Singer Tina Turner has revealed her thoughts on her last ever gig – a concert in Sheffield – in her new autobiography.
Turner, whose hits include Private Dancer, Steamy Windows and What’s Love Got To Do With It, finished her final tour with a date at Sheffield Arena in 2009, after which she went into retirement. The 50th anniversary trek grossed $130 million.
Her book My Love Story focuses on what happened afterwards, sharing details of health problems she has faced such as a mild stroke, cancer and kidney disease – an illness treated with a donor organ from her husband Erwin Bach.
“At one point during the tour, I got sick with a very bad chest cold,” she writes in the memoir which was published last week. “We had to reschedule a couple of shows, so our final performance was set for May 5, 2009, in Sheffield.”
Her lead dancer, Clare Turton, was from nearby Eckington, which Turner says made the occasion even more special. “We really had fun that night. I wanted everyone to leave that place having had the best time. I’m sure anyone who was in the audience remembers Tina Turner’s last show.”
Later she returned to her hotel and was ‘very quiet’. “I knew this was it. I got up the next morning, didn’t see anybody, and boarded the plane with Erwin. I sat there, still, calm, resolute. I took a deep breath and told myself, ‘I’m not going back’.”
Explaining her reasons for bowing out in Sheffield, she says: “After working so hard for so many years, I was ready to stop. This was the moment to do it because I wanted to finish with my fans remembering me at my best. I didn’t want them to come to a show in a year, or two years, and think ‘Oh, she used to be good’. There’s a wise expression, ‘Leave the party before it’s over’.”
Last year a stage production was launched at the Aldwych Theatre, London about Turner’s life. Tina: The Musical – which has been extended until July 2019 – tells the performer's story from her youth as Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, through her tumultuous relationship with Ike Turner, and comeback as a rock 'n' roll star in her 40s. The ‘jukebox musical’, starring Adrienne Warren who is tasked with recreating Turner’s forceful vocals, treats audiences to a succession of her best-known tracks.
Turner, a 12-time Grammy Award winner who has sold 200 million records, is also the subject of an upcoming documentary promising unseen footage.