How Did Tina Turner’s Son Ronnie Die?
Tina Turner was best known as one of the most dynamic women in the entertainment industry. But perhaps the role she cherished most was mother to her four sons with ex-husband Ike Turner. Tina’s children included Craig, Ike Jr., Michael, and Ronnie Turner. In 2022, Tina mourned the death of her youngest son, Ronnie. What was his cause of death?
Ronnie Turner died in December 2022
Tina Turner’s youngest son died on Dec. 8, 2022. The cause of death was colon cancer.
The entertainer shared a pensive black and white self-portrait on Instagram with her eyes closed for the camera. In the caption, Tina wrote, “Ronnie, you left the world far too early. In sorrow, I close my eyes and think of you, my beloved son.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Ronnie died of complications related to late-stage cancer and cardiovascular disease. The LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office revealed Ronnie’s primary cause of death as complications of metastatic colon carcinoma when cancer has spread to other organs.
Ronnie was reportedly found struggling to breathe on the sidewalk in front of his Encino home, reported the New York Post. He subsequently stopped breathing altogether, and bystanders attempted CPR. Paramedics attempts to revive him were futile.
Ronnie Turner was the second of Tina Turner’s son’s to die in her lifetime
Ronnie Turner’s brother Craig, Tina Turner’s eldest son, with saxophonist Raymond Hill, a member of Ike’s band Kings of Rhythm, died in 2018. Tina was only 18 when she first became a mother in 1958.
At the time, Tina was a featured singer with Ike Turner’s band but had not become the woman who would take the music world by storm. Then, she was known as Anna Mae Bullock and was not romantically involved with Ike when she first became pregnant with her and Raymond’s son.
Craig died by suicide. He was only 59 years old. Tina shared a photograph from his memorial service on Instagram.
A LA County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner spokesperson told People Magazine that Tina’s son was pronounced dead after being found in his Studio City, Calif., home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In an interview with the BBC, Tina said of her son after his death, “I still don’t know what took him to the edge. Because at that stage, he had said to me that he had never met a woman that he felt that way about.”
She continued, “He was an introverted person, and he was very shy, so I didn’t know either, except now, when I listen back to our last conversations, I noticed a change.”
“The last few times we talked, the conversations were different, and I didn’t know that until after the suicide,” Tina concluded.
Tina Turner once admitted being a mother made her happiest
In an interview with Today, Tina Turner admitted that motherhood was, by far, her most rewarding and happiest job. “Some of the happiest moments in my life were the birth of my beautiful baby boys, Craig and Ronnie, and marrying my partner and soul mate, Erwin Bach.”
In her book I, Tina, she discussed motherhood. Tina adored her three sons and Ike’s oldest child with Lorraine Taylor, Ike Jr.
She explained that Ike kept the two of them on the road all the time, so she could not tend her children daily the way she would have preferred. However, she said, “When I was home, I always made sure they were healthy.”
Tina wrote, “I talked to them to find out if they had any problems. I guess it was an unusual kind of life for the kids, with Mother and Daddy being gone so much. But I think they were happy as kids.”
She concluded, “They were all together for one thing. I think that family feeling helped.”
Tina Turner died at the age of 83 on May 24, 2023. Her death was attributed to natural causes.