Entertainment

Tina Turner’s Swiss Chateau Retirement Is Going Dreamily, Thanks for Asking

There is a plaque in Tina Turner’s home that reads, “Please no package deliveries before 12 o’clock.”  

“You can deduce from that: I am not an early riser,” Turner says via email when asked to describe a typical day in retirement for her. “I start every day calmly. My favorite thing is to take care of my flowers in the garden.”

It’s a blissful life, one that Turner worked incredibly hard to earn. The legendary entertainer stepped back from the public eye nearly 20 years ago, retiring to Chateau Algonquin, her sprawling home in Switzerland, with husband Erwin Bach. But public fascination with Turner hasn’t gone away. This month, Tina, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical based on her life, returns to the stage, with best actress winner Adrienne Warren reprising her role as Turner for the rest of October. Then the role will be taken over by Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, who played Turner in the musical’s West End production. 

That’s not all Turner has going on, though. Later this month, she’ll be inducted to the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame for a second time—this time as a solo performer, sans Ike. She’ll also see BMG acquire her music catalog for a reported $50 million. In an email interview with Vanity Fair, Turner reflected on these recent achievements and pulled back the curtain on what life is like for her these days, taking care of her garden and entertaining guests like Cher at the chateau. 

How does it feel to see both Adrienne and Tina get recognition from Tony voters? 

I was just thrilled for Adrienne to receive the recognition she so richly deserved.  She has given everything to this role. I know what it takes, and I am so proud of her. She is very special to me and always will be. I felt the same joy when I spoke with Katori [Hall, who wrote the book for Tina] the day she won her Pulitzer. I whooped with excitement! It means so much to me to see this generation of incredible women take flight.

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe will take over for Adrienne next month. Do you have any advice for her? And were you able to meet her, either virtually or in-person, at all in this process? 

My producer brought Nkeki to visit me at home when they first discovered her two years ago. She was only 23 then and about to begin playing the role of Tina in the West End. Nkeki is a powerhouse. To take the baton in this most challenging leading role in what is her Broadway debut so early in her career says it all. I love that we even share the same birthmark!  

You’ll be inducted to the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame for a second time this month, but this time as a solo performer. What does that recognition mean to you?  

I was of course very excited to be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, it’s a great honor for me. At the same time, I feel a certain humility to be in a row with the greatest musicians of this world.

I’m curious about your retirement. You live in Switzerland, in a beautiful chateau that was shown briefly in the documentary Tina. What is your favorite room or space in your home and why? 

Oh, I don’t have a favorite room at all. However, in the course of one’s life, one accumulates many objects for which one needs space. I have, for example, some artifacts of Egyptian art. I like to be surrounded by these and other collectibles. It is not at all about whether they are expensive or valuable. The important thing is that I have a personal relationship with each one. I also love the view of Lake Zurich from our garden—I enjoy the peace and quiet.

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