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Moment legend learnt of Tina Turner’s death

Jimmy Barnes was honoured to work with Tina Turner. Picture: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes
Jimmy Barnes was honoured to work with Tina Turner. Picture: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes has revealed the moment he learnt of Tina Turner’s death and reflected on his favourite moments with the singer.

The “Queen of Rock’n’Roll” Tina Turner died aged 83 “after a long illness” in her home near Zurich, Switzerland.

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The loss was felt particularly strongly in Australia, a country Turner had developed a special relationship with after becoming the face and voice of the rugby league back in the late 1980s.

Mr Barnes said that he was "so sad" to hear of her passing. Photo: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes
Barnes said he was ‘so sad’ to hear of her death. Picture: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes
Mr Barnes said Tina Turner was a "wonderful human being" and that singing with her was a "highlight of my career". Photo: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes
He said Tina Turner was a ‘wonderful human being’ and singing with her was a ‘highlight of my career’. Picture: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes

Her connection with Australia was only deepened by her duet with Australian rocker Barnes on Simply the Best.

Barnes revealed the moment he found out about his fellow performer’s death while sitting on The Project’s panel on Thursday night.

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

“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.”

He then reflected on his long held respect for Turner, revealing how he had been a fan of her music long before they sang together

“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.

"It was such an honour to work with someone so talented, strong and giving," he said. Photo: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes
‘It was such an honour to work with someone so talented, strong and giving,’ he said. Picture: Instagram/Jimmy Barnes

“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’.”

He said their song was “one of the most exciting moments and highlights of my career”.

“And fast forward, we did this song Simply The Best, I went there and she was just phenomenal,” he said.

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