The Odd Reason Tina Turner Renounced Her U.S. Citizenship

When Tina Turner died on May 24, 2023, the news was originally announced on her Instagram account. As more information was released, it was also announced that Turner died in Switzerland. It turns out that she was a Swiss citizen and lived in Küsnacht, near Zurich, Switzerland. This begs the question, why did Turner decide to live in Switzerland and become a Swiss citizen? Now we know.

In a 1997 interview with CNN’s Larry King, Turner explained that her “success” was even bigger in Europe than in the United States. That news shocked King who replied, “You’re a major star here. You’re a superstar in America.”

Turner was very clear that Europe embraces her music “hugely” compared to the United States and explained that even though she is a “superstar” in the U.S., she isn’t as popular or famous as, say, Madonna. She said, “I’m as big as Madonna in Europe.”

Before calling Switzerland home, Turner lived in several other European countries including England, Germany and France. When King asked her why she chose to live in Zurich, she explained that she moved there because that’s where her boyfriend lived. However, she didn’t just move there to be close to her boyfriend. She also moved there because she “always wanted to go to Switzerland.”

During the interview, King asked Turner if her boyfriend was ever going to become her husband, and she dodged the question stating, “It’s good like it is,” but her boyfriend did end up becoming her husband.

After many years as boyfriend and girlfriend, Turner married Erwin Bach in 2013. It wasn’t long after their marriage that Turner officially renounced her U.S. citizenship and became a citizen of Switzerland instead.

Later on in the 1997 interview with King, King asked Turner if she knew she was considered a feminist heroine, and she talked about her previous marriage to Ike Turner including why she stayed with him for so long even though the relationship became abusive.

Watch this full interview between King and Turner in the video below.

Does it surprise you that Turner was more famous and popular in Europe than in the United States?