Prince William’s Sweetest Memory of Princess Diana Inspired by Classic Tina Turner Song

Tina Turner inspired millions worldwide with her talent, resilience, and magnetic personality. Her reach even made it behind the walls of Buckingham Palace to the members of the royal family. Princess Diana was an admirer of the entertainer, creating fans in her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The future king of the United Kingdom‘s sweetest memories involves one of Turner’s classic songs and a car ride with Diana.

Prince William, Princess Diana and Tina Turner in side-by-side photographs.
Prince William, Princess Diana, and Tina Turner in side-by-side photographs | Tim Graham Photo Library/Bernd Muller/Getty Images

Prince William cited one song that brings back happy memories of Princess Diana

In a 2021 interview for Apple audio experience Time To Walk, Prince William discussed a core experience involving the music of Tina Turner and his mother, Princess Diana. He claims one of the music legend’s classic songs returns him to a carefree childhood moment.

William discussed several essential tracks that are part of a series of tunes that inspire people to get moving. One of these songs included Tina Turner’s 1989 smash, “(Simply) The Best.”

William explained, “When I was younger, Harry and I, we were at boarding school. And my mother used to play all sorts of songs to kind of while away the anxiety of going back. And one of the songs I massively remember and has stuck with me all this time, and I still, to this day, still quite enjoy secretly, is Tina Turner’s ‘The Best.'”

“Sitting in the backseat, singing away, it felt like a real family moment. And my mother, she’d be driving along, singing at the top of her voice. And we’d even get the policeman in the car. He’d be occasionally singing along, as well,” he continued.

William concluded, “You’d be singing and listening to the music right the way out into the gates of school when they dropped you off. And, that’s when reality kind of sunk in that you really were going back to school because, before that, you’re lost in songs. You’ll want to play it again just to keep that family moment going.”

When was ‘(Simply) The Best’ released?

Tina Turner released “(Simply) The Best” in 1989. The song appeared on the album Foreign Affair. It was Turner’s third album release after her massively successful comeback five years earlier with Private Dancer.

However, Tina Turner was not the first artist to record this song. The tune was written for another legendary female singer, Bonnie Tyler.

“(Simply) The Best” was featured on Tyler’s 1988 album Hide Your Heart (released as Notes From America in the United States). Tyler’s version went to #95 in the UK and wasn’t released as a single in America. 

Instantly drawn to the track, Turner wanted to record it and requested key changes to the song. “Someone got it to Tina, and she said, ‘I love this song, and I’m gonna cut it, but I need a bridge, and I need the key to go up at the end.’ So we had to rewrite it, which was weird after it had already been released,” said songwriter Holly Knight as reported by American Songwriter.

‘(Simply) The Best’ songwriter says Tina Turner took the song to another level

Tina Turner performs in New York City in the 1980s.
Tina Turner performs in New York City in the 1980s | Larry Busacca/WireImage

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After fine-tuning “(Simply) The Best” to her specifications, Tina Turner elevated the already solid song to another level, said songwriter Holly Knight. Key elements of Turner’s song recording didn’t appear in Tyler’s track.

She added saxophonist and musician Todd Rundgren to the recording. “She was right because what it did for that song was it turned it into a hit,” says Knight.

“There were a lot of other things that came into play. The production, the players, and of course, Tina herself—but that’s why every little part has to mean something,” Knight said of the tune which would become synonymous with the legendary performer.

Tina Turner died on May 24, 2023. The news was reported on her official social media page.

Elements of this story were first reported by American Songwriter.