Tina Turner wows Grammy crowd with comeback

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tina Turner took a break from retirement in Europe to perform a duet with R&B singer Beyonce at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, the soul legend’s first concert performance in more than seven years.

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As a bonus, she picked up a Grammy Award as a participant on jazz icon Herbie Hancock’s surprise album of the year winner “River: The Joni Letters.”

Turner, a sprightly 68, and 26-year-old Beyonce got the crowd on their feet with a lively version of “Proud Mary,” for which Turner won a Grammy in 1972. Among the fans tapping their feet were veteran rocker John Fogerty, who wrote the song.

By the end, Beyonce looked exhausted, but Turner seemed ready for more.

Sporting a skin-tight silver bustier and matching capri pants, Turner warmed up for the duet with a medley of “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “Better Be Good To Me.”

She stopped touring in 2000, saying she did not want to get to the point where her stage antics were no longer dignified.

She resumed her comfortable life in Europe, shuttling between homes in Zurich and the south of France with her German-born boyfriend Erwin Bach. Apart from some promotion in 2005 for a greatest hits album and an appearance later that year at the Kennedy Center Honors, she has kept a low profile.

Turner’s career haul now stands at eight Grammys -- all but one following one of the greatest comebacks in music history. After enjoying huge success in the late 1960s and early 1970s performing in a soul revue with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, the diva was destitute by 1976.

In 1981, she emerged from obscurity to land a few opening slots on the North American tour of the Rolling Stones, a combo that had idolized her and toured with her in the 1960s. By 1984, she was on top of the world again with the album “Private Dancer,” which yielded five hit singles and three Grammys.

Her subsequent albums sold well, although she was always much bigger in Europe, where she was one of the handful of acts who could sell out big football stadiums. She bade farewell to her fans with a 100-plus date world tour that ended in California in December 2000.

Ike Turner, with whom she shared the Grammy for “Proud Mary,” died of a cocaine overdose in December. Tina Turner said at the time she had not had any contact with the R&B pioneer in over 30 years.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Todd Eastham