Who Was Craig Turner’s Father, Raymond Hill?

Craig Turner's father

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Craig Raymond Turner, the first-born son of singer Tina Turner, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to TMZ. He was 59 years old.

“Authorities arrived at his place [in Studio City, California], just after noon Tuesday and he was pronounced dead at the scene,” according to TMZ.

Craig Turner’s father was a saxophonist named Raymond Hill. He was a member of Ike Turner’s band, the Kings of Rhythm. He joined the R&B group in the late 40s. According to the Daily Mail, Turner and Hill had a “fling” when she was just a teenager. The two met while they were both a part of Ike Turner’s band — Tina Turner, then Anna Mae Bullock, was a back-up singer for the band.

“If I really wanted to talk s—t about Tina, I could. She and her saxophone-player boyfriend [Raymond Hill] were living in my house in East St. Louis. He got Tina pregnant. I’d get mad at him, cause he’d make Tina go downstairs while he went upstairs to ball another woman. Where does she come off sounding so innocent these days?” Turner’s former husband, Ike Turner, told the Daily Beast in 2015.

Tina Turner gave birth to Craig when she was 18 years old.

Hill continued on with Kings of Rhythm for several years, recording songs with the band, including the song “Rocket 88,” in which he had a solo.

“The first band he joined was Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm. On 5th March 1951, Hill became a part of history when Turner took the band up to Memphis for what turned out to be the groundbreaking ‘Rocket 88’ session,” according to Rockabilly. Hill left the group in 1952 after he wasn’t paid royalties, the site reports. Hill went on to record more music both under his own name and as a “session musician.”

Anna Mae Bullock soon became Tina Turner, and her career took off. She ended up marrying Ike Turner in 1962, and he adopted Craig a short time later.

Over the years, Craig witnessed the physical abuse that Ike inflicted on his mother.

“They saw the black eyes. Ike’s children never reacted, but my oldest son, Craig, was a very emotional kid. He’d always look down in sadness. One day when Ike was fighting me, Craig knocked on the door and said, ‘Mother, are you all right?’ I thought, ‘Oh, please, don’t beat me at home.’ I didn’t want my children to hear. I tried to have meals with the children, talk to them about life. But Ike had no sense of that. He’d always come home late from the studio. It was awful,” Tina Turner previously told Oprah Winfrey.

Raymond Hill passed away in 1996 from congestive heart failure.

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