Tina Arena: "My first experience with marriage was disgraceful."

Every album in Tina Arena’s career has gone Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum.

She’s won 15 ARIA Awards; made it into the ARIA Hall of Fame and sang The Flame at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games – the highest rated TV telecast in Australian history.

But Italian-born Arena is more than just a beautiful voice. In fact, her story is a dazzling mix of warming and tragic.

Tina Arena has found the perfect partner now. But her first marriage went bust. Image via Getty.

In 1995, the singer-songwriter married her then-manager Ralph Carr. And right from the words 'I do', things were never quite right.

She writes in her autobiography Now I Can Dance that her family encouraged her to be a "runaway bride" on her wedding day. This was after she had a disagreement with her husband, who wasn't happy at her refusal to sell their wedding photos to a magazine.

Listen: Tina Arena speaks with Mia Freedman about the debacle that was her first marriage, and why she's in no rush to wed her new partner, on No Filter. 

They split up after just "two years", Arena told Mia Freedman, despite the fact that their divorce wasn't finalised until 1999.

"My first experience [with marriage] was disgraceful,"  Arena tells Mia Freedman in an interview on  the No Filter podcast.

"And poorly treated under Australian law, because of what I went through financially... I went back to zero after 25 years of work..."

Tina Arena's ex-husband and ex-manager Ralph Carr, pictured with singer Kate Ceberano (another of his clients) in 2004. Image via Getty.

Since 2000, she has been with a new long-term partner. French-born Vincent Mancini, with whom she shares a son, Gabriel, 11.

And while they haven't yet tied the knot on paper, the couple's bond transcends that of a standard relationship.

Tina Arena and partner Vincent Mancini are married 'behind the church'. Image via Getty.

"I’ve been married to a beautiful man [Vincent] for years 'behind the church,'" Arena explains to Freedman. "Vince always said ‘yeah we’re married, behind the church.'”

She goes on, “I think at my age I’ve understood something really quiet profound, and that is it takes enormous strength to be the silent partner behind somebody like me that has the history that I have...it takes a man that has to know who he is."

Check out Tina Arena's hit single, 'Chains'. Post continues after.

"I’ve been living with the most beautiful man for the past 17 years whose taught me about love, who's taught me about respect, who's taught me about self worth, and the beautiful simplistic things in life.”

Sounds like the type of partner we're all keeping an eye out for.

You can listen to the full episode of No Filter with Tina Arena, here:

What's your favourite Tina Arena song? Let us know in the comments below. 

Want to see Tina in concert? Good news, she's touring. Find out more here.