Tina Turner: 'I Left America Because My Success And Boyfriend Were In Another Country'
Photo Credit: MONICA M. DAVEY

Photo Credit: MONICA M. DAVEY

Tina Turner: 'I Left America Because My Success And Boyfriend Were In Another Country'

black expat , zurich , switzerland
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Mar 11, 2021

Tina Turner is the talk of the 71st Berlin International Film Festival for a documentary titled Tina co-directed by T.J. Martin and Daniel Lindsay.  

If there’s anything we learned from the 81-year-old “Simply The Best” singer, it’s that it’s never too late to move abroad.

There’s no doubt that she has one of the most successful and popular biopics ever made, but she told filmmakers there’s so much more to her story.

From her early days with abusive ex-partner Ike Turner to selling out football stadiums in the 80s after her Private Dancer album, the singer shares her emotional journey and includes appearances from Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett, who was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Turner in 1993, and I, Tina biographer Kurt Loder.

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What’s even more fascinating about the film is how Turner became the “ultimate expat” in Europe after racial tension with a record company.

According to First Post,  an interview with a record company executive was quoted using both racist and misogynistic slurs explaining why he wanted to drop her from the label in the early 80s. Her Australian manager, Roger Davies, told her to relaunch her career from Europe.

Tuner’s 1984 album, Private Dancer, which sold millions of copies worldwide included her first major solo, “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”

Moving Abroad For Work and Love

During an interview with Larry King in 1997,  King asked Turner about her decision to expatriate and the experience. 

“I have left America because my success was in another country and my boyfriend was in another country,” she told him.

Turner, who is now married to Erwin Bach, met the music executive by chance in an airport in Germany, and they got married in 2013 after nearly three decades together.

Turner went on to describe where she lived in Europe and how the places are pretty amazing. She first moved to England when she began dating Bach, and later moved to his native Germany for three years.

She also mentioned that she had bought a house in the south of France in the interview, but as of now, she’s living in Zürich, Switzerland.

“My boyfriend moved there to run the company and I always wanted to go to Switzerland and I was very happy,” she said.

When the two got married in 2013, Turner renounced her American citizenship and became a citizen of Switzerland.

Watch the 1997 interview below:

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