Tina Arena celebrates 40 years with a visit to Wollongong's WIN Entertainment Centre

She’s only 49 but Tina Arena is celebrating 40 years in the Australian music industry.

The former Young Talent Time starlet’s career is still going strong with WIN Entertainment Centre booked for her next Wollongong concert.

In a world where the Internet has allowed anyone to have 15 minutes of fame, Arena said she is “incredibly humbled” for the continued support of her fans across four decades.

“It’s a particularly unusual situation, which puts me already in a really privileged position. I was a child who became a part of people’s families in a way,” she said.

“We live in a world of celebrity which is not something that I grew up with … it’s an impossibilty to forge a career of 40 years in today’s terms. We live in a commercial world driven by the bottom line.”

The singer jumped in the public eye during the 1980’s, spending nearly eight years as “Tiny Tina” on TV before forging her name as a serious solo artist.

She’s celebrating her biggest hits on tour, enjoyed by three generations, with songs like “Heaven Help My Heart”, “Chains”, “Burn” and “Sorrento Moon”.

While Arena also boasts an impressive following overseas with songs recorded in Italian, French and in Spanish.

The last 40 years she labelled “a journey from innocence to understanding” (the title of her tour) while what the next 40 will hold is something Arena is reassessing, giving an inkling she may take the focus away from performing.

I've never played the role of the star ... I've never bought into the bullsh*t.

Tina Arena

“My trajectory is about to change. So that’s not to say I won’t sing anymore but there are probably other things that i’ll do,” Arena said.

“I’ve never been one to plan my life within an inch of it.

“I have always allowed room for spontaneity because I think it’s always been part of my life, so where it’s going to take me I’ve got no idea.”

The entertainer said her life has had it’s challenges, like everyone’s, but she was a firm believer that some of her greatest learning has taken place during the most incredibly difficult times.

Throughout her career Arena says she has always been herself, not contrived and didn’t “buy into the bullsh*t”.

“I’ve never played the role of the star, I’ve always been very realistic and pragmatic,” she said, attributing that to her success.

In celebration of her career Arena has also just re-released some of her most popular songs on a new album: Greatest Hits and Interpretations.

Tina Arena plays WIN Entertainment Centre, September 22. Tickets through www.ticketmaster.com.au


This story Tina Arena has never ‘bought into the bullsh*t’ first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.