Singer Chanel Haynes has opened up about being sacked from her role in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, after singing with The Rolling Stones.
The musician had been portraying Tina Turner in a West End production of Tina but was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform ‘Gimme Shelter’ with The Rolling Stones in Milan.
Haynes appeared with the Stones in place of their longstanding backup singer, Sasha Allen, who sat the Milan show out for an unspecified reason. A mentee of the iconic Quincy Jones, Haynes is best known as one third of the gospel trio Trinitee 5:7. More recently, she played the lead role in the UK’s production of Tina.
“I can’t say exactly when I got the call because I don’t want to give timelines,” Haynes told Rolling Stone magazine about the offer from the legendary rock band. “But I’ll tell you that there was was very little notice. Very little. Everybody was biting their nails. ‘How are we going to pull this off?’ But I tell you the machine the Stones have is like Buckingham Palace or the White House. They have the same level of personnel. Next thing I knew, I was on a plane to Milan.”
She then went on to detail her rehearsal with Stones frontman Mick Jagger: “I walked into the room and right there in a pink baseball camp is Mick Jagger and these really cool pants I’d never seen before,” she says. “We only ran it through it one time.”
“I knew, since this is how I was raised, your rehearsal is your performance,” she continued. “I never had sung the song full-out until that moment. We’re just in each other’s face going ‘just a shot away!’ in that little room. He had this little smirk on his face the whole time. When we were done, makeup, catering, and everyone else there started clapping like, ‘This is going to work!’”
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After the performance, Haynes claims she received an email from Mark Rubinstein, the general manager for Tina, saying she was suspended from the production.
“The theatre will be informed that you are not permitted to enter,” she said he wrote in a note, which she later posted to her Instagram account.
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In her accompanying post with the note, she wrote: “I am so sorry to inform you all that I have been stripped of the opportunity to do my final 3 shows. I’m speechless. My friend who is a domestic abuse survivor who told me her story and inspired me to tell this story, she has just landed in London from America, So many peoples dream of seeing me in my final shows will be crushed.
“Everyone won’t rejoice with you when your dreams come true…If they didn’t create it for you then they will try to crush it. But stay STRONG and always follow your heart.”
While Haynes declined to get into the details of her suspension with Rolling Stone, she claims it was directly related to her Stones performance on a Tina show night.
“I will say that if you’re on the West End, there’s no one person that can stop a show. It’s not designed that way. Ultimately, everything was fine. There was a show and a show happened, as did the [Stones] show in Milan. All the shows happened, and I was happy about that.”
NME has reached out to the producers of Tina for comment.
In a five star review of the ‘SIXTY’ stop in Madrid, NME’s Thomas Smith said the show was “undoubtedly a special one”, writing that “at the rate and intensity they’re going at, there’s little stopping [the Stones] from making a crack at their own Platinum Jubilee in the years to come”.
Meanwhile, the Stones have several releases lined up to celebrate their 60th anniversary, including their ‘Live At The El Mocambo’ album and a box set of all their single releases from 1963-1966. The BBC will also air a four-part docuseries, My Life As A Rolling Stone, throughout the British summer. Each one-hour episode will dedicated to the band’s four members: Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts.
The Rolling Stones will play the second of two London shows this week at BST Hyde Park. You can see the band’s full list of upcoming tour dates here, and find any remaining UK tickets here.