“Tina Turner was raw. She was powerful. She was unstoppable. And she was unapologetically herself; speaking and singing her truth through joy and pain, triumph and tragedy. Today we join fans around the world in honoring the Queen of Rock and Roll, and a star whose light will never fade”, said former American President, Barack Obama in a tribute to legendary Tina Turner who died at the age 83.
Obama was right, Tina Turner left a life of pain in the U.S. and found a home in Europe. Switzerland was the place Turner, who relinquished her U.S. citizenship in 2013, eventually called home.
“With Tina Turner’s death, the world has lost an icon,” Swiss President Alain Berset said during the week following the star’s death. He called the singer, who lived in Switzerland since 1995, an “impressive woman who found a second home” in the country.
On Thursday, roses and candles were placed outside the gates of Turner’s home in Küsnacht on Lake Zurich’s Golden Coast. “You’re simply the best,” read one handwritten tribute to the singer, a nod to one of her most famous songs.
Turner was “a proud citizen of Küsnacht,” the municipality said in a statement, adding that she touched many with her “warmth and modesty.” The statement said Turner had sponsored a rescue boat named “TINA” and donated Christmas lights.
In an interview with CNN’s Larry King in 1997, Turner described why she had left her life in the United States behind. “Basically, Europe has been very supportive of my music,” she said. “Private Dancer was the beginning of my success in England,” she said of her fifth solo studio album, which was recorded in London and released in 1984, eventually going multiplatinum.
Even when Turner was part of a musical duo with her abusive husband Ike, she found a different level of appreciation in Europe. While most of Ike and Tina Turner’s hits stayed on the R&B circuit in the United States, their songs found mainstream success in England, “which has a long history of appreciating black American music styles”.
Turner’s time in England also played an important role after she split from Ike in 1976 and made a name for herself as a solo artist. It was a shrewd move on her part when, in the late 1970s she couldn’t buy a hit in the U.S. and was pretty much relegated to cabaret. She had to take on Australian management who had strong connections in Europe.
“The live/work she got there allowed her to escape the ‘nostalgia tag’ and reinvent herself with the help of Marsh and Ware, quintessential British/Euro electronic music wizards. Interestingly this sound was big in the U.S. and allowed her to sell herself back to her homeland as a very modern rock star.”
Turner also credits British star David Bowie with ensuring she was signed with Capitol Records. Bowie had told company officials he was going to see his favorite singer. “They signed me simply because of David,” Tina Turner told The Post in a 1993 interview.
Turner also elaborated on how she found more sustained success in Europe in an interview with “60 Minutes” in 1996. “What I find with my homeland is that nothing lasts very long,” Turner said, adding that “Europe is different.”