Tina Turner: Singer who survived abuse and conquered world

Published date25 May 2023
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
She was also full of surprises. Only Tina Turner could go from starring opposite Mel Gibson in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985 (she belted out its epic theme to boot) to working with Bono and The Edge on their imperious 1995 Bond barnstormer, GoldenEye

Paradise is Here

That wasn't her first experience with Irish musicians. In 1986, as her great 1980s revival was gathering pace, she covered Paul Brady's Paradise is Here on the Break Every Rule album. The tune was not the hit it deserved to be, but Turner loved it and would encore with it on the subsequent tour. She heard it as a feminist anthem, which was how she sang it, too.

"That song can fit a lot of women," she said. "You think that your life and all that is wonderful is outside of here. But it's right here at home. Paradise is Here. You tell me how many women can't relate to that? Paul must have written it about his wife. It feels very much like something he has dealt with. I was really trying to get that conversation going between man and woman. I'm hoping people will sit down and listen to the words. There are such wonderful messages here."

For Irish fans, there will also be the memory of the incredible live shows she gave here. Turner played Croke Park in 1996, where she brought down the curtains with her take on Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy. She was back in 2009 for four dates at what is now 3Arena.

GoldenEye and Paradise Is Here testify to her stunning range as a singer. The Bono-Edge number is a cheesy stab at Shirley Bassey-style retro pop. But Turner elevates it with vocals that out-Bassey Shirley Bassey. With Paradise Is Here, she goes in the opposite direction, picking up on the thread of tenderness running through the lyrics and transforming the material into something fragile and heartbreaking.

Throughout her life in music, strength and fragility were the flip sides of Turner. As the "Queen of Rock 'n Roll", the artist born Tina...

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