KUSNACHT, Switzerland - Shortly after news of Tina Turner’s death on Wednesday, candles and flowers began piling up outside the estate in Switzerland the rock legend had called home for decades.
A large crowd began gathering outside the large cast iron gate, shrouded in darkness, walking up sombrely one by one to lay large bouquets and candles, flickering through red-tinted glass jars.
“I am shocked,” said Mr Miran Znider, a 48-year-old Slovenian fan who lived nearby.
“I didn’t expect it to happen so early.”
Asked why he had come, he said: “Because it’s the queen, the queen of all women. I love Tina.”
Among the world’s most famous performers, the 83-year-old queen of rock had for nearly 30 years made her home the chateau Algonquin in Kusnacht, on Lake Zurich’s exclusive Goldkueste (Golden Coast).
“With Tina Turner’s death, the world has lost an icon,” Swiss President Alain Berset tweeted.
“My thoughts are with the family of this impressive woman who found a second home in Switzerland.”
Turner moved to the wealthy Alpine nation in 1995, with her longtime German partner Erwin Bach, 67.
In 2013, three months after marrying Bach and receiving her red Swiss passport with its distinctive white cross, Turner relinquished her US citizenship.
The couple long rented their chateau due to restrictions on foreigners owning property.
And in 2021, the couple reportedly put down US$76 million (S$100 million) for a 10-building waterfront estate in the municipality of Staefa, on the northern shores of Lake Zurich.
Bach at the time told the Handelszeitung daily the 240,000 sq ft estate, featuring a pool and private lakefront space, would serve as a “new weekend retreat”.
Turner has been hailed by Swiss media as a model Swiss citizen.
She had to learn German, pass a local civics test and interview to get her citizenship.
And once she had her passport in hand, she went to polling stations for the frequent popular votes held in the country, famous for its direct democratic system.
In 2021, Bern university gave the music legend an honorary doctorate for her “unique musical and artistic life’s work”. AFP