What You Get is What You See: Remembering Tina Turner's Last Tour

Tina Turner in 2009
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Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Today, Tina Turner is "happily retired," as a spokesperson put it in 2014. Aside from appearing in an incredible 2021 documentary on her life and career - and, perhaps, waiting on a long-overdue solo induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - she's living the good life in Switzerland with her husband Erwin Bach, who she married in 2013.

READ MORE: Five Reasons Tina Turner Should Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

But in 2008 and 2009, she was ready to show the world one last good time with a 50th anniversary tour. Though she hadn't hit the road in eight years - and had few plans to - she changed her mind after a performance of "Proud Mary" alongside Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards in 2008 bowled a new generation of fans over. "People would come up to me in the restaurant, in the ladies room, on the street...everywhere," she said afterward. "I started getting lots of little slips of paper and napkins with notes from fans. Some of them were so touching about my life, or a song and how it helped them. Each time I kept the note...and suddenly there was a pile. I called my manager and said, 'It's time!'"

With a hits-packed set list and a striking stage design overseen by longtime collaborator Mark Fisher, who integrated elements of his many sets created for Tina's tours, the show - simply titled Tina!, to coincide with a new best-of set of the same name - took North America by storm in the last quarter of 2008 before moving to Europe in the first half of 2009. Critics were unsurprisingly moved. "This woman defies so much conventional wisdom that being in her presence for two-plus hours is a bit of a head trip," Billboard raved. "It was a moment of perfect triumph," The Observer concurred, "for the grit and feathers of her voice, for its still being there; and for her, not just still being alive, but for doing this."

After a final gig at England's Sheffield Arena on May 5, 2009, Tina took her final bows. But the subsequent release of Tina Live later that year, taken from two dates in The Netherlands that spring, meant fans could relive the excitement of those last concerts forever.

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