Richard Wilkins shares moving tribute to the ‘sweet and eclectic’ Tina Turner: ‘She was a tough cookie’
There’s not a soul in the music or entertainment industry who won’t sorely miss the late Tina Turner – including Richard Wilkins.
Nine’s Entertainment Editor had the privilege of interviewing the Simply the Best singer a handful of times throughout his career.
Speaking to 9Honey Celebrity, Wilkins says Turner, who has died aged 83, exhibited the kind of warmth that was rare of a global megastar.
“She was pretty much a one-off. Tina was just eclectic on stage and a joy to talk to, very polite and very professional – very sweet and a joy to work with,” Wilkins recalls.
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READ MORE: Tina Turner and her enduring relationship with Australia
“When she was here to perform Simply the Best at the NRL grand final, it was my duty to walk her on stage and have a chat with her for that occasion. So that was pretty special.”
Turner had a special bond with Australia and her fans Down Under, particularly given our fondness for her hit song Nutbush City Limits and the accompanying dance.
Wilkins says the multiple Grammy winner loved Australia back.
“Very much so, and I think a lot of that came from her manager Roger [Davies], because he did turn around her career,” Wilkins says.
“She really did have an affinity with Australia, especially when the Nutbush took off. Tina and Australia just loved each other and it was a lovely relationship.”
READ MORE: Tributes pour in for music icon Tina Turner
It was during the 1980s that Turner turned her music career around, following the release of her 1984 multi-platinum album Private Dancer.
The singer had achieved success in the ’60s and early ’70s as part of the Ike & Tina Turner musical duo, but she wasn’t letting her dream go after their tumultuous marriage ended.
Wilkins said this tenacity and passion for making music is a huge part of the Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, now showing in Sydney.
“She did it tough, her mother ran off and her father left home, there was domestic violence and not a great place for a young girl, then her relationship with Ike was sort of the same,” he says.
“Her voice and her talent was her escape, really. She had probably one last roll of the dice as a 40-something Black woman trying to get a major record deal.
“She was a tough cookie. She knew what she wanted and she wanted it really badly.”
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Turner’s management confirmed the singer’s death, revealing she had died in her home in the town of Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland.
The What’s Love Got To Do With It? singer suffered a number of health issues in recent years including cancer, a stroke and kidney failure.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” her management said in a statement.
The statement, shared on Instagram continued: “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.”
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Title: Richard Wilkins shares moving tribute to the ‘sweet and eclectic’ Tina Turner: ‘She was a tough cookie’
Sourced From: celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/tina-turner-death-richard-wilkins-tribute-after-music-icon-dies-aged-83-exclusive/173426a9-058e-47eb-a9ed-feb4f38edd75
Published Date: Thu, 25 May 2023 05:05:00 GMT
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