In October of 2008 and just over a month shy of her 69th birthday, Veteran Singer Tina Turner opened her record breaking 50th Anniversary Tour featuring a state of the art stage, ten-man band, backup singers, four lissome dancers and a previously unseen addition to any US produced Music Tour. An all-male group of Martial Artists identified on stage as the "Ninjas."
The Queen of Rock and Roll's Tour performed 80 shows in over 40 cities throughout North America and Europe. The North American leg of the tour played 37 sold out performances, earning over $40 million dollars becoming one of the biggest tours in the territory for 2008. While in Europe, the Tour grossed an additional $80 million dollars and became the 9th highest earning tour in 2009 with 47 sold out performances. The tour was seen by over one million spectators and grossed over $100 million dollars. The concerts received additional accolades, receiving an Excellence Award from Live Design Magazine.
Tina Turner's Ninjas...
Philip played 3 Characters in the Tour, A Security Guard for the Intro to "Acid Queen", James Bond for the song "Golden Eye' & Mad Max for "We don't need another hero".
Tina wanted to add something special for this tour and she never liked the idea of having male dancer’s, so that’s where dance choreographer Toni Basil got involved and came up with the concept of using Ninjas.
The Southern California based Group consists of Justice Smith of the NBC show American Gladiator, Philip Sahagun of K-STAR Fame, Danny Sre of the Urban Martial Arts Group EMC and Creator of the Urban Ninja craze Xin Wuku.
“We just got a call one day from mutual friend asking us if we wanted to work for Tina” Said Philip “We set up some meetings liked some of the concepts and that was it.” Xin adds “We’ve been able to see and do things that normal people could only dream of. To be honest I would have done it for free, but don’t tell Tina”
The show features the Ninjas in a stage crashing scene crossing free running and stage combat with security. A Cirque du Soleil-esque Ninja interlude featuring weapons in the track“ We Don‘t Need Another Hero.” and a impressive MTV awards style intro for Turner’s James Bond Track “Goldeneye.”