Turner, who moved to the country in the mid-1990s and became a Swiss citizen in 2013 after renouncing his US passport, has been perhaps the most famous resident in recent years.
Swiss President Alain Berset wrote 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, mayor of Kuesnacht, a town on Lake Zurich, said Turner was involved in the community, regularly lighting the annual Christmas tree and once launching the city’s rescue boat, christened Tina.
However, he said locals did their best to help the overwhelmingly public figure enjoy a private life.
“One of the reasons he came to Switzerland was to have a completely normal life,” he said. “He could go to restaurants without being photographed all the time … on the street, people didn’t stare at him or ask for his autograph.”
With a villa to pay tribute to, art dealer Renate Fetcherin, who has lived in the town for decades, said people in Switzerland “never bother anyone” and that the couple could always be at ease; “They don’t worry about the paparazzi. because we don’t have them.”
“Kuesnacht was very proud to have such a famous person here,” Fetcherin said.
At his upscale eatery just a few hundred meters from the villa, restaurateur Rico Zandonella remembered Turner as a “very dear friend” and frequent guest who once celebrated birthdays there with colleagues “who would sing for him; It was a really wonderful holiday. “.
“Tina Turner is such a big personality when she walks into a room. He has a really great aura. a personality that explodes like a bomb like he’s on stage,” he said.
Years ago, Turner recounted the highlights of his life, his love and affinity for Switzerland, in a glossy TV ad for communications company Swisscom, featuring young actors who portrayed him at key moments in both his early life and career.
It alluded to stereotypes about Switzerland, such as the home of William Tell or the center of master ice skating; he sat in a rocking paddle on a lake surrounded by majestic mountains, cell phone in hand. Turner recounted how her friends had to adjust to her Swiss tastes as one of the actors who portrayed her served a pot of cheese fondue to the curious stares of fictional guests.
Another actor wowed fans as the bulbs flashed as he climbed into the back seat of the limousine alongside the real Turner and the superstar.
“Over time, I learned more and more about Switzerland because safety and discretion are people’s top priorities, just as they are for me,” Turner said.
“And when I finally moved to Switzerland, I immediately felt at home. Here people respect each other’s privacy, [they] take care of each other.”
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