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Cookie Watkins pays tribute to Tina Turner at Bear Claw Casino

Originally from Las Vegas, Watkins began her singing career at the age of 14.
Cookie Watkins sang many of Tina Turner's popular songs including Proud Mary.

WHITE BEAR FIRST NATIONS - If a person never had the opportunity to see Tina Turner in concert while she was alive, Cookie Watkins is the next-best thing to her.

Watkins is a Turner tribute artist, and she performed at the Bear Claw Casino on March 27. Originally from Las Vegas, Watkins began her singing career at the age of 14.

She studied opera and classical music and was influenced by Turner, Aretha Franklin, and Patti Labelle and Bobby Womack.

Known for her throaty vocals, she was picked to perform on Broadway with the original cast for Beehive. Watkins has the Turner look with her hair, high heels and moves.

The tribute to Turner had the crowd of 200 people singing and dancing, while Watkins pumped out Turner's well-known songs.

The six-person band could have doubled for Turner's band, and the two dancers and backup vocals made sure to get the crowd involved. They also did many of the moves that the dancers performed on Turner's music videos.

As Watkins came on stage, she commented on how chilly it was at White Bear, as she travelled from the south.

Wearing a tight black leather outfit just like Turner would, she began to sing.

She sang What’s Love got to do with It, a song that Turner never wanted to do but won a Grammy for.

Once into a wardrobe change, Watkins spoke about Turner and how she was an icon and legend of music.

As Watkins pointed to the ceiling she sang The Best, as this is what Turner was to many fans.

Watkins finished the night with Proud Mary. John Fogerty wrote the song in 1969 and it was performed by Creedence Clearwater Rival, but in later years it became one of Turner's biggest hits.

In Turner's career she sold over 100 million records around the world.

Watkins is pleased to honour such an icon and has done so in many countries.

The crowd was incredibly involved in the performances and many people commented on how much she sounded like Turner.

It was an evening that many enjoyed and will remember as a tribute to Turner.