Christina Aguilera, Mickey Guyton, and H.E.R. with Keith Urban paid tribute to Tina Turner on the occasion of the singer’s second induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this time as a solo artist. Turner was first inducted with Ike Turner in 1991.
Following a video package featuring Turner testimonials from Cher, Lizzo and P!nk, H.E.R. and Urban performed a rocked-out guitar duet on “It’s Only Love,” a song Turner originally recorded as a duet for Bryan Adams’ 1984 album Reckless. Urban was a last-minute replacement for Adams, who exited the ceremony after reportedly testing positive for Covid-19.
Urban looked overjoyed to be there, taking lead vocals on the first verse and setting the stage for H.E.R. — amazingly cool in a baggy purple shirt and shades — to chime in with her own guitar solos and effortless belting. H.E.R. and Urban had a palpable musical chemistry: At one point, the duo engaged in a guitar duel; at another, they shared a mic for a soaring, sustained vocal that drew loud cheers.
After a brief set change, Guyton took center stage for “What’s Love Got to Do With.” Wearing a jean jacket and a black leather dress, she channeled Turner’s classic Eighties look and tapped into what made Turner’s original version so special, balancing urgency with restraint and adding R&B and gospel flourishes.
Aguilera rounded out the set with “River Deep Mountain High.” She too honored Turner in her fashion choice, wearing a shirt that read, “Simply the Best.” But she took a more playful approach to the performance, bounding confidently onstage and sticking her tongue out at the crowd. With her range, it’s a song she was born to sing, and Aguilera knew it. She channeled Turner’s magnetic performance style, but put her own spin on the song by reaching into her uppermost range, trilling and delivering wordless notes, and throwing her head back at song’s end as a punctuation mark.
Turner was the third artist to be a double inductee on Saturday night, alongside Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Carole King. “I am absolutely thrilled to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame amongst such amazing artists!” Turner tweeted upon hearing about the induction. “Thank you for all your continued love and support over the years! Love, Tina.”
As a solo artist, Turner racked up countless awards and accolades, led by her multiplatinum 1984 album Private Dancer, which featured the Number One single “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” a Grammy winner for Record of the Year. Although retired from the road, Turner’s been highly visible throughout 2021. Earlier this year, an Emmy-nominated documentary on her life, Tina, aired on HBO, and in late September, actress Adrienne Warren won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Turner in Broadway’s Tina — The Tina Turner Musical.