Our hearts are breaking for Tina Turner. The music icon’s eldest son, Raymond Craig Turner, sadly died from apparent suicide at age 59 on July 3. “He was a sweet man, but he struggled financially and he long suffered from depression,” an insider told Closer in the magazine’s newest issue, on newsstands now.
The source noted that Tina “was always there for him.” And in late July, she spoke out about his passing for the first time. The singer previously took to Twitter to share a photo of herself dropping a rose into the ocean alongside her husband, Erwin Bach, whom she married in 2013 but had dated for 27 years before that. “My saddest moment as a mother. On Thursday, July 19, 2018, I said my final goodbye to my son, Craig Raymond Turner, when I gathered with family and friends to scatter his ashes off the coast of California,” she wrote. “He was fifty-nine when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby.”
My saddest moment as a mother. On Thursday, July 19 2018, I said my final goodbye to my son, Craig Raymond Turner, when I gathered with family and friends to scatter his ashes off the coast of California. He was fifty-nine when he died so tragically, but he will always be my baby pic.twitter.com/XzZQCdz8tl
— TinaTurner (@LoveTinaTurner) July 27, 2018
Since Craig’s passing, Tina has been working to keep Craig’s memory alive by leaning on her husband and her Buddhist faith for support. “She wouldn’t be able to survive this tragedy without them,” the insider said.
Tina previously welcomed Craig when she was 18 years old with saxophonist Raymond Hill, one year before she wed her first husband, Ike Turner. Ike adopted the boy after they married, and they also have another son, Ronnie, 57, together.
“She often said they grew up together,” the source told Closer. Unfortunately, Craig was often present to witness the abuse Tina received from Ike. “She always insisted Craig was her little guardian,” the insider added.
The 78-year-old has shied away from the spotlight in recent years (she made her first red carpet appearance earlier this year for the premiere of Tina: Tina Turner the Musical), but a friend of hers revealed before Craig’s death that she was doing well. “She’s loving her life right now, married and living on a lake [in Switzerland],” Rhonda, who has worked with Tina since 1964, explained to Closer.
“Tina’s happy, and she earned it,” she continued of the singer. “She’s very down-to-earth. It’s not like fame ever went to her head. Tina [may] come across onstage as raunchy and sexy [but] she’s not [like] that at all. She’s very respectful and classy.”
And now, Tina is working to incorporate how her boy’s death impacted her life into Tina: Tina Turner the Musical. “She’s also updating her book,” the insider shared with Closer of My Love Story, her autobiography due out in October. “She will be honest, as always. She feels like she was blessed to have a son like Craig.”
We’re keeping Tina and her family in our thoughts during this difficult time.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.