Tina Turner’s Love Story
For Erwin Bach and Tina Turner, it was love at first sight.
Tina Turner, a superstar, a legend, an unearthly force, and a source of inspiration for millions of people across the globe, died on Wednesday, May 24 at age 83. From selling out arenas to being inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to inspiring and paving the way for some of rock’s biggest stars, including Mick Jagger, Turner built an incredible career on authenticity, strength, perseverance, and continuous innovation.
TINA, the 2021 HBO documentary, showed the singer telling her own story and detailing her experience as a survivor of abuse and trauma from her ex-husband, Ike Turner, as well as her building a new life on confidence, fearlessness, and Buddhist beliefs. Along her journey to healing, Turner found the love of her life, her second husband, Erwin Bach, who was by her side for decades until her death on May 24, 2023. Though the German former music executive is a prominent voice in TINA, little is known about him. So below, we’re rounding up facts about Bach and his relationship with Turner.
Hear Tina Turner sing RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH IN CONCERT: https://tinyurl.com/42vtx49v
When the pair first met, Erwin Bach was a label executive at the European branch of Tina Turner’s record label, EMI. He was sent by her longtime manager, Roger Davies, to pick her up from the airport. In the HBO documentary, Turner recalled instantly being drawn to him. “My heart went bah-boom,” she said. “It means that a soul has met, and my hands were shaking. And Roger said to me, ‘Tina, you ride with Erwin,’ and I wanted to go, ‘Yay!’”
She elaborated further, saying, “He was just so different, so laid back, so comfortable, so unpretentious, and that was the beginning of our relationship.”
Hear Tina Turner Sing “Livin’ For The City” https://tinyurl.com/yjjztvzv
Thirty-five years later, Erwin professed in TINA that the pair were still just as madly in love:
“It’s love, it’s something we both have for each other. I always refer to it as an electrical charge. I still have it. I still have it even though when I left her two hours ago, three hours ago, this morning, I still have that feeling. That feeling is still with me. It’s in my heart. I feel very warm about this.”
Erwin donated a kidney to Tina after she started experiencing severe health issues.
In her 2018 memoir, My Love Story, Turner revealed that two years earlier, increased high blood pressure was causing her kidneys to function at 20 percent and that they were “plunging rapidly.”
Recalling coming to grips with the possibility of death, Turner shared that it was Bach who stepped up and offered to donate one of his own kidneys to her rather than the star having to undergo dialysis—it was a gesture Turner once referred to as “the gift of life.”
Although the couple first met in the mid 1980s, Turner and Bach didn’t officially wed until 27 years later, in July 2013. The lavish wedding took place at their lake-side estate in Zurich, Switzerland, and was a star-studded affair that included the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, David Bowie, Giorgio Armani, Bryan Adams, Roger Davies, Sade, and Eros Ramazzotti.
Turner wore a decadent Giorgio Armani dress embellished with Swarovski crystals and requested that all the women attendees wear white and male attendees wear black-tie evening wear. Following the nuptials, Turner revealed that she was in a constant state of Nirvana because of the joy she gets from her encouraging husband, Bach, whom she describes as “a force of nature in his own right, has never been the least bit intimidated by my career, my talents, or my fame.”
Bach briefly took up acting, landing a role in the 1999 film Maldito amor: Demasiado tarde. He also aided in producing the 2021 HBO documentary film on his wife, TINA.
Though little is known about Bach’s personal life, he’s well known within the music industry. During his time in the business, he worked with acts such as Queen, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, and Radiohead as the managing director of EMI Recorded Music Switzerland.
Bach and Turner circa 1985 in Hollywood. Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images