Tina Turner Says Husband Erwin Bach Showed Her 'True Love Doesn't Require the Dimming of My Light'
At 81 years old, Tina Turner is still shining as bright as ever — and it's thanks to, in part, a special someone in her life.
In her new book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, out Tuesday, the music legend credits her husband of seven years Erwin Bach, whom she lives with in Zürich, for teaching her how "to love without giving up who I am."
"We grant each other freedom and space to be individuals at the same time we are a couple," Turner writes in the book. "Erwin, who is a force of nature in his own right, has never been the least bit intimidated by my career, my talents, or my fame. He shows me that true love doesn't require the dimming of my light so that he can shine. On the contrary, we are the light of each other's lives, and we want to shine as bright as we can, together."
Turner and Bach, 64, first started dating in 1986, a decade after leaving her abusive first husband, Ike Turner, for good. Sixteen years her junior, the sparks flew immediately.
"Falling in love with my husband, Erwin, was another exercise in leaving my comfort zone, of being open to the unexpected gifts that life has to offer," she writes. "The day I first met Erwin, at an airport in Germany, I should have been too tired from my flight, too preoccupied with thoughts of my concert tour, and in too much of a hurry to get to my hotel to pay much attention to the young music executive who came from my record company to welcome me."
"But I did notice him, and I instantly felt an emotional connection," she continues. "Even then, I could have ignored what I felt — I could have listened to the ghost voices in my head telling me that I didn’t look good that day, or that I shouldn't be thinking about romance because it never ends well. Instead, I listened to my heart. I left my comfort zone and made it a priority to get to know Erwin. That simple first meeting led to a long, beautiful relationship — and my one true marriage."
In addition to the intangible gifts Bach has brought to Turner's life throughout their decades together, he also donated one of his kidneys to her in 2017, when she suffered kidney failure and was in need of a life-saving transplant.
"I'm happy to say that, thanks to my beloved husband, Erwin, giving me one of his kidneys, the gift of life, I'm in good health and loving life every day," Turner writes. "I'm also thankful that I've not only survived, but thrived, so that I can pass on to you this book containing precious gifts that were given to me — the greatest gifts I can offer."
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In Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, Turner details her longstanding practice of Buddhist principles and shows readers how to use the principles to create joy in their own lives.
"I really do believe that age is just a number, and I have never let age stand in my way," Turner writes. "Not at 42, when people said that I was too old to be a rock star. And not now, in my eighties, when the book I dreamed of writing for decades is finally in your hands. I've passed 80, but I have not 'arrived,' because I still challenge myself to grow, to step out of my comfort zone, to improve my life, and to be of service to others."
Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good is available everywhere Tuesday.