Fact Check

Did Tina Turner Live in Switzerland for Nearly 30 Years and Relinquish Her US Citizenship?

According to news accounts, Turner relinquished her U.S. citizenship in 2013.

Published May 26, 2023

 (Miguel Villagran/Staff, Getty Images)
Image Via Miguel Villagran/Staff, Getty Images
Tina Turner lived in Switzerland for nearly 30 years and relinquished her U.S. citizenship in 2013.

After legendary singer Tina Turner died on May 24, 2023, from natural causes in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, claims began to spread on social media that Turner had lived in Switzerland for nearly 30 years before her death at age 83 and had relinquished her U.S. citizenship in 2013.

We found posts that contained the claim on social media platforms like Reddit and Facebook.

We also found posts about the claim on social media platforms before Turner's death. For example, an account dedicated to answering immigration law questions made a video in July 2022 replying to a comment made by a user on the platform about Turner's U.S. citizenship status.


@bradshowlive Replying to @audreychilders506 #Immigration #Bradshowlive #foryourpage #ForYou #Greencard  #for #immigrant #viral #viralvideo #fyp #fy #Immigrationlawyer #tiktoklawyer #fypシ ♬ original sound - Brad Show Live Immigration Law

We found the claims were true. Turner first moved to Switzerland in 1995. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that she had signed paperwork to relinquish her U.S. citizenship, months after she had "taken the oath of Swiss nationality April 10."

Reuters reported Turner moved to Switzerland in 1995 to join her boyfriend and later husband, record producer Erwin Bach. She discussed the move in several interviews with the media. 

On March 13, 1996, she told British TV presenter Des O'Conner that she was happy living in Switzerland, as she thought the country was clean and people left her alone "to a point." 

Approximately a year later, on Feb. 21, 1997, Turner called the country home in an interview with former talk show host Larry King:

During the interview, Turner told King she had moved there because her boyfriend moved there for work, and that she was very happy. 

In 2013, Turner reportedly filed paperwork to relinquish her U.S. citizenship. According to The Washington Post, that meant that she had taken Swiss citizenship with the intent to "lose her U.S. citizenship," as opposed to formally "renouncing" her U.S. citizenship, a more complex process. The publication also reported that Turner declared she no longer had strong ties to the U.S. "except for family, and has no plans to reside in the United States in the future."  


Kamen, Al. "Tina Turner Formally 'Relinquishes' U.S. Citizenship." Washington Post, 6 Dec. 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2013/11/12/tina-turner-formally-relinquishes-u-s-citizenship/.

Margaritoff, Marco. "Tina Turner's Cause Of Death Revealed." HuffPost, 26 May 2023, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tina-turner-cause-of-death_n_6470b7a0e4b0a7554f3e951d

Reuters Staff. "Singer Tina Turner on Path to Swiss Citizenship." Reuters, 25 Jan. 2013, https://www.reuters.com/article/people-tinaturner-idINL4N0AU4YP20130125.

Tina Turner | Interview | Des O'Connor | Chat Show | Des O'Connor Tonight | 1996. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6BYSYOrmSI. Accessed 26 May 2023.

Tina Turner Talks about Her Life in Music (1997 CNN Interview). YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgtEeU_DDWY. Accessed 26 May 2023.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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