The Tragic Death Of Tina Turner's Son Ronnie

Ronnie Turner, the son of legendary entertainer Tina Turner and her late ex-husband and fellow musician Ike Turner, died at 62 in 2022. According to TMZ, a San Fernando Valley resident called 911 on Dec. 8 and said that Ronnie was outside and having difficulty breathing. Eyewitnesses attempted to help him by performing CPR but to no avail. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Ronnie had previously been diagnosed with cancer, and according to a 2016 Radar Online report, his health had deteriorated further due to dementia. He also struggled with drug addiction and financial difficulties over the years. His wife, French performer Afida Turner, shared a tribute to her late husband on Instagram, writing in part, "I did the best to the end. This time I was not able to save you." She also expressed anger over the latest tragedy to befall the Turner family, which came four years after the suicide of Ronnie's half-brother, Craig Turner.

According to The U.S. Sun, Ronnie decided to follow in his parents' musical footsteps — he was a bass guitarist in his mother's band at one point and also performed with his father. But sadly, Ronnie and Tina did not have a close relationship. Ronnie preceded his mother in death, as Tina passed away on May 24, 2023.

Ronnie Turner passed away from colon cancer

Tina Turner wrote a tribute to her youngest son Ronnie Turner when he passed away in 2022. "Ronnie, you left the world far too early. In sorrow I close my eyes and think of you, my beloved son," Tina wrote on Instagram at the time. 

The Los Angeles County medical examiner/coroner revealed on Dec. 13 that the singer died from "complications from metastatic colon carcinoma," as reported by People. According to Medical News Today, metastatic colon carcinoma is a late stage of colorectal cancer that has spread to different parts of the body, like the liver. Individuals diagnosed with the aforementioned type of cancer have a "relative survival rate" of just 14%. 

In addition to cancer, the report from the examiner also revealed that Ronnie also had atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, Billboard reported. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease happens when plaque builds up inside arteries, according to the National Institutes of Health, and heart disease also has eerie statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 370,000 people passed away from coronary heart disease in 2021. Other celebrities that have passed away from heart disease-related causes include "The Wire" and "John Wick" star Lance Reddick, who died from ischemic heart disease as well as atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, per TMZ.

Tina Turner reportedly refused to help her son

According to Radar Online, Afida Turner told one of her friends that she had reached out to Tina Turner for financial help when Ronnie Turner's health took a turn for the worse in 2016. However, the "What's Love Got to Do with It" hitmaker reportedly refused and advised Afida to place Ronnie in a nursing home. "I can't understand why, woman to woman, Tina doesn't care about her son and his health!" Afida purportedly told her pal. "I am very sad about this."

Up until their respective deaths, Tina Turner and her son Ronnie Turner seemingly had a complicated relationship dating back to the 1980s. In a 1985 interview with Spin (via The Daily Beast), Ike Turner spoke about Tina's estrangement from their son. "She's saying she never wanted him, that she didn't want to mother him. That hurt me, man," he claimed at the time. 

While speaking to TV Week in 1989, the "Two People" singer opened up about her relationship with Ronnie after Ike accused her of being a "terrible" mother. "Ronnie, he was put through private schools and given allowances and clothes and everything you can give a kid," she told the publication. Tina went on to describe Ronnie as "self-destructive", which resulted in her putting up boundaries. "You have to draw the line. I keep an eye on him, and when he hits rock bottom, I chip in, but then I back off again," she continued. "I'm not going to be a bank for a nearly 30-year-old man."

Tina Turner and Ronnie Turner had a troubled relationship

While the pair had a rough relationship in the '80s and early '90s, Tina Turner revealed in a 1997 interview with Larry King that they were on better terms then. "There were a few problems with drugs with the youngest [son, Ronnie] ... They're [doing] fine," she told King. Tina and Ronnie Turner's relationship also appeared to be on good terms more recently. Afida Turner even posted a photo of them vacationing in the South of France in 2019. "Mother and son in holiday in South France," she wrote on Instagram.

However, Ronnie was reportedly distraught over being left out of the 2021 HBO Max documentary about his mother, entitled "Tina." A family insider told Fox News, "He's the only [biological] son of Ike and Tina ... It was very sad that Ronnie was not interviewed and not shown playing with his mother." The source also said that Tina, who had been experiencing health issues at the time and said the film was her way of saying goodbye to her fans, was not speaking to Ronnie or her two other living sons when the documentary premiered. Unfortunately, it looks like the familial relationships among the Turners were often turbulent up until Tina's death.