Jimmy Barnes Reveals ‘The Best’ Experience Working With Tina Turner

26 May 2023 | 8:37 am | Mary Varvaris

"She stood next to me, she opened her mouth - it was just, it was frightening and phenomenal at the same time.”

Photo of Jimmy Barnes & Tina Turner

Photo of Jimmy Barnes & Tina Turner (Source: Supplied)

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Jimmy Barnes has opened up about The Best experience working with Tina Turner in an appearance on yesterday's Triple M’s The Rush Hour with JB & Billy.

In 1990, Tina Turner’s The Best was used in the NSW NRL commercials to great effect. In 1992, the league decided to refresh the ads and go one better, adding in our very own Jimmy Barnes (and the word Simply in brackets to the title) to collaborate with Tina. (Simply) The Best hit #14 in Australia and became the game’s unofficial national anthem.

In his autobiography Working Class Man, Barnes stated, "In 1992, the NRL asked me if I would consider joining Tina in the TV ads. This meant I would have to travel to Holland to record and make a film clip with her. They would pay me a fortune. I had to bite my lip from laughing. I would have paid them to get me to sing with her. It was one of the great moments of my life to stand next to Tina as she sang in the studio."

Now, Barnes has shared a new story about his beloved collaborator, telling JB & Billy, “The Scots have a saying, ‘Don’t cry because they’re gone but laugh because you had them here.’”

“Tina Turner was a light that shone brilliantly. [She was] one of the greatest singers I’ve ever heard in my life, one of the most incredible people I ever got to work with, she was an absolute powerhouse and I just feel blessed that I got the chance to work with her.”

Next up, he told the Triple M hosts his “favourite story” of working with Turner for their (Simply) The Best duet. “I flew all the way to Amsterdam, next morning I had to go straight to the studio and I got there at ten in the morning and, you know… try to wake up, and she stood next to me, she opened her mouth - it was just, it was frightening and phenomenal at the same time.”

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 He continued, “My favourite story about Tina was, we're finished this recording and they're doing it - it's a big production, they're filming for the NRL, right. So, they've got all these cameras everywhere and the director sort of leans on the mic and says, ‘Okay guys, we're going to pan across to the studio, when I get to you two guys (Tina and Jimmy) just be dancing and having a good time.’”

“Has anybody ever seen me dance? It's not attractive to humans. She leans into me, and she just she could tell that I was just in panic, and she whispered, ‘Stand still honey, I'll make you look good.’”

You can listen to The Rush Hour with JB & Billy on Triple M or via the LiSTNR app.

While on the Rush Hour with JB & Billy, Barnes also made mention of his side project, The Barnestormers, and their self-titled debut album, which is out today. The Barnestormers is a band starring Jimmy Barnes, The Living End’s Chris Cheney on guitar, Stray CatsSlim Jim Phantom on drums, producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley on bass, and UK music legend Jools Holland playing the piano.

Tina Turner passed away this week at age 83.