Tina Turner went through quite a few life changes this year. Past 70, she became engaged for the second time in her life to her German boyfriend (Erwin Bach) of 27 years, she acquired Switzerland citizenship, and as part of the process, she relinquished her U.S. citizenship in January by virtue of her voluntary acquisition of Swiss citizenship with the intent of losing her U.S. citizenship.
Tina Turner has won eight Grammys and sold over 200 million records, has the Guinness Book of World Records for most concert tickets by any solo performer, and has been called one of the 100 greatest [Rock n Roll] artists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine and has been called the “Queen of Rock and Roll”.
Tina Turner is no Swiss Citizen of convenience. She speaks fluent German (one of the requirements for Swiss naturalization), and has lived in Switzerland since 1995 (almost twenty years) — although she also has residences in London, England; Cologne, Germany, and a villa on the French Riviera as well as property in Los Angeles. She received no preferential treatment during her naturalization process — she took and passed the same civics tests and interviews that ordinary foreign residents must take to receive the white cross on red emblem bearing Swiss passport.
Some of the British tabloid media speculated that taxes may have something to do with her change of citizenship. Obviously, the convenience of no longer having to file (and perhaps pay, depending on your situation) to two countries (as is the case for overseas Americans) is convenient to anybody, but nobody ever changes from American citizenship to western European citizenship for the purpose of reducing their tax bill.
It has been hinted that one of the reasons she prefers to reside in Switzerland is due to their strong privacy laws. American celebrities sometimes relocate to remote areas in the United States or other countries where it is difficult to be stalked by paparazzi. The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, unlike many constitutions of the world, actually guarantees the right to privacy (Article 13).
Unlike Japan’s naturalization laws and other countries, Switzerland does not require one to give up their other nationalities to become a naturalized Swiss citizen. However, by “voluntarily acquiring a new citizenship with the intent of losing U.S. citizenship”, Tina Turner qualifies to loss her U.S. citizenship via “relinquishment” as opposed to “renunciation”.
Although officially retired, she is very popular in her new adopted country. Her hometown in Tennessee, was not surprised given her long history with Switzerland, but expressed hope that she would “not forget her roots.”