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Simply the Best: Slidell girl stars as young Tina Turner in touring musical

She’s small but mighty, and her voice is taking stages around the country by storm. 9-year-old Ayvah Johnson plays a young Tina Turner in the Broadway musical Tina.

NEW ORLEANS — Southeast Louisiana has a reputation of bringing the heat when it comes to limitless talent. So, it’s no shock that a young lady from Slidell is already turning heads on the national stage, and she is only nine years old.

Ayvah Johnson plays a young Tina Turner in the Broadway musical Tina. She’s been on the tour that’s made more than a dozen stops so far.

This stop at the Saenger Theatre brought the Slidell native home for a few days. 

“Doing the Tina tour, I learn something new about her every day,” Johnson said.

But touring does come with its challenges.

“Being away from my family is the most difficult part of being on tour,” she said.

So when a couple hundred of her closest friends and family came to opening night in New Orleans, they brought her flowers and love.

Ayvah’s mom says that she didn’t expect the little superstar to be on such a big stage at nine, but she knew that day would come.

If you ask Ayvah’s family, she has been a star since birth.

“My grandma always says to me you’re a triple threat, a triple threat,” Johnson said. “Everything that you set your mind to can be accomplished, if you believe that it can be accomplished.”

It’s why she says she doesn’t get nervous in front of big Broadway audiences.

“I’m going out there and I’m doing something that I love and inspiring other people to be the best them that they can be in their real lives. And they are coming to watch the show and they are learning about somebody else, and they are learning things she took with her that they can take with them.”

Ayvah’s Agent told Eyewitness News she didn’t have to audition in person for the role of Young Tina, instead she was so good that she got a straight offer with one audition tape.

The Tina Turner musical runs through the 12th at the Saenger theatre.


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