Jimmy Barnes opens up about how he found out about Tina Turner’s death and reminisces about his favorite moments with the singer.
“Queen of rock and roll” Tina Turner has died at the age of 83 “after a long illness” at her home near Zurich, Switzerland.
“With her, the world is losing a musical legend and role model,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The loss was especially keenly felt in Australia, a country with which Turner developed a special relationship after he became the face and voice of rugby league in the late 1980s.
Her connection to Australia was only strengthened by a duet with Australian rocker Barnes on “Simply the Best”.
Barnes spoke of the moment he learned of the death of his fellow performer while sitting on the Project panel on Thursday night.
“I woke up at four o’clock this morning, I don’t know why,” he said.
“I couldn’t sleep but I turned on the radio for a second and it said Tina had died so I couldn’t sleep again.”
He then reflected on his longtime respect for Turner, revealing that he was a fan of her music long before they sang together.
“Me and my gang mates in Elizabeth (Adelaide), we went to Apollo Stadium, kicked down the door, broke in and went in for no reason to look at Tina Turner,” he said.
“My buddies really just wanted to make trouble but I ran up front and stood there and watched Tina Turner perform and it was the voice of a demon and it was unbelievable but it was the best energy I have ever seen.
“And I remember thinking, ‘I want to perform, I want to sing like this.'”
He said that their song was “one of the most exciting moments and highlights of my career.”
“And fast forward, we made this Simply The Best song, I went in there and it was just phenomenal,” he said.
“The minute she opened her mouth, she was warm and kind and caring and I was terrified.”
Originally published as Jimmy Barnes reflects on singing’s ‘career highlight’ with Tina Turner