Flowers and candles outside Tina Turner’s Swiss home

Flowers and candles outside Tina Turner’s Swiss home

Shortly after news of Tina Turner’s death on Wednesday, candles and flowers began piling up outside the estate in Switzerland that the rock legend called home for decades.

A large crowd began to gather outside the iron gate, shrouded in darkness, as fans walked one by one to lay flowers or light candles, some flickering through red-tinted glass bowls.

“You are simply the best,” read one of the dozens of messages found among the bouquets.

“I’m shocked,” Miran Znaider, a 48-year-old Slovenian who lives nearby, told AFP while holding back tears. “I didn’t expect it to happen so early.”

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When Znaider was asked why he came, he said: “Because she is the queen, the queen of all women. I love Tina.”

He was among many who flocked to the Algonquin Palace in Kusnacht, on the exclusive Goldkisti (Gold Coast) area on Lake Zurich, where the 83-year-old rock queen has lived for nearly three decades.

As people gathered together outside its tall gate, flanked by two large, illuminated poles emblazoned with the word “Algonquin” in gold letters, Turner’s music blared from one of the cars parked nearby.

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“Today is a very sad day,” Ozgur Arzik, 48, told AFP.

“I actually grew up with Tina Turner’s kids, and I live near here. I always listened to her songs and I’m really sad that we lost her,” he said. “I just wanted to be here.”

The American star renounced her American citizenship 10 years ago to become Swiss.

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Swiss President Alain Berset said in a tweet on Twitter: “With the death of Tina Turner, the world has lost an icon.”

“My thoughts are with the family of this wonderful woman who has found a second home in Switzerland.”

The municipality of Kusnacht issued a statement saying, “Tina Turner inspired people around the world with her unique voice and touched many Kusnacht residents with her warmth and humility.”

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“She was a proud citizen of Kusnacht,” she added, praising her close relationship with the community, saying she sponsored a rescue boat named “Tina” and donated Christmas lights.

Turner moved to the rich Alpine country in 1995 with her German partner Erwin Bach, 67.

In 2013, three months after marrying Bach and obtaining her Swiss passport, Turner renounced her American citizenship.

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The couple had rented their mansion for a long time due to restrictions on foreigners owning property.

In 2021, the couple reportedly allocated $76 million to build a 10-building waterfront estate in the municipality of Stiva, on the northern shores of Lake Zurich.

At the time, Bach told daily newspaper Handelszeitung that the 240,000 square feet (22,300 square metres) property, which includes a swimming pool and private space overlooking the lake, would serve as a “new weekend getaway.”

Swiss media praised Turner as a model Swiss citizen, noting that she had to learn German and also pass a local civics test and an interview to obtain her citizenship.

Once she obtained her passport, she headed to the polls for the frequent popular votes in the country known for its direct democracy system.

In 2021, the University of Bern awarded her an honorary doctorate for her “unique musical and artistic work in her lifetime.”

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    (Tags for translation)Entertainment

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