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What happened to Tina Turner's son Ronnie? His tragic death explained

Tina Turner's youngest son, Ronnie, died less than six months before his mom

tina turner posing on stage tina the musical
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
25 May 2023
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Tina Turner's death on May 24 at the age of 83 came less than six months after the tragic passing of her youngest son, Ronnie Turner. 

Ronnie was just 62 when he passed away on December 8, 2022, due to complications from colon cancer. An autopsy carried out by the LA County Medical Examiner Coroner's office shortly after revealed the primary cause of death to be "complications of metastatic colon carcinoma", as well as cardiovascular disease. 

Metastatic colon carcinoma is an advanced-stage cancer that originates in the colon and spreads to other areas of the body, most often the liver or lungs. 

tina turner ronnie turner afida turner posing in garden© Instagram
Tina with Ronnie and his wife Afida

The report also confirmed that Ronnie suffered from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which is a build-up of fats and cholesterol that obstructs blood flow through your arteries. The official cause of death was categorized as natural. 

Ronnie was found struggling to breathe on the sidewalk outside of his Encino home before he stopped breathing altogether minutes later, the LAPD told the New York Post. Paramedics attempted CPR but pronounced him dead at the scene. 

Ronnie reportedly survived previous cancer battles and it was claimed that his colon cancer returned just three weeks before his death, but he did not reveal any specific diagnosis prior. 

ronnie turner wife afida turner speaking ike turner memorial© Getty Images
Ronnie and Afida at Ike Turner's memorial

Ronnie's wife of 15 years, Afida Turner, announced his death on Instagram, writing: "My husband my best friend my baby I was your mummy, your nurse your little monster. I did the best to the end this time I was not able to save you… This is very very very bad I am very mad. This is a tragedy you with your brother Craig and your father Ike Turner and Alline. Rest in paradise. So unfair." 

Ronnie's brother Craig, Tina's eldest son with saxophonist Raymond Hill, died in 2018 after taking his own life. His dad, Ike Turner died in 2007 of a drug overdose, and Tina's older sister, Alline Bullock, died in 2010. 

Tina also paid tribute to Ronnie on Instagram following his death, sharing a portrait of herself with her eyes closed and writing: "Ronnie, you left the world far too early. In sorrow I close my eyes and think of you, my beloved son."

View post on Instagram

Tina was a mom to four sons. Including Ronnie and Craig, she also adopted two of Ike's six children from previous relationships, Ike Turner Jr. and Michael Turner. However, in 2018, Ike Jr. claimed that he hadn't spoken to his mother in almost 20 years, and she was also distant from Michael. 

Tina, who was dubbed the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, died in Switzerland after battling a long illness, her spokesperson confirmed in a statement on social media.

tina turner family portrait with sons and ex husband ike turner© Getty Images
Tina with her four sons and ex-husband Ike Turner

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner," it read. "With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. 

"Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly."

See more photos of Tina Turner throughout her life below.

Ike & Tina Turner in 1972© Michael Ochs Archives
Tina Turner and her ex-husband Ike Turner in 1972
Tina Turner and Ike Turner as guests on CHER. Image dated September 11, 1975© Getty
Tina Turner and Ike Turner as guests on CHER in 1975
Tina Turner wearing a black lace mini dress© Getty
Tina has always been a powerhouse performer
Tina Turner wearing a denim jacket and a leather zip-up mini dress© Getty
Tina's looks over the years have become iconic
Tina Turner wearing a fringed dress© Getty
Tina always put on a memorable show
 Tina Turner and her husband Giorgio Armani Prive Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show© Bertrand Rindoff Petroff
Tina Turner and her husband Erwin Bach
 Tina Turner and  Erwin Bach attend the Giorgio Armani 40th Anniversary, 2015 in Milan© Jacopo M. Raule
Tina and Erwin married in 2013 after 27 years together

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