Inside the Quiet Life of Tina Turner in Switzerland

Around the World Tina Turner who died on Wednesday at 83, she was known for her music, powerful stage presence, and crushing career. But in the Swiss town where she lived for almost three decades, she was known for living a modest lifestyle: doing her own shopping, standing in line at the post office and playing outdoor sports.

In front of the house where the rock star lived with her husband Erwin Bach and where neighbors gathered on Wednesday nights to light candles and tell stories, a polished bronze sign urges (in English and German) visitors not to ring the doorbell before noon

After a life in the public eye, Ms. Turner moved to the sleepy town of Küsnacht, Switzerland with Mr. Jones. Bach, a German music director whom she began dating in the 1980s. In 1995, Bach took a job as the head of the Swiss office of EMI Music in Zurich, and the two of them moved to the Alpine country. They married in 2013 when she received Swiss citizenship and gave up her American passport.

RS. Turner and Mr. Bach lived in a classic white mansion with a gabled roof on the shores of Lake Zurich.

“She was a cheerful, very open and kind person,” said Severin Silvestri, 30, manager of Rico’s, a high-end restaurant located nearby. Many years ago, when she was at her best, Mr. Turner and Mr. Bach occasionally dined at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Mister. Silvestri, who once served the lady. Turner said she wasn’t arrogant. “She was completely down to earth,” he said.

In addition to her international music career, her Swiss home celebrated her public Christmas light show (illuminated golden wreaths) that she presented to the city on the occasion of her 75th birthday in 2014, and the lifeboat “Tina”, which she christened. year.

Neighbors said they knew about the lady. Turner, but did not bother her when seen in public, which has become less and less in recent years as she struggled with her health.

“She seemed to be living a relatively normal life and seemed to be enjoying it,” said Oliver Moritz, 46, who runs a hotel a few hundred meters up the lake, noting that she was the kind of person you might run into during shopping. .

Roland Roller Frey, 57, a Swiss music producer who has worked with her sporadically for more than a decade, said it was this normal life without disturbing fans that attracted Ms. Kevin. Turner to life in Switzerland.

“I think it was important for her to find a place where she could be left alone,” he said, adding, “I think she appreciated the fact that fans didn’t pester her every day, but that she could enjoy going out on pension. in the world.”

Mayor Markus Ernst, 50, said some residents were so used to her presence that they forgot how important she was outside of Kusnacht. “We fully realized her global star qualities in 2013 when she got married and when film crews from all over the world came to see us,” he said.

Mister. Ernst, who says he listened to Miss. Turner’s music as a teenager on cassettes and records suggests that meeting her in real life was special. “She had an incredible aura, she was very approachable and interacted with you in such a positive way,” he said.

And she also gave her community away. “She was a great ambassador for our community and she did it completely willingly,” Mr. Ernst, referring to Mr. Turner’s habit of praising Switzerland and Küsnacht in the media.

“With the death of Tina Turner, the world has lost an icon,” said Swiss President Alain Berset. posted on twitter on Wednesday, adding: “I am thinking of the relatives of this impressive woman who has found a second home in Switzerland.”

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

Asked during this interview if there was anything she didn’t like about living in Switzerland, she replied: “There is absolutely nothing I don’t like because I knew I liked everything before How did you give your passport? said, referring to her American citizenship.

To obtain Swiss citizenship, M. Turner had to show her ability to speak German, which, according to her, took time and effort.

At a vigil at Mr. Turner’s house Wednesday night, neighbors shared the usual stories about the extraordinary woman next door. One man described how Mrs. Turner offered coffee to people working in her home and even poured it herself. Another told how he ran into her at the post office.

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