Tina Turner Moves 'Beyond' Rock Stardom with Spiritual Music
After taking part in her first spiritual album -- "Beyond," a collection of Buddhist and Christian prayer and chanting that came out in September -- Tina Turner predicts she'll be exploring that path more.
"I wouldn't say no [to it]," she tells Billboard.com, but adds, "I believe that it is my future, and I am waiting for that. I enjoy these projects, but it just brings me into a position, into the limelight, and I don't want that for the moment. I will choose very carefully."
Turner, 71, was approached to be part of "Beyond" by Regula Curti, a music and art therapist and singing teacher based in Zurich, Switzerland. Curti was already working with Tibetan mantra singer Dechan Shak-Dagsay on the project, which was "conceptually already finished" by the time Turner, who also resides in Switzerland, got involved.
Video: Tina Turner behind the scenes of "Beyond"
"I was always told that a spiritual project will come one day," says Turner, who was introduced to Buddhism and chanting in 1971 and converted in 1974. "So I answered to Regula, 'I waited so long for that moment and that was the moment.' So I happily accepted...The experience of singing prayers together allows us to deeply connect on a emotional level -- a place of love and respect where worldly differences fade."
Turner adds that she finds similarities between her spiritual and secular music, though it's been 11 years since her last album of new pop songs.
"Rock singing is another inspiration for people," explains Turner, who staged her Tina! 50th Anniversary Tour in 2008-09. "Rock songs inspire you to release whatever the frustrations, and help you to go on in life. Spiritual songs do it on another level...A lot of people left my last show with the same sense of spirituality. My show gave people the drive to go and to do in their lives what they want to do and make their lives the best, do the best they can in this world... That is the mail I receive. My rock shows did the same as what my spiritual music does now. It is about the right word and the right way to do it."
And while she leaves the door open for another project along the lines of "Beyond," Turner indicates that her rock days, particularly on the road, are likely behind her. "Everybody wants to know when you get to be a certain age about (if you are) retiring," she notes, "and it's something that you can't put your finger on because you don't really know. But something I do know is that such a tour I won't do...The rock and the dancing and the style I lived before, I would say absolutely 'no' on that."