Tina Turner and Ike Turner were married for 16 years. During that time, the entertainers formed the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. Together, they won a Grammy Award for their hit song, “Proud Mary.” Additionally, the “What’s Love Got to Do with It” singer worked with Phil Spector on a song called “River Deep, Mountain High.” Despite their enormous success, Tina shared in her memoir, My Love Story, that Ike was financially abusive. At one point, she reached out to Sweetie Pie’s star Miss Robbie Montgomery, for help.
Miss Robbie Montgomery from ‘Sweetie Pie’s’ was a dancer for Ike Turner and Tina Turner
Tina was born Anna Mae Bullock on Nov. 26, 1939. When she was a teenager, the Nutbush, Tennessee native moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to live with the mother who abandoned her. While in St. Louis, she and her sister met Ike at a concert. He was the leader of Kings of Rhythm, one of the earliest rock and roll bands. After watching Tina’s demanding stage presence and powerful voice, he asked her to join his group. Although she had ambitions of becoming a nurse, Tina wrote in My Love Story that she jumped at the chance to perform with Ike.
During the early days of their group, Ike and Tina were close friends. The twosome often recorded music together and bonded over their love for performing. However, one night, while staying at his house, the pair had sex. The act was the beginning of the physical, emotional, and mental abuse the “I Don’t Wanna Fight” singer endured in the relationship.
“I think we were both surprised, uncomfortable, unsure of how to move forward,” Tina wrote of her first encounter with Ike. “I was so young. What did I know? Since it was easier to keep going than to try to get back the friendship we’d had before, that’s what we did.”
After the birth of their son, Ronnie, Ike and Tina got married in 1960. The couple raised their sons from previous relationships together and continued to perform in the group. The Ike and Tina Turner Revue consisted of the couple, their band, and Tina’s background dancers, the Ikettes. One of the Ikettes was Miss Robbie.
Miss Robbie frequently let Tina Turner borrow money
In My Love Story, Tina gives her fans more insight into her marriage to Ike. Besides being her husband, the “Rocket 88” singer also controlled Tina’s finances. The only time the “I Can’t Stand the Rain” performer felt in charge was when she was with the Ikettes. Tina said she and the dancers formed a close bond and “always tried to make the best” of being on the road.
The Grammy winner’s friendship with Montgomery ultimately allowed her to be independent of Ike.
“We were like sisters,” Tina said of the OWN star. “Robbie Montgomery, who was one of the original Ikettes (and is now best known as the founder of the popular soul food restaurant Sweetie Pie’s) used to lend me money because she knew Ike never paid me. It meant so much to me to know I could always depend on her.”
The ‘Sweetie Pie’s’ star called Ike and Tina a ‘business’
Tina debuted My Love Story in 2018. In addition to writing about Ike, the “Steamy Windows” artist also discussed getting remarried. After divorcing her first husband in 1978, Tina started dating music executive Erwin Bach. In 2013, the pair married in Switzerland following decades of courtship.
While Tina promoted My Love Story, Miss Robbie spoke to The Mirror about her “sister” and Ike’s marriage. Although she knew that Ike, who died in 2007, had a temper, she thought he went too far with his ex-wife.
“Ike ran their marriage like a business,” the Sweetie Pie’s star recalled. “Tina and I were like sisters, and she confided in me.”