Simply the best neighbour: Swiss suburb mourns Tina Turner
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Simply the best neighbour: Swiss suburb mourns Tina Turner

'We don't hear your voice any more but it's still inside my heart,' says local well-wisher

Simply the best neighbour: Swiss suburb mourns Tina Turner
A mourner lays flowers outside the Swiss chateau of the late singer Tina Turner on Thursday. (Photo: AFP)

KüSNACHT, Switzerland: "Someone like this should live forever," said one of Tina Turner's neighbours who laid flowers outside the rock legend's home in Switzerland on Thursday.

Barbara Burkhalter was among a steady stream of people who came to pay tribute outside her chateau on Lake Zurich, where the 83-year-old queen of rock had lived for nearly three decades.

Turner's death on Wednesday sparked tributes from world leaders and fellow rock icons — but also from her neighbours in the plush Zurich suburb of Kuesnacht where the star paid for the Christmas decorations.

"I brought flowers and a little card. I really had to come," said Burkhalter, 69.

"We don't hear your voice any more but it's still inside my heart.

"On Tuesday, I saw the garden had no lights on, which is very unusual," the neighbour added. "It was completely dark.

"She was my favourite of all the ladies. I live only four minutes from here. I saw her many times when she went shopping. We loved that she was here but we would never have bothered her."

 'Rest in power' 

Multiple bunches of flowers had been left by the chateau gates, along with around 40 candles, cards and handwritten messages to the US-born superstar including one saying "Rest in power..."

Besides her music and magnetic stage presence, Turner's overcoming of domestic violence touched many women around the world.

Well-wisher Guia Greaves said she was known locally as a kind person and a good neighbour, discreet and unassuming, who made efforts to learn German and contribute to the community.

"She paid for all the Christmas decorations," Greaves told AFP.

"I don't know how many times I passed here while listening to her songs and said 'Hey, Tina!'

"And I really admire what she symbolised for domestic violence: the way she blossomed with no hate.

"We have now the treasure of her music and we have to keep listening to it."

 'She was so strong' 

Turner moved to Switzerland in 1995 with her longtime German partner Erwin Bach, 67.

In 2013, three months after marrying Bach and receiving her Swiss passport, Turner relinquished her US citizenship.

The couple had long rented Chateau Algonquin because of restrictions on foreigners owning property.

The grounds have immaculately manicured hedges and huge colourful bushes in pink and blue hues.

The turreted three-storey white house is shielded from view by towering fir trees.

Jerika Seiler, 48, stood outside to light "a candle for her soul".

The fashion designer said she had met Turner many times in local restaurants over the past 20 years, and one time while driving into her chateau, "she opened the window and said hi and smiled. I was shouting for happiness!" she recalled.

"I went to three (of her) concerts. I just started reading her book a few years ago and any time I see her film I always cry," she said.

"She was so strong. Her message for life, I will miss it. She was great in every way. She will always be simply the best."

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