PHOENIX — Danny Zelisko has promoted countless concerts in Arizona. He's been in the business for decades.
He started in 1974 with his first show held at Symphony Hall with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. One year later, Zelisko said Hancock introduced him to Tina Turner.
“I didn’t know her until after she was 40,” Zelisko said.
It was at a time Zelisko said that Turner separated from her ex-husband Ike Turner and was trying to make it on her own as a performer. He remembers promoting two of her concerts in Tempe.
“Neither show sold out," he said.
Of course, that all changed when Turner released her record 'Private Dancer' and created a comeback like never before.
“She was one of the greatest performers," Zelisko said. “Nothing short of magic.”
He continued promoting Turner's shows in Arizona through the 80s and 90s as she became the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll and pop icon.
“Tina Turner put on one of the best live shows you’ve ever seen of any rock group,” he said.
“She paved the way for women in general. For being powerful, for being confident, for being able to strut her stuff and back it up with talent,” Zelisko said.
Even at the height of the second part of her music career, Zelisko said she was always kind to him and others.
“Her warmth she was just a really really nice person.”
In his home, Zelisko has photos of he and Turner together as well as memorabilia he kept from the shows she had in Arizona.
"Just being able to spend a few minutes with her, I always looked forward to it," he said.
On Wednesday, it was announced Turner the legendary performer had passed away at 83.
Zelisko knew this time would come but it doesn't take away the heartbreak he and so many others feel.
“I'm sad that she is gone," he said. She had a great life.”
Grateful for the time they spent together.
“It was really terrific to come upon such a legend at that time of her life and actually play a part in my own little way,” Zelisko said.
VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: Recordando el legado de Tina Turner en Arizona
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