Tina Turner Talks Being ‘Classic’ and Wishing She Could Watch Her Own Show in First Interview With ET

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Tina Turner was simply the best and her first interview with ET in 1981 proves that she knew it! On Wednesday, Turner’s rep confirmed that she died peacefully at her home in K?snacht near Zurich, Switzerland, at the age of 83.


In 1981, at the height of her comeback to music, following a years-long hiatus, and transition to rock n’ roll, the “Proud Mary” singer spoke to ET while on the road with Rod Stewart.

“I’ve been doing it too long to be nervous,” she quipped while speaking about possible nerves ahead of taking the stage. “… If my dress wasn’t right or my shoes were wrong … everything is fine and I know the words, so I’m going to be fine.”

For Turner, nothing beat the experience of live music. And if she had the chance, she would take in her own show — that’s how good she was.

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

“You can’t replace what’s live,” she told ET. “It’s one thing looking at it. Sometimes I say I really wish it was possible that I could just really take a seat and look at my own show. Because I don’t want to look at it on screen. It’s different, it’s being there and seeing that human being standing there doing it and not that it was a month ago or photographed. My idea is that when you look on the stage and you see that actual group there, it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s whole different feeling.”

Making her return in the 8’0s — alongside Stewart — Turner knew the importance of experience and why that (gladly) set her apart from the newer acts.

“It’s almost like anything that’s a classic lasts,” she said. “I mean, it’s still good, there’s knowledge behind it, there’s roots, there’s experience. And the difference is, when the younger generation … your era … goes to see current groups, you come and see someone like Rod [Stewart] or myself or Rolling Stones and you see that difference. The difference is we know what we’re doing, we have mastered it and we’re just playing around with it now. Where everyone else is still beginning to master it.”

Paul Natkin/Getty Images

And for Turner, taking the stage was never a selfish act. The “River Deep, Mountain High” singer knew the crowd had to leave with something — and she was there to deliver it.

“That’s what the whole thing is about, to give and to give people enjoyment,” she said. “So whatever it takes, whatever the knowledge comes, is what will be given.”

And she looked forward to the applause.

“It’s always in the challenge of waiting to see what the response was going to be at the end,” she told ET about the crowd’s reaction. “Or you have it all through the performance, which is another feeling that you get too. When you have a sort of quiet audience, you sort of make sure you get your point across and you’re delivering and everything is at its best. But when they’re rooting and tooting for ya, then you just sort of have a good time with it. You don’t have to be so correct.”

For more on Tina’s life and legacy, scroll below.


Tina Turner Died From Natural Causes, Rep Says

Oprah Winfrey Says Tina Turner Told Her She Was ‘Ready to Go’ in 2019

Tina Turner Revealed Her Celebrity Crush One Month Before Her Death

Tina Turner Dead at 83: Hollywood Mourns the Music Icon

Cher Details Visiting Tina Turner Before Her Death Amid ‘Long Illness’

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