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How Bonnie Tyler Left Behind Her Insecurities With Age

11 May 2017 | 4:19 pm | Paul Ransom

"With age you get much more relaxed about things. You don't worry so much about what people think."

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The first thing Bonnie Tyler wants to know about is the weather. The reason for this is not entirely clear at first and, not being long range forecasters, we can only offer scant advice.

However, the husky-voiced Welsh singer of such standards as Total Eclipse Of The Heart and It's A Heartache soon explains. Approaching 66, and with 40 years of touring and recording behind her, Tyler is not only over the hyperbole of stardom and marketing but content to do her own organising. "I don't have an entourage," she says. "I do it all myself. I pack my own clothes, buy my own wardrobe, carry my own bag. Y'know, I don't fuss too much anymore."

Indeed, it is soon obvious that Gaynor Hopkins is quite at ease with the life and work of her Bonnie alter ego. Having endured the fleeting shimmer of sales and success, been to number one, fallen out of the spotlight (and back in again), she insists that she enjoys touring more than ever.

"I do it all myself. I pack my own clothes, buy my own wardrobe, carry my own bag."

As she explains, "When I was younger I worried about where we were performing and what I was going to wear and, y'know, the travelling was getting me down; but with age you get much more relaxed about things. You don't worry so much about what people think. You just go on and enjoy it and when you enjoy it people feel that."

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Thus, when she arrives in Oz for a seven-date tour later in May, Tyler will hit the stage with a confidence born of decades. "Believe it or not, I used to be very shy," she reveals. "I'd go on stage like a little girl but I'm not like that anymore. I'm very confident now and, y'know, I've got a great voice coach that I phone before every soundcheck, no matter where I am."

That Tyler still works on her famously smoky tones underpins her longevity and confidence, but also helps to keep the art form challenging. Having sung the songs so many times, maintaining their freshness and keeping the meaning believable across the years is pivotal. "I've lived with them for such a long time but now I think that I do put more feeling into them," she explains. "When you first record a song, especially with someone like Jim Steinman [writer of Total Eclipse, Bat Out Of Hell, etc] you just learn it by the piano. I don't read music so at first I just feel my way into them but now I sing them much better. Much stronger."

But of course aside from the endless back catalogue, there are always new horizons, including a date to make a record with John Carter Cash in Nashville and, in the last few weeks, a new single with German metalheads Axel Rudi Pell called Love's Holding On. "It's a really ballsy song," she assures us.

Yet, whether it's country, blues or Teutonic rock, the self-organising Bonnie Tyler remains keen to ensure that black jeans will be okay for both Gold Coast and Melbourne weather.