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Mini-skirted Tina Turner claims record audience

By BRIAN NICHOLSON

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Eat your heart out, Frank Sinatra.

Tina Turner, the one-time 'Acid Qeeen of rock and roll,' packed 180,000 kiddies, yuppies and grandparents into a giant soccer stadium Saturday night, according to promoters, to break Sinatra's 1980 audience record.

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'I've been 20 years on the road, but this was something special,' said the 48-year-old Turner, a native of Nutbush, Tenn.

Turner's spokesman, Bernard Docherty, said an estimated 180,000 people jammed the Maracana stadium where eight years ago Sinatra entered the Guinness Book of Records with a single-artist audience of 175,000.

'Old enough to be my grandmother? I don't mind,' said 13-year-old Samantha Barros. 'She can really whack out the songs.'

And what about her grandmother strutting around in a miniskirt, on 5-inch heels? 'If you've got legs like Tina's, it's OK' Barros said.

Turner's legs mesmerized Brazilians since she played two smaller shows in Sao Paulo last weekend. Folha, one of the city's 'serious' papers, fronted its arts section with close-ups of her thighs.

The O Globo newspaper in Rio published the singer's measurements, 36-26-36, right down to the 40-inch outside leg. 'Tina is proof that a woman needn't young to be beautiful,' said Roberto d'Avila, a federal congressman.

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Curiously, enough, a rough count suggested women outnumbered men in Turner's Rio audience.

'I think women see her as an ideal, they imagine themselves on the stage in her place,' said 23-year-old student Rogerio Bretas, downing beer with his buddies.

Further along the field, 29-year-old Elizete Comar sat with three friends: 'No husbands here,' she said with a laugh.

Comar paid $200 for a 1,125 mile bus excursion from home.

'Brazilian women are different,' she said. 'The way Tina dresses, it might seem aggressive for women in America, but in 'Brazil women dress like that normally.'

Fans said they saw her as a woman who had suffered and struggled against a violent husband, Ike, with whom she started her career.

'This is important. She transmits that side of her, of suffering, and I certainly feel that,' said 37-year-old Angela Almeida, who was accompanied by her 57-year-old mother.

It came across. Turner delivered 19 favorites with the polish of a year's touring the same show. Her 1970s hit 'Acid Queen,' from the rock opera film 'Tommy,' brought nothing like the reaction of the Beatles standard 'Help.'

'The audience was incredible; they really took over,' Turner said.

She worked her way through three miniskirts, one flown in from Paris, and a pair of jeans torn studiously below each knee. Aaccording to wardrobe staff Turner sweated off well over the 6 pounds she normally loses on stage because of the high-80s temperature.

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