Jimmy Barnes reflects on the moment he learnt of Tina Turner’s death

May 26, 2023
Jimmy Barnes revealed that he had long idolised Turner, explaining that he used to sneak into her concerts. Source: Getty Images.

Following the death of singing sensation Tina Turner, fellow musical heavyweight Jimmy Barnes has opened up about the “sad” moment he learnt of her passing.

Turner died peacefully at her home in Switzerland on Wednesday, May 24 at the age of 83. A statement on her Instagram confirmed her death.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” the statement read.

“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. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”

As fans across the globe come to terms with her death, Barnes who had performed alongside Turner on the hit song Simply the Best spoke of the moment he learned of his former duet partner’s passing.

“I woke up at four o’clock this morning, I don’t know why,” he told The Project.

“I couldn’t go to sleep but I turned the radio on for a second and it said that Tina died, so I couldn’t go back to sleep again.”

Barnes also revealed that he had long idolised Turner, explaining that he used to sneak into her concerts to see her perform.

“Me and my mates in gangs in Elizabeth (Adelaide), we went to the Apollo Stadium and kicked the door in and charged through and got in for nothing so we could watch Tina Turner,” he said.

“My mates really just wanted to start trouble but I ran down the front and I stood there and I watched

“Tina Turner perform and it was the voice of a demon and it was incredible, but just the best energy I‘ve ever seen.

“And I remember thinking that’s the way I want to perform I want to sing like that.”

Years later Barnes and Turner would collaborate with his idol on Simply the Best which he described as “one of the most exciting moments” and the “highlight” of his career.

“The minute she opened her mouth, she was warm, she was gracious and nurturing and I was terrified,” he said.

“It’s very sad news but she left a mark on this world, there’s no singer like her.”


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Barnes joins the millions who are mourning the loss of Turner, after news broke of her passing fans and fellow musicians offered their heartfelt tributes to the legendary singer while celebrating her immeasurable impact on the world of music.

The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger was among the first to honour his “wonderful friend”, telling fans that he “will never forget her”.

Turner is survived by her husband Erwin Bach and her adopted sons Ike Turner Jr and Michael.

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