Tina Turner… Australian cultural icon!

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Tina Turner in flower-patterned sundress running along the beach with two rugby players to her right and one to her left, wearing speedos

Did you know that Tina Turner has been one of the biggest contributors to Australian culture? 🦘 Honestly, her impact has been huge! Here’s how…

Go to any Australian wedding or social event and you’re bound to hear the rock guitars that herald Tina Turner’s 1973 hit Nutbush City Limits. The long intro provides enough time for everyone to get into a grid configuration and, right on cue, launch into a line dance, known as ‘the Nutbush’, that every Aussie knows the steps for. It’s very simple to pick up and lots of fun, so if you ever get the chance, join in! Here’s a video showing what the Nutbush dance looks like

🕺🏻The Nutbush dance even has its own Wikipedia entry

Tina Turner was also the central figure in transforming spectator sports in Australia from being predominantly male to something that anyone can come, watch and enjoy. Honestly!

In 1989, the NSW Rugby League started an ad campaign targeted at getting more women into the spectator stands. Starring Tina Turner singing her hit ‘What You Get Is What You See’, the ad heavily featured rugby players wearing just shorts or speedos.

This was followed the year after with another ad featuring Tina Turner singing her hit ‘The Best’. Same scenario as before.

The campaign was a huge success, producing many copycat campaigns for other sports codes and, most importantly, changed the fabric of sports crowds in Australia forever.
More about the campaign and its legacy here

And let’s not forget that Tina Turner was the co-star of the 1985 Australian film 🎬 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Or that Turner was a regular performer in the Leagues and RSL club circuit, and other Australian suburban entertainment centres, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Vale Tina Turner! Your legacy will forever live on in Australia.