Two days ago, one of the great blues, rock and soul singers of all time took her leave from this life at the age of 83. Born into poverty and witnessing her father abuse her mother she grew up in Nutbush, Tennessee where she joined the gospel choir. After being discovered by her later husband at a song contest she joined his band. He gave her the iconic stage name. She then put up with his violence and drug abuse for fourteen years before she struck out on her own, penniless and battered and reinvented herself once again and eventually became one of the most recognized singers of her time. 

I never saw her live but we did see the musical ‘Tina’ last fall in London, just a day before the Queen’s passing.  A fantastic and entertaining compilation of her story, her songs and her enduring legacy as a voice that blended music from two continents. 

            She died in Küsnacht, at her beloved Chateau Algonquin, just across the lake of Zurich, where I grew up. It’s where she lived with her husband, Erwin Bach, since 1998. She met him in 1986 and finally married him after living with him for 26 years. That was 2013. Bowie, Bryan Adams, Armani and many more travelled to Küsnacht for the wedding. I remember it because of a story that smelled of racism made the rounds in Switzerland at the time. Apparently, Oprah Winfrey, also a guest at the wedding, was shopping at an upscale handbag shop and after asking three times to see a particular purse was told she had to look at other, less expensive bags, since she couldn’t possibly afford that one. 

            Tina Turner took on Swiss citizenship and let her US passport go. She was well liked in Küsnacht, which she called home, and she donated the Christmas lights in 2014 to the town and personally christened a new boat for the local water safety and rescue that bears her name. 

            Three weeks after her wedding she had a severe stroke and a few years later was diagnosed with cancer. Her husband donated a kidney to her but to no avail. 

            She also faced tragedies in her personal life with the loss of two of her sons, Craig in 2018 and Ronnie in 2022. She lived not an easy life but a full one and it was a long road from Nutbush, Tennessee to Küsnacht on the Lake of Zürich. 

1 thought on “Tina

  1. Thank you for this Bruno, you have taught me something about an area of popular culture foreign to me, but obviously very relevant to your own background. I hadn’t heard of her before.


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