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Switzerland was Tina Turner’s longtime home. Why did the star leave the U.S.?

Tina Turner died at age 83 at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, her representative confirmed on Wednesday. The music legend had lived in Europe for decades and her neighbors in Switzerland paid tribute to the star this week, laying flowers outside of her estate. 

“When she was passing by, she was smiling, she could feel that we were looking at her, but was always very discreet,” a neighbor named Christine told Reuters.

“She’s been a part of my life for over 35 years now and she was a good neighbor, she showed up in town, she was very well liked,” a neighbor named Kosta said. 

Why did Turner move to Switzerland?  

During a 1997 interview with Larry King, Turner said she left America because her “success” and boyfriend, Erwin Bach, were in another country. Turner was born in Nutbush, Tennessee.

She and Bach, a German music executive, first moved to Switzerland in 1995, according to Reuters. She became a Swiss citizen, giving up her American citizenship, shortly after marrying him 2013. 

In an interview with Mike Wallace for “60 Minutes” that same year, Turner explained her popularity in Europe. At the time, she was expected to gross $100 million during a three-month European tour and Wallace said he had no clue Turner was such a huge star there. 

“No one in America knows that,” Turner replied. 

When Wallace asked how “American” she is, Turner said: “Still very much American. I still don’t speak the foreign tongues over here yet. I still pay American taxes. I have property in America. All of my businesses run from America still,” she said. “But in my heart? I don’t think I will go back home.”

Turner and Bach bought a new 24,000-square-foot home on Lake Zurich for an estimated $77 million in 2021, according to Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung

Turner told Gayle King about life in Switzerland

During a 2019 interview for “CBS Mornings,” Turner showed Gayle King her home in Zurich. “Is there anything in life, Tina Turner, that you want that you don’t have?” King asked. 

“No,” Turner replied. “I have everything. When I sit at the Lake Zurich, in the house that I have, I am so serene. I have no problems.”

“I had a very hard life that I didn’t put blame on anything or anyone,” said Turner, who has publicly spoken about the abuse she suffered during her marriage with Ike Turner.” I got through it, I lived through it with no blame and I’m happy,” 

At her home in Zurich, Tina Turner gives Gayle King a dance lesson.

CBS News

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