
Ike Senior and Tina Turner pose for a portrait with their sons in 1972. Clockwise from bottom left: Michael Turner, Ike Turner Jr (circled), Ike Turner, Craig Hill and Ronnie Turner
However, Ike Jnr believes she should have made peace with his father before his death from a cocaine overdose 11 years ago. ‘I think it’s real late,’ said Ike Jnr, adding that he also suffered at the hands of his father, who pistol-whipped him after he began working as Tina’s sound engineer.
But he said he forgave his father while he was still alive – and he wished Tina had done the same.
Ike and Tina were always absent parents, he claimed.
‘We were raised by housekeepers because my mother and father were gone 11 months out of a year.
‘My father took me out of school at 13. I ended up running his recording studio, plus going on the road with them. They made a lot of money on tour and my father used to make me count it until my hands were grey.’
He is worried that the London musical will reinforce the image of his father as a monster rather than a music pioneer – a perception cemented by Tina’s autobiography and the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It. But he confirms the truth about a scene where he turns up at his mother’s house covered in blood.
‘When my mother and father separated, he did not want me working with her – and he beat me in the head with a nickel-plated .45 pistol.’
Ike Jnr produced his father’s Grammy-winning album Risin’ With The Blues in 2006 and now wants to focus on the positive aspects of his parents through his tribute band The Love Thang.
He said: ‘All I try to do is do the right thing with the name. I go out there and do my best.’