Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule tour proved to be an epic musical odyssey that would see the raspy-voiced Tennessee diva perform in 132 different cities around the world during 12 gruelling months on the road. It was initially billed as the singer’s farewell to live performing, and perhaps that’s why, on a balmy evening in Rio De Janeiro, on Saturday, 16 January 1988, a jaw-dropping 180,000 people crammed into the Maracanã stadium, Brazil’s iconic cathedral of football, to see the “Queen Of Rock And Roll” strut her stuff in person. Eight years earlier, the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, had drawn a whopping 170,000 souls into the Maracanã, but his place in the record books was erased to make way for Turner, who entered The Guinness Book Of Records by performing in front of the biggest fee-paying crowd that had ever turned out for a concert by a single artist.
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A record-breaking tour
By the time that the 48-year-old Turner, her musicians and entourage set foot in Brazil in early 1988, the singer had already travelled halfway round the globe. Ostensibly aimed at promoting her top-selling 1986 album, Break Every Rule, her tour of the same name began on 4 March 1987 in Munich, Germany – the starting point for a mammoth sojourn that would see Turner conquer continental Europe and the UK first, then cross the Mediterranean to Tel Aviv, Israel, followed by an Atlantic crossing for a five-month haul through the US and Canada, where she was supported by the British group Level 42.
The US leg of the tour finished in December 1987 and, after two weeks off for the holiday season, Turner began her assault on South America on 3 January 1988, when she debuted in Argentina, followed by appearances in Brazil and Chile. Then came a brief stopover in Honolulu, Hawaii – the stepping stone to the final leg of the tour, which saw Turner fly across the Pacific to South East Asia, Australia and, finally, Japan, where she concluded her record-breaking tour on 30 March 1988.