Tina Turner: I will renounce my U.S. citizenship to become a Swiss citizen

By Kramer Phillips, National Monitor | January 26, 2013

Tina Turner: I will renounce my U.S. citizenship to become a Swiss citizen

Turner leaves U.S. in favor of Switzerland.

Tina Turner, the legendary performer, is officially leaving the U.S. in favor of permanently moving to Switzerland.

Turner will soon become an official citizen of Switzerland. The retired singer, who has been living there for nearly 20 years, will renounce her U.S. citizenship and make Switzerland her official country and home.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the singer has already passed a civics test and interview. Zurich, Switzerland — her soon to be home — has reportedly approved her application for citizenship. The next step is for other authorities in the country, including the canton of Zurich and the Swiss state, to officiate it and award her a red passport. According to Turner’s rep, her Swiss citizenship has not yet been made official since it still needs a formal approval. It remains unclear when an official decision will be announced.

Turner, who famously married to musician Ike Turner in the 60’s, fled the allegedly abusive relationship in the late 70’s, but kept Ike’s last name. She then found love with her music manager and German-born record producer, Erwin Bach, eventually moving  to Switzerland in 1995 to be with him. She has lived there ever since.

The couple reportedly live together in a lake house called Chateau Algonquin. Turner has repeatedly noted her love of Switzerland, telling the Swiss daily newspaper, Blick that she considers the country home.

“I’m very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here,” she said in an interview at the time.

According to Fox News, Turner’s native hometown Mayor, Jo Matherne was surprised that Turner had decided to change her citizenship. The Brownsville, Tennessee, mayor urged Turner to rethink the decision.

“I think anytime a person, whether they’re world-renowned or the most meek and mild, makes the decision to change their citizenship, we need to step back and think [about] what causes that decision.”

Over the course of Turner’s decade-long career, the singer has experienced many violations of privacy that come with being in the spotlight. The singer’s messy and abusive relationship with Ike Turner was a topic of much public speculation and debate. Gossip about the marriage and subsequent divorce only escalated when Turner went on Oprah in the 90’s to promote and discuss an autobiography that detailed the abuse.

Friends of Ike’s, including music legend Phil Spector, believe Turner fabricated the details of her relationship with Ike. Spector spoke up about his doubts at Ike Turner’s funeral in 2007, according to Fox News.

Although most of the evidence, including severe cocaine use by Ike, does point to Tina’s story as being accurate, the issue is clearly old news for Tina and her citizenship change seems to hint at her hope to finally put her past to rest.

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