Here's why Tina Turner pursued Swiss citizenship: Late singer had no plans to 'reside in US'
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: In a tragic turn of events, music legend Tina Turner passed away on May 24, 2023, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be etched in the annals of music history. In a heartfelt Instagram post, her legacy was beautifully summarized, "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner... 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."
Born in Brownsville, Tennessee, Turner's unparalleled talent and indomitable spirit propelled her to become one of the greatest music legends of all time. However, while she was born in the United States, Turner made the decision to relinquish her US citizenship and establish her home in Switzerland, where she resided for over two decades.
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Why did Tina Turner pursue Swiss citizenship?
In 2013, at the age of 73, Turner signed the "Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of US Citizenship under Section 349 (a)(1) of the INA" (Immigration and Naturalization Act). This act symbolized her readiness to become a citizen of Switzerland, where she had been living with her second husband, German music producer Erwin Bach, for approximately 20 years. At the time, Turner stated she no longer had ties to the US “except for family, and has no plans to reside in the United States in the future.”
It is important to note that Turner did not formally "renounce" her U.S. citizenship but instead pursued Swiss citizenship with the intention of relinquishing her American citizenship, as per The Washington Post. One of the primary factors behind Turner's decision was her remarkable success in Europe. “I have left America because my success was in another country and my boyfriend was in another country,” Turner told Larry King in 1997, according to the New York Post.
'She doesn't want to have anything to do with the past!'
“Basically, Europe has been very supportive of my music. … My boyfriend moved there to run the company, and I always wanted to go to Switzerland and I was very happy.” Moreover, Turner and Bach encountered challenges in purchasing property in Switzerland due to strict restrictions on foreign ownership. This served as an additional incentive for becoming a citizen.
While Tina Turner found solace and fulfillment in Switzerland, her choice to relinquish her US citizenship was not without criticism. Her son, Ike Turner Jr, publicly condemned her for this decision, revealing that he and his brothers had lost contact with their mother since around 2000. Ike Jr expressed his disappointment that Turner had not made an effort to visit her children in the United States following her relocation. He remarked, "My mother is living her life — she has a new husband, and she's in Europe. She doesn't want to have anything to do with the past."