Queen of Rock and Zurich: Switzerland pays tribute to Tina Turner

Queen of Rock and Zurich: Switzerland pays tribute to Tina Turner

On the evening of May 24, a statement confirmed that the Queen of Rock, Tina Turner, had passed away at her home in Küsnacht, Canton Zurich, aged 83. With her passing, the world has lost one of the most prolific acts of the last 100 years, and the alpine nation has lost someone who was described as the “model” Swiss citizen.

Tina Turner passes away in Canton Zurich, aged 83

In a statement released to the star’s Instagram, her agent confirmed that Tina Turner had passed away on May 24, 2023. “With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. 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,” it read.


A post shared by Tina Turner (@tinaturner)

Dubbed the “Queen of Rock”, Turner sold more than 180 million albums and won 12 Grammy Awards during her career. To agents in Hollywood, she was regarded as one of the hardest working female acts, touring packed-out stadiums around the world until her final farewell tour came to a close in 2009, with audiences enchanted by her powerful voice, style-defining costumes, dance routines and relentless energy.

However, a spokesperson for the singer behind Proud Mary told 20 Minuten that she had been struggling with health problems in recent years, most notably high blood pressure. This culminated in a kidney transplant in 2017, donated by her husband Erwin Bach - a German citizen who she married in Zurich in 2013. Sadly, Turner's health conditions continued to plague her until her passing.

Tina Turner described as the model Swiss citizen

While the world mourns one of history’s great artists, many may be unaware of Tina Turner's connection to Switzerland. The star first moved to the shores of Lake Zurich in 1994, and it was at a concert in the Swiss city where she first announced her retirement in 2000 - although she would later go on to perform a 50th-anniversary tour until 2009.

In 2013, she announced that she would relinquish her US citizenship and sit a Swiss naturalisation test. After passing the test with flying colours - some in the media dubbed her the "model" citizen - and her language certification, on April 22, 2013, Tina Turner was granted citizenship and given her first Swiss passport. She was also known to vote in elections and referendums and now has an honorary doctorate from the University of Bern.

Swiss town Tina Turner called home pays tribute

Since moving to Switzerland, Turner has lived at the Chateau Algonquin in Küsnacht - most famously, the Christmas lights in the town are donations from her and her husband. Turner also bought an 80 million US dollar estate in Stäfa further down the lake as a weekend retreat in 2022. The housing taxes due from buying the house were so great that the residents of the small town were given a tax cut in 2023, all thanks to the Queen of Rock.

Since her death, candles and flowers have been laid at the entrance to her estate, with the local council (Gemeinde) noting in a statement that "Tina Turner inspired people all over the world with her unique voice and touched many Küsnacht residents with her warmth and modesty… she was a proud citizen of Küsnacht.” Well wishes have also echoed in the halls of government, with the President of Switzerland, Alain Berset, saying, "With Tina Turner's death, the world has lost an icon."

"My thoughts are with the family of this impressive woman who found a second home in Switzerland," he concluded. For many in the alpine nation, she was and remains, the best.

Thumb image credit: / 4kclips

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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