By Lisa Respers France, CNN
Actress and singer Chanel Haynes says she was fired as the lead in the West End production of “Tina” after she performed with the Rolling Stones in Italy.
Haynes, who for the past few months had been portraying the legendary Tina Turner in the musical based on her life, told Rolling Stone magazine that she was canned after agreeing to perform “Gimme Shelter” with the band.
The show, in Milan on June 21, was the first performance for the Rolling Stones since lead singer Mick Jagger had recovered from Covid-19.
Haynes told the magazine she was flown with little notice from London to Milan to replace backup singer, Sasha Allen, who was unable to perform due to an unspecified reason.
“I can’t say exactly when I got the call because I don’t want to give timelines,” Haynes said. “But I’ll tell you that there 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 and Jagger rehearsed the song once before the show she said and video of the performance was shared on YouTube.
“Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones did for me what he did for Tina Turner,” Haynes told CNN in a statement. “He shared his stage with me and exposed me to a new audience, and for that, I am eternally grateful.”
Haynes posted on Instagram an email she said she later received from the “Tina” general manager that informed her she had been suspended from the production.
“The theater will be informed that you are not permitted to enter,” the email reads.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Haynes declined to give specifics regarding her suspension, but insisted it was because of her Rolling Stones performance, which occurred on a night that “Tina” was also occurring.
Her “biggest heartbreak,” she said, was that friends and family, including a domestic violence survivor who helped her prepare for playing Turner, who was famously abused by her then-husband Ike Turner, were flying in for what was to have been her final performance with “Tina.”
“She was my muse. She was the person that helped me properly tell that story from her perspective,” Haynes said. “I also wasn’t able to say goodbye to the children in the cast. That was hard.”
A rep for the production told Rolling Stone magazine in a statement: “This concerns an employee-related matter, and as a company policy, we do not comment on personnel-related individual cases.”
CNN has reached out for comment.
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