Music legend Tina Turner died at the age of 83 on Tuesday.
One of her last major performances in Milwaukee was at Summerfest when she played the Marcus Amphitheater in 1997. Before then, she graced a side stage: the Pabst Festival Stage for four shows in two nights at the 1983 Summerfest.
Former Vice President of Entertainment at Milwaukee World Festival Inc. Bob Babisch was there. He told Wisconsin’s Afternoon News about the experience.
“She was a nice person, it was a really wonderful thing,” said Babisch. “She was a confident entertainer and really fun to watch.”
Babisch remembers being asked to check on the popstar backstage during the 1983 performance. Tina Turner had recently separated with Ike Turner and was gaining popularity at the time.
Babisch said she was personable and unlike some of the “divas” that other performers could be: “She was pleasant, polite and just nice to be around backstage.”
The Queen of Rock & Roll won 12 Grammys throughout her career that spanned over five decades. Her music catalogue included pop, rock and rhythm and blues including the chart-topping “What’s Love Got to Do With It” released in 1984.
Babisch said that looking ahead, he sees performers like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift as some of the next greatest music superstars.