Billboard Magazine - April 21, 1984: Tina Turner, who topped Billboard’s Dance/Disco chart last month with the hit "Let’s Stay Together," has been set as the opening act on Lionel Richie’s upcoming 50-date tour, which opens May 15 in Tulsa and ends Aug. 17 in Las Vegas. The tour was booked by the Howard Rose Agency and focuses on major arenas across the U.S. and Canada. Richie’s show was produced and directed by Tony-winning Broadway veteran Joe Layton. Turner’s selection as opening act follows memorable support roles in shows starring the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart.
What’s Love Got To Do With It
Nutbush City Limits
I Might Have Been Queen
Better Be Good To Me
Let’s Stay Together
duet with Lionel Richie during his show
Three Times A Lady
duet with Lionel Richie during his show
Kenny Moore: Piano, Vocals / James Ralston: Guitar, Vocals / Bob Feit: Bass Guitar / Alan Clark: Keyboards / Hal Lindes: Guitar, Vocals / Henry Spinetti: Drums
… Before she could catch her breath, Lionel Richie asked her to open his 1984 tour, and Tina was off and running - all by herself. Not only was she no longer with Ike, but the Lionel Richie tour was the first time she did major performances without the support of backup singers and dancers. „It was real hard being on stage by myself at first,“ Tina recalls of the first few shows of the tour: Because Lionel's crowd is not my crowd. Plus, it was brand new material, and the only thing they wanted to hear was „Nutbush City Limits,“ „Let’s Stay Together“ and „Proud Mary.” However, by the middle of the tour, the album began to get widespread radio play and rapidly moved up the charts. It wasn’t long before Lionel Richie’s crowd was, indeed, Tina Turner’s crowd.
… Prior to Richie’s tour, rumors were flying that he would be joined on stage by his opening act, Tina Turner. That tale died a not-so-quiet death during the opening notes of „Hot Legs,“ a song tailor-made for Tina. With a pair of legs that just don’t quit, Ms. Tina slithered out on stage and proceeded to heat up both the audience and Richie. After singing „Three Times A Lady“ together, Tina left Richie to finish his show.
The Lady was hot. Dressed to kill in tight black leather pants, matching shirt and spiked heels, she opened her set with the second single from her Private Dancer album „What’s Love Got To Do With It.“ From there she pounded into „Nutbush City Limits,“ a song about her hometown. Next came „I Might Have Been Queen“ and a superb version of „Better Be Good To Me,“ both also from her Private Dancer album. Running off stage to change, Ms. Tina returned to the strains of her smash hit „Let’s Stay Together,“ and closed her segment of the show with the classic „Proud Mary.“
After years of struggling to regain her past popularity, she is ready to stand on her own. Accompanying Lionel Richie on his 34-city tour has proven to be a good way to start.
June 16, 1984
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale
This unusual pairing brought a slight role reversal to the Long lsland arena June 3. Richie, the master of precise pop ballads and wellscrubbed r&b, performed an energetic, loose, mobile show, while Turner, the queen of acid soul, maintained a relatively calm, uncompromisingly musical pace.
Tina Turner didn’t move around as much as Richie, and though she still wears the same scanty dresses and struts better than anyone in high heels, her stage moves, in this day of Grace Jones and the Plasmatics, don't seem as wild as they used to. She presented herself as part of an integrated rock’n roll band (which included Alan Clark and Hal Lindes of Dire Straits), and sang with a voice that's as powerful as it's ever been.
Turner concentrated on stripped-down versions of old and new songs. She's screeching less and leaning into and holding notes more, and her brief foray into straight r&b, “Let's Stay Together," revealed the surprising legato that recently brought her back to the pop, black and dance charts.
Turner didn’t start to fly across the stage until the last song, "Proud Mary," but she returned during Richie’s show to sing "Hot Legs" with all the usual kicks and thumps, and then turned around and sang a classy duet with Richie on “Three Times A Lady," sinking her voice into a melody that had previously never seemed too deep. / ROB HOERBURGER