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Tina Turner loved Europe and renounced American citizenship

LONDON — Born in Tennessee, Tina Turner is revered around the world as the American queen of rock and roll. But for Turner, Europe was where she rose to new levels of fame and happiness after a tumultuous life in the United States and violent first marriage.

Switzerland was where Turner, who renounced his US citizenship in 2013, eventually made his home.

“With the death of Tina Turner, the world has lost an icon,” said Swiss President Alain Berset tweeted Wednesday following the death of the star at the age of 83. He called the singer, who had lived in Switzerland since 1995, “an impressive woman who has 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 are simply the best,” reads a 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 sponsored a lifeboat named “TINA” and donated Christmas lights.

“She’s pretty much gone European,” British music journalist Lloyd Bradley said in emailed comments on Thursday, adding that it’s helped her maintain her success in Europe. British crowds at least seemed to regard her as “one of us”.

In an interview with CNN’s Larry King in 1997, Turner described why she left her life in the United States behind. “Basically, Europe has been very supportive of my music,” she said. “Private Dancer was the start of my success in England,” she said of her fifth solo studio album, recorded in London and released in 1984, which eventually went multi-platinum.

Tina Turner sang beyond her pain

When King asked her if Europe had supported her more than America, Turner replied “yes”, with a smile. “Yes, a lot.”

“But you’re a big star here, you’re a superstar in America,” King said, before Turner replied, “Not as big as Madonna. I’m as big as Madonna in Europe.

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 remained on the R&B circuit in the United States, their songs found mainstream success in England, “which has a long history of appreciation for black American styles of music”. , the Washington Post previously reported. The Rolling Stones opened for Ike and Tina on their first UK tour in 1965.

Turner’s time in England also played an important role after he split from Ike in 1976 and made a name for himself as a solo artist.

“It was a shrewd move on her part when, in the late 1970s, when she couldn’t buy a hit in the United States and was all but relegated to cabaret, she hired Australian management who had strong connections in Europe,” Bradley said. .

“The live job she got there allowed her to escape ‘nostalgia’ and reinvent herself with the help of Marsh & Ware, the epitome of British/European electronic music wizards… Interestingly, this sound was important in the United States and allowed him to sell back to his native country as a very modern rock star.

Turner also credits British star David Bowie with signing to Capitol Records. Bowie had told company officials he was going to see his favorite singer, “so they all came and lo and behold – I was on stage. They signed me just because of David,” she said. told the Post in a 1993 interview.

Turner also explained 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. ‘Europe is different’.

Turner told ’60 Minutes’ that many people outside of Europe were stunned when she explained that she was an even bigger star in Europe than she was in her native country. “Nobody in America knows. I mean, people are always shocked when I explain to them,” she said.

With more concert tickets sold than any other solo artist in music history, Turner has performed countless times across the continent, from London to Paris, Berlin to Prague, to adoring fans. “She was a true female rock legend and … so few of them are European, even European adoptees like Tina and Chrissie Hynde,” Bradley said.

Greg Rose, a British fan who loved the singer so much he threw a Tina Turner-themed birthday party, wrote on Facebook that the singer had been “stuck on” her bedroom walls since he was teenager and that he had seen her for more than 70 years. times in concert.

Bruno Garcez, a Brazilian journalist based in London, said his fascination with Turner began when he was a teenager. The 50-year-old said he still finds her inspiring today. “Her life story encapsulates the very concept of resilience, strength and overcoming. It’s amazing what she’s been through,” he said in an interview on Thursday.

Beyond her professional success, Europe was also important to Turner in another way – because it was there that she met her future husband, German music director Erwin Bach. The two met in 1985 and were together for nearly 40 years, getting married in 2013. They lived together in Germany and then Switzerland.

On social media, many hailed Turner’s decision to leave American soil and move to Europe as inspirational.

American-born writer Joy C. Mitchell, who lives in Europe, said Wednesday that Turner was “one of the first black American women” she saw move to Europe and find “professional success and love.” Mitchell wrote that Turner “was, in some ways, the model. I always imagined meeting her whenever I was in Switzerland and saying thank you.

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