1st Aug 2023 @ 11:39 am

What happens when an icon dies? Lanzarote has seen its share of Tina Turner tributes over the years, so following her recent death we interviewed Praylene Jackson, who performs the Tina Turner Show six nights a week in various hotels on the island.

Where do you come from, Praylene?

I’m from Cape Town in South Africa, but I’ve been living and working in Spain for the last 20 years.

When did you start performing the Tina Turner Show?

About four years ago my manager asked me if I’d like to try Tina. I’d mostly been doing Motown shows until then, singing soul music, and wasn’t at all sure I could manage it. Tina is “The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”! The first attempt wasn’t so great, but my manager said “I know there’s something in there – let it out!” Suddenly I found this voice coming out of me. It was amazing!

Is it a straight imitation?

Not at all. I never try to be her, and I don’t think I sound much like her – Who else could? But I love performing as her, it makes me feel much more free than when I was doing elegant soul songs.

My band help, too. I work with a really talented guitarist and sax player. They’re an absolute dream to work with and make me feel so comfortable.

Do you take a lot of time on costume?

I wear the famous tasselled dress, but the show often means I can’t do full changes, so I use accessories such as a cloak for We Don’t Need Another Hero and a feather boa for Private Dancer. But I’ve refused to wear a wig – it’s too hot. I told them I’ll dye my hair, anything, but no wig!

How did you hear of Tina’s death?

A friend messaged me saying “I’m so sorry”. I didn’t know what they were talking about, but it wasn’t a big surprise when I found out – I knew she’d been ill for some time. I never thought her death would affect what I do – Tina is an icon. She lived a long and beautiful life and I’m grateful to her that I can carry on.

How do people respond to the show?

I get compliments every night, but I also get tears. I think she meant a lot to many people, her music was an important part of their lives.

What music do you listen to?

I like my soul, and I grew up in a Christian household and have always loved gospel. That’s where I started singing – in church – and it was my teacher who told my mother that I could sing when I was six. Strangely, that made me want to be a teacher rather than a singer, and I’m studying to teach now!

Praylene and the Tina Turner Show are managed by the Romantic Agency.

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