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Australians feel a special connection to Tina Turner through their rugby league and Nutbush dance


MELBOURNE, Australia — Tina Turner’s death is being mourned by the world. But in Australia, many people feel a special connection with the singer.

Australia holds the world record for most people dancing to her song “Nutbush City Limits”, and Turner became the face of a generation of Australian rugby league after her appearance on a series of popular television commercials for the sport. She is credited with driving the female viewership of rugby league in Australia.

The US-born singer died on Wednesday at the age of 83 at his home Küsnacht near Zurich. She became a Swiss citizen a decade ago.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Sydney radio station WSFM that Turner brought “background music to our lives.” He says she is a legend who has overcome domestic violence and trauma to achieve global success.

Even the US Embassy in Australia weighed in with a Twitter video of them dancing.

In honor of Tina Turner, we decided to organize Nutbush, Australia’s unofficial national dance.

Australians developed their own dance moves to the song in the years after it was released in 1973, and the dance’s popularity spread throughout schools. The Australian dance, which shares some similarities with Madison’s, is not unlike Turner’s own dance moves.

The Guinness World Records website lists the largest Nutbush dance involving more than 1,700 people at the 2018 Birdsville Big Red Bash music festival.

The site may still not be able to keep up with the next record-setting attempts at the Australian festival. Last year, more than 4,000 dancers participated. And in July, organizers hope to attract 5,000 dancers in a special performance to mark Turner’s death and 50 years since the song’s release.

To many Australians, Turner is synonymous with rugby league, appearing in commercials for the sport and at finals. Her first campaign, “What You Get Is What You See,” is a collaboration designed to reboot her career Down Under and give the sport a marketing hit. .

There was immediate negative feedback, with many coaches and critics questioning the idea. But it turned out to be perhaps the greatest marketing decision Australian Rugby has ever made.

The league’s “Simply Best” campaign took off in 1990 and left managers struggling to find a marketing strategy that suited it for the next three decades.

Former Australian Rugby League coach John Quayle recalls how his team acquired the rights to “The Best” for five years, ensuring it was the sport’s age-old anthem and theme for Turner’s famous commercials.

“She got to the finals in ’93 and then we sponsored one of her national tours, which was amazing,” Quayle told Seven’s Sunrise show. “She’s such a wonderful woman, she has a very good relationship with the actors, she makes them feel very good about that every time (she) walks onto the set.”

He said the rugby league’s ads featuring “The Best” were aimed at increasing the number of women watching the sport. They were hugely successful, dramatically increasing their female audience and wowing Australians.

“That theme increased the relevance of women in the entire game at the time by about 60 percent,” says Quayle.

George Miller, who directed Turner and Mel Gibson in the 1985 film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” said Turner was a wonderful person with a generous spirit. He described how she watched over the crew, giving them water to drink as they were filming scenes in the South Australian heat.

Miller told ABC TV: “There’s definitely no diva like Tina Turner, she’s a very strong person, very wise.

Singer Jimmy Barnes, who recorded a duet with Turner for the Simply the Best campaign, said it was an honor to work with someone as “talented, strong and dedicated” as Turner.

“It was definitely a highlight of my career to sing and share the stage with such a wonderful human being,” he said on social media.

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Find more AP Asia-Pacific news at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

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