Category: Archive

Singer angry over UDA’s use of song

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST — Rock star Tina Turner is "horrified" at the UDA’s use of her song "Simply the Best" to glorify its killings, according to her publicist, who wants to disassociate the singer from its use of the slogan.

The UDA, and in particular its notorious, drug-ridden Shankill Road "C. Company," has adopted the song’s title. Five thousand flags were imported this summer from Taiwan, carrying UDA insignia alongside "Simply the Best."

"Tina condemns this absolutely," Turner’s London publicist said last week. "She has no political affiliations whatsoever but, unfortunately, cannot legally sue for mis-use of the song."

At the UDA-organized Festival of Protestant Culture in August, the song featured in a key episode. About 5,000 people had gathered in the Shankill around a platform.

UDA commander Johnny Adair and six-times murderer Michael Stone appeared on stage, giving clenched fists and waving wildly to the crowd as the Tina Turner song blared out.

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Eight masked and armed UDA men in combat gear then came onto the podium, firing shots into the air, before leaving to loud applause — again while the song was playing.

UDA members at paramilitary gatherings have also adapted the second line of the song, singing "You’re simply the best, Second battalion of the UFF," instead of "Better than all the rest."

Turner’s publicist said she was aware of how her song was being used. "The song was written specially for her and her long-standing partner of 15 years," he said. "It is a song about their love for each other, not about a bunch of idiots who want to boast about how good they are at killing innocent people.

"These fools have grabbed it and are abusing it in a way she finds utterly abhorrent. She can’t stop them, though. If she wanted she could hire 18 lawyers and demand a Performing Rights Society fee every time they play her voice.

"But as for their use of the song’s title, there is, unfortunately, nothing she can do. Rangers Football Club are also using it and there’s nothing we can do about that either. It’s a lovely song, when it’s played in the way it was written — and to turn it into a parody of hate is ridiculous."

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