In This Swiss Town, Tina Turner Was a Neighbor, Not a Star

Tina Turner Worldwide, who died on Wednesday. At 83, was known for his music, his powerful stage presence and his barrier-breaking career. But in the Swiss city where she lived for nearly three decades, she was known to lead a low-key life — doing her own shopping, standing in line at the post office and exercising outdoors.

In front of the house where the rock star lived with her husband, Eron Bach, and where neighbors gather on Wednesday nights to light candles and tell stories, a polished bronze sign (in English and German) asks which entrances are open. Do not ring first. afternoon

After a lifetime in the public eye, Ms. Turner moved to the sleepy Swiss town of Kusnacht with Mr. Bach, a German music executive. In 1995, Mr. Bach got a job running EMI Music’s Swiss offices in Zurich, and the two moved to the Alpine country. They married in 2013, the year he acquired Swiss citizenship and gave up his American passport.

Ms. Turner and Mr. Bach lived in a classic white thatched-roof mansion on the shores of Lake Zurich.

In a ___ 1997 interview with Larry KingMs. Turner explained why she left America.

“I left America because my success was in another country and my boyfriend was in another country,” she said. Asked about her success in the United States compared to Europe, she said: “Not as big as Madonna. I’m as big as Madonna in Europe. I’m as big as, in some places, the Rolling Stones.”

But he didn’t rule over his fame, said Severin Silvestri, 30, manager of Rico’s, an upscale restaurant just up the road from his home. “She was a cheerful, very open-hearted and gentle person,” he said. “Years ago, when she was in better health, Ms. Turner and Mr. Bach occasionally dined at the Michelin-starred restaurant. Mr. Silvestri, Those who once waited on Ms. Turner said she did not broadcast. “She was completely down to earth,” he said.

In addition to his international music career, his Swiss home celebrated him for the public Christmas light display (bright golden wreaths) he donated to the town for his 75th birthday in 2014 and the rescue boat “Tina”. For whom he had named. The year

Neighbors said they were aware of Ms. Turner’s fame, but it didn’t bother them when they saw her in public, which had been minimal in recent years as she struggled with her health.

“She seems to be living a relatively normal life and she seems to be enjoying it,” said Oliver Moretz, 46, manager of a hotel several hundred yards away by the lake. Noting that she was the type of person you would run into while shopping. .

Roland Roulerfre, 57, a Swiss music producer who worked with her on and off for more than a decade, said it was a normal life regardless of fans, which drew Ms Turner to life in Switzerland. It was attractive.

“I think it was important for him to find a place where he could be left alone,” he added: “I think he appreciated the fact that he wasn’t bothered by fans every day. was happening, but that he could enjoy his retirement in peace.”

The town’s mayor, Markus Ernst, 50, said some residents had become so used to his presence that they forgot how big a deal he was outside of Küsnacht. “We became fully aware of his global star quality in 2013, when he got married and when camera teams from around the world descended on us,” he said.

Mr. Ernst, who says he heard Ms. Turner’s music as a teenager on cassette tapes and records, said meeting her in real life was very special. “She had an incredible aura, was very approachable and interacted with you in such a positive way,” he said.

And he also gave back to his community. “She was a great ambassador for our community, and she did it entirely voluntarily,” Mr. Ernst said, referring to Ms. Turner’s habit of praising Switzerland and Küsnacht in the news media.

“With the death of Tina Turner, the world has lost an icon,” said Alain Berset, president of Switzerland. Posted on Twitter Wednesday, adding, “My thoughts are with the relatives of this inspiring woman who has found a second home in Switzerland.”

According to Ms. Turner, one aspect of Swiss life was particularly important. “I have to say that the preference is fresh air – it’s clean, and I feel like I’m breathing really fresh air,” she said. A Swiss journalist said in 2014. She also noted that she feels safe enough in the country to go out in public without security.

When asked during this interview if there was anything about life in Switzerland that he did not like, he replied: “There is absolutely nothing that I don’t like, because I have to get a passport. Before I found out I liked everything.” said, referring to his American citizenship.

To obtain Swiss citizenship, Ms. Turner had to demonstrate her ability to speak German, which she admits took time and effort to learn.

During a vigil at Ms. Turner’s home Wednesday night, neighbors shared common stories about the extraordinary woman next door. One man told how Ms Turner served coffee to people working in her home and poured herself. Another talked about meeting him at the post office.

“It’s sad that we lost him,” said one resident Local news media outlet. After a pause, he added: “Not just Küsnacht, but the whole world.”

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