It all started when I was about five years old. My mother and father must have played Tina Turner records quite frequently and I obviously liked it. I loved the way Tina looked and I started imitating her.

Around seven years of age I really got obsessed with her. My friends and I didn't play house like normal kids. We played Tina Turner and Samantha Fox (don't ask me why my friend wanted to be her). We sang, danced and dressed up. I wore heavy make-up and I borrowed my mother's clothes. I probably looked like a hooker, but remember this was the eighties.

Beginning fourth grade I forgot about Tina Turner as I went to discos and started to listen to techno; an era in my life I'm not too proud of. But even though I often listened to that horrible techno music I somehow discovered another great singer: Cher.

My Cher era lasted until I began seventh grade. This was a huge turning point for my Tina addiction. The story begins at one of my music lessons. We were told to write about an important musician and I thought I'd write about Cher, but my teacher didn't think she was all that important to music. I got mad at him and I asked my mum what to do. She said I should write about Tina Turner. I thought it was a great idea and I began to look up facts about Tina. I was amazed by what she'd been through. I just had to read her book and as I read it I was stunned by the way she had coped with everything.

Soon after writing the essay I found out she was going to perform in Sweden. This was the Wildest Dreams tour 1996. I begged my mum and dad to buy tickets bet they were all sold out. Suprisingly though she gave an extra concert in the beginning of August in Gothenburg. My parents didn't want to pay that much money to go to Gothenburg, but I begged even more. It took a lot of tears and sad eyes before they agreed. I was thrilled! I was going to see Tina Turner for the first time.

And what can I say, the show was nothing less than a religious experience. I was standing right in front of the stage and I had a great view. The day after the concert my parents and I decided to take a walk in Gothenburg. We passed the Sheraton hotel and there was a tour bus parked in front. My dad said he thought it was Tina's band so we waited outside. A few minutes later Tina's long time piano player, Kenny Moore, walked through the door with a big smile on his face. I ran towards him and asked for an autograph and I also asked where Tina was. He signed the my ticket from last night and said that Tina had already left for Oslo. The rest of the band came out to the bus. I asked them all for their autographs and we took some pictures. In the meantime my father ran to the bookstore and bought an envelope on which he wrote my address. He said I should give it to Kenny and ask for Tina's autograph. Kenny had already stepped onto the bus but I walked right in (I'm so embarrassed about this). I almost fell into James Ralstons lap, but Kenny laughed and said he would send me Tina's autograph. I was so happy I gave him a hug and turned red when I realised what I had done. Kenny kept his promise and a few days later a letter from Oslo arrived in my mailbox containing a note from Kenny along with Tina's autograph.

In 1997 I went to the South of France on vacation with my parents. I had just foud out that Tina lived in Villefranche and I wanted so badly to see the house. I had seen it on "60 Minutes" and I thought I might be able to find it once we got to Villefranche. When we finally came to Villefranche my father drove up and down the hills searching. My parents thought I was insane and wanted to give up, but I was determined to find it. I just wanted to have a glimpse of it. And for some reason I turned my head and there it was! Tina Turner's house with pool and all!

My dad turned the car around and we found the gate to Tina's house (and about ten other houses). There was a house telephone next to the gate and my mother called Tina's house. I thought she was crazy and wanted to leave when someone suddenly said "Hold on" in a French accent. I jumped up and down and another lady answered but it wasn't Tina. She told us that Tina had already left for the States. We took some pictures of the house and left.

In school we had a annual party and talent show and I wanted so badly to perform as Tina, but I didn't dare, considering Tina is not that popular amongst teenagers. But I thought I give it a try anyway and asked a three of my friends if they wanted to be back-up dancers. They gladly accepted and we began to rehearse. We did Proud Mary and everybody loved it! The audience even sang along!

In 1998 Tina performed with Eros Ramazzotti and I knew I had to see Tina one more time. My parents and a friend of mine went to the concert with me in Munich. We were driving to France so Munich was on the way to France anyway. My parents and my friend Anna hate Eros and thought the concert was really boring, but I didn't care. I left them and went up front to the stage. Suddenly I heard the first tunes of Cosa Della Vita and I began to cry. I was totally out of it! I was screaming, jumping, dancing, lauging and crying. When she'd finished I ran back stage. There where high fences keeping anyone to walk back stage. I was standing as close to the fence as I could and suddenly Tina walked by. She had her bodyguards surrounding her and she looked as stunning as ever. I screamed "Tina!" She jumped up and looked at me. She obviously got scared but then she calmed down, smiled and waved at me. She then ran to her Mercedes. I was so happy I couldn't stop laughing between the tears.

Now I'm sitting here, waiting for August 3rd when I'm going to see Tina in Denmark. Then, August 5th, I'm going to see her in Gothenburg as well. I can't wait, but at the same time, I don't want it to be over. I can't face the fact that I might not be able to see her live ever again after that. But I guess she has to retire from the stadiums some time.

Anyway, being a Tina fan is simply the best!

Martina Dahlgren

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