Tina Turner is the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t look up to others — and even get nervous when she meets them. As a Grammy-winning musician and one of the biggest entertainers of our lifetime, Turner has traveled the world and left her mark on every person she’s met.
Tina Turner’s ‘role model’ was a former First Lady
In the mid-1980s, Turner was at the top of her game. She was on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1986 and talked about everything from her career to her personal life. She also revealed who inspires her as an artist.
“My role model was always Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis… My taste was high,” Turner laughed. “So when it came to role models, I looked at presidents’ wives.”
Turner described her relationship with the former First Lady in a 2018 interview with The New York Times. “People are always surprised to hear that Jackie Kennedy is my role model,” Turner said. “I love reading about her childhood, her time in the White House, her sense of style, and even her insecurities — it is comforting that someone as seemingly perfect as Jackie could be self-conscious about her imperfections. Her combination of vulnerability and strength has been an inspiration to me.”
Tina Turner met Jackie Kennedy by surprise
Turner has often discussed the former First Lady’s effect on her all these years later. “My one idol was Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,” she said in a 1997 interview on Larry King Live. “Her grace, her style, her intellect was how I modeled myself in terms of how I wanted to present myself off-stage, so to speak.”
“I have a whole collection of books about her… and I always learn something that makes me admire her more,” she told The New York Times. . “I met her once, an experience I will never forget.”
Turner and Kennedy’s meeting was certainly an unforgettable experience, to say the least. She recounted to Larry King how she spotted Kennedy at the reception of a hotel they were staying at; Turner was confused if it was her at first, but recognized the way Kennedy was carrying herself.
Tina Turner didn’t know how to act when she met Jackie Kennedy
Turner couldn’t contain herself when she saw her role model. “Before I knew it, I was running towards her. I was totally out of control,” she laughed. “By the time I got to the door, the swinging doors, I said, ‘Oh! Mrs. Kennedy — Oh! I mean, Mrs. Onassis!’ I was totally just besotted.”
What happened next surprised Turner in the moment and comforted her after meeting her role model in such a crazy way. “She turned very gracefully,” Turner recalled. “I said, ‘Oh! I’m Tina Turner. I just wanted to say hello. And she extended her hand and had this big smile on her face, and I thought, ‘Oh, saved!’”
“She says, ‘Oh, hello!’” Turner continued. “My children would be pleased.” She knew who Turner was because she had just spent time with the Kennedy family after performing near their family home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The former First Lady shook Turner’s hand and left her feeling starstruck.
It’s because of this experience that Turner said she always tries to sympathize with fans who are overly excited when they meet her. “I can relate,” she smiled.
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