KUESNACHT – In her adoptive nation, Tina Turner was greater than only a swivel-hipped rock, R&B and pop famous person. She unapologetically moved to Switzerland for its discretion and calm, carrying her very public persona into a really personal nation. She relished her life as a Swiss citizen — and the sensation was mutual.

Mourners laid flowers and candles Thursday exterior the gate of her lakeside villa within the upscale city of Kuesnacht, southeast of Zurich, the place she lived for many years along with her German music-producer husband Erwin Bach till her dying on Wednesday at age 83.

It was an understated tribute — reflective of the Swiss discretion that had drawn her to the wealthy Alpine nation within the first place.

Neighbors didn’t gawk, hound her for autographs or snap photographs. Many Swiss felt a way of satisfaction that she might retreat right here from the pressures of the media highlight. It afforded her the illusion of a traditional life after a turbulent one in her native United States, together with by the hands of her late former husband Ike who found her, married her and — in line with her memoirs — violently beat her.

Celebrities of the previous together with Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury, in addition to residing stars like Sophia Loren and Shania Twain, have been drawn to Switzerland — usually for its reputed respect for personal lives. Roman Polanski holed up in an Alpine chalet briefly to skirt U.S. justice, and a few of the world’s monetary magnates and enterprise gurus have been attracted by the nation’s comparatively low taxes and secrecy about cash issues.

Turner, who moved within the mid-Nineteen Nineties and took Swiss citizenship in 2013 — dishing out along with her U.S passport — was arguably probably the most well-known resident in recent times.

Swiss President Alain Berset tweeted a tribute to Turner, calling her an icon and saying his “thoughts are with the relatives of this impressive woman, who found a second homeland in Switzerland.”

Markus Ernst, the mayor of Kuesnacht, a bucolic town on the shores of Lake Zurich, said Turner was engaged in the community — regularly lighting the annual Christmas tree and once inaugurating a municipal rescue boat that has been christened “Tina” — but locals went out of their way to help an overwhelmingly public figure enjoy a private life, too.

“One of the reasons she came to Switzerland was to have a completely normal life,” he said by phone. “She could go to restaurants without being photographed all the time … in the street, people didn’t stare at her or ask for her autograph.”

A statement from her longtime manager, Bernard Doherty, said a private funeral ceremony among close family and friends was planned, adding: “Please respect the privacy of her.”

Years ago, Turner narrated milestones of her life and her affection and affinity for Switzerland in a glitzy TV ad for communications company Swisscom, featuring young actors who portrayed her in both early life and in highlight moments of her career.

It alluded to stereotypes about Switzerland such as the home of William Tell or a hub of ice-skating prowess; she sat in a rocking rowboat in a lake ringed by majestic mountains, mobile phone in hand. Turner recounted how her friends had to adapt to her Swiss tastes, as one actor portraying her carried out a pot of cheese fondue to quizzical looks from fictionalized guests.

Another actor waved off fans as flash bulbs popped while she clambered into the backseat of a limousine next to the real Turner, and the superstar quipped: “As time went by, I learned more and more about Switzerland, like that security and discretion are people’s top priority — just like they are for me.”

“And when I finally moved to Switzerland, it felt like home right away,” she mused. “People respect each other’s privacy here, take care of each other.”


Jamey Keaten contributed to this report.

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