Tina Turner was more than a rock, R&B and pop superstar in her adopted country. Unapologetically, he moved his prudence and calmness to Switzerland, bringing his very public persona to a very private country. He enjoyed life as a Swiss citizen, and the feeling was mutual.
She seems to love this, too: In her 2018 memoir “My Love Story,” Turner shared her love for Erwin Bach, her husband, who lived in Switzerland. She moved to join him in the mid-1990s, almost a decade after they met.
Wrestlers laid flowers and candles Thursday outside the gate of the couple’s rented villa, Chateau Algonquin, in the exclusive village of Küsnacht, south of Zurich, where they lived, married in 2013, for decades until his death Wednesday at the age of 83.
It was the modest taxes, the most prudent planning of the Swiss, that had drawn it into the rich Alpine country in the first place.
Neighbors did not stop or bother her to give her autographs or take pictures. Many Swiss were proud that Turner was able to surrender here without media pressure. It gave her a semblance of a normal life after her turbulent years in the United States, including a violent relationship with her late ex-husband Ike, who discovered her, married her and, according to the singer’s memoirs, beat her violently.
Celebrities of the past, such as Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury, as well as living stars such as Sophia Loren and Shania Twain, have been drawn to Switzerland, often out of respect for their private lives. Roman Polanski briefly slipped into an alpine chalet to escape American justice, and some of the world’s financial moguls and business gurus were drawn to the country’s relatively low taxes and financial secrecy.
Turner, who moved to the country in the mid-1990s and took Swiss citizenship in 2013 without his US passport, has arguably been the most famous resident of recent years.
Swiss President Alain Berset paid tribute to Turner, calling her an icon and saying “my thoughts are with the family of this amazing woman who found a second country in Switzerland”.
Markus Ernst, the mayor of Küsnacht, a bucolic town on the shores of Lake Tiguri, said Turner was committed to the community, often lit the annual Christmas tree and once rescued the municipal boat “Baptized Tina”. But they diverted the natives, so that they enjoyed so much a public figure that they helped their private life.
“One of the reasons he came to Switzerland was to have a completely normal life,” the mayor said by phone. “She could go to restaurants without being photographed all the time … on the street, people wouldn’t be able to look at her, or ask for her autograph.”
When he refused to pay taxes, salesman Renate Fetscherin, who has lived in the city for decades, said that people in Switzerland “never have trouble, you know?” and the couple can be calm: “The paparazzi don’t care because we don’t have them!”
“Küsnacht was very proud to have such a nobleman here,” said Fetscherin. She mentioned how Turner and Bach, having settled permanently in Switzerland, bought a villa near the city’s lake last year, according to reports.
In that exclusive restaurant, a few hundred meters from the village, restaurateur Rico Zandonella Turner remembered as a “friend” and a frequent guest who had once celebrated a birthday there with colleagues “who sang for her: it was a great celebration.” .
“Tina Turner has a great personality when she walks into a room. She has a really big aura, a personality that goes off like a bomb, just like on stage.”
Bernard Doherty, who was Turner’s manager for years, said a private funeral had been arranged among family and friends, adding: “Please respect their privacy.”
Turner shared the milestones in her life and her love and affinity for Switzerland in a brilliant television commercial communicating the Swiss community, shaping the young actresses that characterized her both in her early life and in her later life.
This alluded to stereotypes about Switzerland, the home of William Tell and the stars of ice skating. Turner is pictured sitting in a boat on a lake surrounded by majestic mountains, cell phone in hand. He told how his friends had adapted to taste the Swiss, while the actress played her pot of cheese fondue under the yawning gaze of the fake guests.
Another actress fans a fan surrounded by flashing cameras as she climbs into the back of a limousine alongside the real Turner, and the superstar quips: “As time goes on, I’ve learned more and more in Switzerland, like safety and security, they are discretion. The people are the top priority, as they are for me.”
“And when I finally moved to Switzerland, I immediately felt at home,” he says. “People here respect each other’s privacy, they care about each other.”