I used to see her onstage with Mick. I said, “Well, Mick is great,” and he does his thing. But when Tina comes on, you’re watching her. There’s no one who can hold a stage to Tina Turner! And I don’t care how many choreographers you have, how many dancers, how much crap onstage, all Tina has to come out and do is this little thing. She called it a little jig, and I thought, “I don’t know if that’s what she really meant.” That little thing, she said, “It’s only a little thing…” And I went, “Babe, it’s a little thing that no one else can do, and you do it.”
Tina Turner’s stage presence is undeniable, and I love how she is always so strong and confident on stage. I’ve always loved Tina’s story, too.
She started out in the shadows, then rose to find herself and her voice. She triumphed in a huge way, in spite of very difficult life circumstances.
And, of course, Tina is one of my LEG-spirations!
Billy F Gibbons
When Tina Turner performed our song “Legs,” it was truly a case of life imitating art. I mean the song was, in a way, written about her – and here she is singing it with so much panache! That’s so meta, it could blow a hole in the universe! To borrow from Ms. Tina herself, she’s “simply the best.”
Tina’s been a trailblazer for women and women of color because she’s never taken “no” for an answer. She’s never fallen in line. She’s never conformed to anything other than her absolute truest self. And she’s been a shining example for the rest of us on how to retain our own dignity and our own strength and our own sense of self; to not try to pretty ourselves in the wrong ways, not change who we are or how we present ourselves to make other people feel more comfortable. She’s never done that. And that’s been an example for all of us, all women.
Plus, what other pop icon can do a pantyhose commercial, and you never forget it? Who? No one. No one else, just Tina Turner.
The first time I heard Tina Turner, I danced. The first time I watched her perform, I cried. She was my absolute first, total artist crush! She taught me to ride the wave of energy that comes with each moment. Her stage presence is fascinating to me because unlike a master performer – who makes it look effortless – she does not. She leaves it ALL out there.
Once she hits high gear, she dissolves the barrier between body and voice, performer and crowd. She unlocks the floodgates. That’s my kind of mastery.
For me, Tina’s voice and body are one entity. They cannot be separated. She drives intensely for her musical catharsis. She leaves no stone unturned and channels emotion so vividly it hurts (in the best way.)
Her voice is a weapon of emotive delivery. She can make you feel what she feels, a skill of empathy. as well as charisma. If you’ve ever watched her sing “Please Please Please” with your parents as she makes the mic stand her bitch, you’ll know exactly what presence looks like.
Tina sings with a voice imbued with trials, tribulations, love and hope. I felt like understanding her voice helped me understand mine. Where the gravel would be and how to use it, bear into it, weaponize it with emotion. Her place in (rock) music and across genres is important for artists of Colour, but especially for artists who wish to occupy a number of spaces in their careers. To know that person who sang “River Deep, Mountain High” also sang “Nutbush City Limits” despite how different they are stylistically is proof that music is bonded together by the artist and how they metabolise music.
When Tina was coming on strong, headlining all the places the biggest rock stars played, I loaded up my bus and took all the girls who work with me to go see her in St. Louis. I wanted us all to see that kind of fire up close and together.
She was so strong, she just ripped the night wide open from the moment she walked out. I was overtaken by the power of her presence onstage.
I was brought to tears of joy! It was SPIRITUAL for me.
My Dad, who was this big bluegrass fan, was the biggest Tina Turner fan, too. She was on TV, doing “Proud Mary,” and he said, “Now there is an amazing WO-man.” Daddy wasn’t a rock & roll fan; he loved those powerful emotions that were in Ralph Stanley’s voice of the Stanley Brothers, but Tina cut across all of that. He could feel it.
I’ve always been a country singer. But Tina? Tina’s always been more than any one kind of music. Even when she did her country record, she did it Tina’s way.