Following the death of Tina Turner at age 83, a clip of the singer explaining why she renounced US citizenship and moved to Switzerland has resurfaced.
“I have left America because my success was in another country,” the rock ‘n’ roll legend said in a 1997 CNN interview with the late Larry King.
“‘Private Dancer’ was the beginning of my success in England. And basically, Europe has been very supportive of my music.”
When asked if Europe was more supportive than America, Turner responded, “Yes, hugely.”
King pointed out that Turner was a superstar in America, but she retorted back, saying she was “not as big as Madonna” in the States.
“I’m as big as Madonna in Europe,” she shared with a smile on her face. “I’m as big in some places as the Rolling Stones.”
The “What’s Love Got to Do with It” singer detailed her start of life in Europe, explaining that she lived in England for a couple of years, then she “met a man” and she lived with him in his country of Germany for three years. After that, Turner bought a house in the South of France, which she was “in and out of” as she was rebuilding it.
But ultimately, she said “home” was Zurich, Switzerland.
Turner’s then-boyfriend German music executive Erwin Bach was moved to Switzerland for work, and she “always wanted to go to Switzerland” and “was very happy.”
“I have left America because my success was in another country,” Tina Turner said in 1997.CNN
Tina Turner’s 1997 interview with the late Larry King.CNN
During the interview in February 1997, King asked Turner if the boyfriend would ever turn into a husband or if he was a “permanent husband.”
She responded, “It’s good like it is” with a laugh — yet Turner and Bach married in 2013 in a grand ceremony attended by her longtime friend, Oprah Winfrey.
Shortly after marrying Bach, Turner relinquished her American citizenship and became a Swiss national, though the couple had been living in Switzerland for many years prior. They later bought a Swiss “weekend retreat” in January 2022.
Tina Turner and Erwin Bach married in 2013 in a grand ceremony.Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images
Shortly after marrying Erwin Bach, Tina Turner relinquished her American citizenship and became a Swiss national.Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images
As Turner and King were laughing about her relationship, King said, “It’s not Ike, right?” referring to Turner’s abusive ex-husband Ike Turner. “Who?” Turner replied with a slight smile.
Piggybacking on the change of topic, the talk show host asked Turner if she realized she was a “feminist hero” in America.
“I’m beginning to,” the “Proud Mary” singer admitted. “It wasn’t something that I planned. I kind of see it as a gift because of the life I lived, it had a meaning. And I think that the meaning was all of what is happening now. I think that had I not given the story to the world, maybe my life would not be as it is.”
Tina Turner and Erwin Bach bought a Swiss “weekend retreat” in January 2022.AP
Tina Turner performs during the Swiss Sports Awards gala, in Zurich, Switzerland, December 11, 2011.REUTERS
The news of Turner’s death was shared on her Instagram account Wednesday.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” the statement read. “Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”
A spokesperson for “The Best” singer announced she died peacefully at her home in Kusnacht near Zurich.