Music icon Tina Turner died on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. She’s known as one of the greatest music legends to ever live, and while she was born in Brownsville, Tennessee, she lived in Switzerland for over two decades. Ultimately, Turner gave up her U.S. citizenship to live abroad. Why did she do it? Here’s what to know.
Why did Tina Turner leave her US citizenship behind?
Back in 2013, Tina Turner signed her “Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of U.S. Citizenship under Section 349 (a)(1) of the INA” — the Immigration and Naturalization Act.” At 73 years old, Turner was ready to give up her U.S. citizenship to become a citizen of Switzerland. She had already lived in Switzerland with her second husband, German music producer Erwin Bach, for about 20 years before taking the oath of Swiss nationality. Turner stated she no longer had ties to the U.S. “except for family, and has no plans to reside in the United States in the future.”
While Turner didn’t formally “renounce” her U.S. citizenship, a source explained to the Washington Post that she “took Swiss citizenship with the intent to lose her U.S. citizenship.” So, why did she do it?
Turner found a lot of success in Europe. And because Bach also lived abroad, she didn’t find any reason to stay in the U.S. “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. “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.”
While speaking to a local publication, Bach also said he and Turner felt “very comfortable” in Switzerland.
Additionally, Turner and Bach couldn’t purchase property in Switzerland without citizenship. There are strict restrictions for foreigners wanting to buy property. This served as an additional incentive for becoming a citizen.
Her son, Ike Turner Jr., condemned her for moving away and not keeping up with her kids
It’s clear that Tina Turner adored Switzerland and never looked back after relinquishing her U.S. citizenship. But her son, Ike Turner Jr., publicly condemned her for her decision. He claimed he hadn’t talked to his mother since the year 2000 and she didn’t bother visiting her children in the U.S. after she moved.
“Tina raised me from the age of 2. She’s the only mother I’ve ever known,” Ike Jr. told the Daily Mail in 2018. “But I haven’t talked to my mother since God knows when – probably around 2000. I don’t think any of my brothers have talked to her in a long time either.”
“My mother is living her life — she has a new husband and she’s in Europe,” he continued. “She doesn’t want to have anything to do with the past.”
Tina Turner died in Switzerland on Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Sadly, Tina Turner died on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. She was at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, near Zurich.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner,” a post on her Instagram reads. “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.”
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