Smash hit Tina Turner tribute set to strut into Edinburgh's Usher Hall
'With knees pointing north and south, Anna Mae Bullock was huge in the 1980s, rediscovered by a new generation thanks to chart toppers such as The Best, Private Dancer and We Don’t Need Another Hero. Yes, Tina Turner, with a pop career already spanning more than two decades, was enjoying a renaissance.'
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These are words I penned a few years ago that still stand true as the smash hit tribute show, What’s Love Got To Do With It?, heads to Usher Hall next month to celebrate the music and life of the legendary singer who, for many, remains simply the best.
The task of stepping into the Louboutin stilettos of the pop icon falls to Elesha Paul Moses who will sing the hits of the star, backed by a live band.
Moses, who appeared on The X Factor in 2010 and later The Voice, is also known for touring as Whitney Houston in Whitney: Queen Of The Night but it was What’s Love Got To Do With It? that had just launched when the pandemic struck.
"It is incredible. When we started the show, I’d been pretty full on with Whitney: Queen Of The Night so didn’t have too much time to think about it as we were so busy. We were up and down the country non-stop from February 2019 until the point when Covid-19 struck and theatres closed. There had been so much love for the show, it was amazing. That makes launching the 2021 tour even more exciting."
Like many entertainers, Moses found herself working as a supermarket delivery driver during lock down... which landed her an unexpected job.
She laughs, as she recalls, "I posted a picture on Instagram, saying ‘I quite like this lime green T-shirt’, and the next day I got a call saying they [the supermarket] wanted me in their Christmas TV advert. That was pretty crazy."
Right now though, she is looking forward to strutting her stuff at the Usher Hall on October 16."You need a huge amount of stamina to do Tina and Whitney, vocally, physically and mentally. Tina is the physical challenge, while Whitney is the vocal challenge and they are such different sounding performers,” she says."Tina’s not got a growl, as such. People think it’s shouting but it’s not, it’s a very particular tone that she has, and she’s so free with her performance."
What’s Love Got To Do With It? returns for 2021 with an all-new cast of singers and dancers, new choreography, costumes and even more interaction, which is sure to include the odd singalong.
"There are so many of her songs I love. Proud Mary is so much fun, but I also love Typical Male and I Can’t Stand The Rain. It always used to be Simply The Best people really loved and went mad for, but these days it’s definitely Proud Mary."
She continues, "Tina is just such a great all-rounder, she appeals to men as well as women. Her songs have never gone away. Even youngsters know tracks like Proud Mary. Tina had difficult times too but came through them. I think people like that side of her story, as well as the brilliant music."
What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, October 16, www.theusherhall.co.uk