From the Nutbush to the NRL: How Tina Turner took over Australia

Tina Turner in Sydney with the Manly Sea Eagles.

Walk into any Australian wedding, school disco or 21st party, and you can guarantee there’ll be one particular song on the playlist.

Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits is a song about a small rural community, but it’s the Aussies who’ve made it a staple on dance floors across the country.

The dance is all in the legs and looks like a cross between the macarena and line dancing.

Queensland holds the world record for the world’s largest Nutbush dance, with 4,084 people participating on a beach at the Birdsville music festival in July 2022.

Just last month, an Australian Twitch streamer, Elisey Peach, danced the Nutbush for 4-hours straight, setting a world record.

She’d always had a connection to the country, with her Melbourne-born manager Roger Davies being a driving force in her stardom.

Australia already adored her music, and it would become only clearer when she became the face of rugby league.

In 1989, Turner belted out her hit “What You Get Is What You See” in a now legendary campaign.

The advert was reportedly created in an effort to make the sport more appealing to females.

It was a smash hit with the public and players alike.

Former professional NRL player Steve Roach told the Daily Telegraph that “Tina Turner made it fashionable to be a rugby league supporter".

“I think that ad campaign was the greatest ever in Australian sport. It put rugby league on the map.”


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