Tina Arena makes her grand return to performing after overcoming health issues

Tina Arena has taken to the stage in Adelaide for the AFL Gather Round welcome dinner event. 

The Aussie singer, 56, made an elegant appearance dressed in a black and white satin dress with billowing puffed sleeves. 

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Kicking off the four-day festival at Glenelg Foreshore, Arena sang some of her most well-loved songs. 

Tina Arena performs during the 2024 AFL Gather Round Welcome Dinner Event

Last year, AFL’s inaugural Gather Round was also meant to feature a performance by the singer, but she was forced to cancel due to health issues. 

Speaking on the Two Girls One Pod podcast, Arena revealed why she had to cancel her highly-anticipated Love Saves tour.

Watch the video above.

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After performing just two shows of the Australian leg of the tour in 2023, she unexpectedly had to fly home due to “absolute excruciating pain.” 

“I’ll never forget it,” she said. “I was in ICU for about six, nearly seven days.”

Tina Arena performs during the 2024 AFL Gather Round Welcome Dinner Event

“My kidney was very close to exploding because it was highly, highly infected.”

“I wasn’t aware of how bad it actually was.”

Despite still wanting to continue her tour, doctors advised her against it: “So the doctors, I actually looked at them and said, ‘I’m on the road, I’ve got 10 days to recover'”

“And the doctor looked at me and said, ‘You can cancel your tour’.”

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After “many years of buildup of extraordinary pain,” Arena says her body had had enough. 

“Your body sort of just goes, ‘Enough, enough, it’s time for you to draw the curtains and just concentrate on you’,” she explained. 

Arena postponed her tour in a shocking social media announcement, posting a black and white photo of her band. 

“Hi everyone, for the very first time, I have to postpone the rest of my Australian shows.”

Tina Arena performs during the 2024 AFL Gather Round Welcome Dinner Event

“Believe me when I say, it was a hard decision,” she added.

“But remember, health always comes first. Therefore, to ensure it won’t happen again … here we are.”

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“Please hold on to your tickets, there will be more information soon,” the statement continued. 

“I wish you all the very best, and my sincere apologies for any inconveniences.”

Arena’s tour will recommence on April 6th, 2024, at Festival Theatre in Adelaide.