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Tina Turner had several links with France: here are five

Her connections with France included owning a villa near Nice

The singer had a number of connections to France, particularly the French Riviera Pic: Shutterstock / Blueee77

Tributes have been flooding in for US-born singer Tina Turner who died in Switzerland this week aged 83.

The artist, who sold more than 180 million albums, built up a strong following in France over her long career.

But some of her links with the country went beyond music. Here we look in more detail at her life in France.

1. Tina Turner owned a mansion in southern France

Ms Turner had a mansion in Villefranche-sur-Mer (Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur) from 1992 to 2010. 

She made such an impression locally that Gérard Grosgogeat - mayor from 1995-2014 - made her an honorary citizen at the start of his tenure. 

“She was an extraordinary woman,” Mr Grosgogeat told The Connexion, explaining the reason behind his decision. “I thought she deserved it because her upbringing was an ordeal.”

However, Ms Turner left Villefranche-sur-Mer after disputes with the Architectes des bâtiments de France, said Mr Grosgogeat. He added the administrative body, which represents civil-servant architects, often contested her plans to improve the mansion.

She had built an open-air auditorium to practise concerts but her plans to improve the property grew wider and bigger, added Mr Grosgogeat, explaining that the constant challenge with architects was the reason she left.

2. Tina Turner’s links with the French department of Lot

Alain Dominique Perrin is one of France’s most-powerful businessmen and owns the  Château Lagrézette in Cahors (Lot). The president of the Fondation Cartier is also an enthusiastic art collector. 

His long-time friendship with Ms Turner meant the US-born singer developed links with the local area.

She regularly spent holidays at the Château Lagrézette and was offered membership to the Confrérie du vin de Cahors, a club of Cahors’ wine enthusiasts. 

Ms Turner also took part in wine harvests, the last occasion in 2012. She also participated in the opening of the first Printemps de Cahors, a photography festival.

3. Tina Turner recorded a music video in Peille near Monaco

The video clip of Cose della vita, a song featuring Tina Turner and Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti was shot in Peille (Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d’Azur.) in 1997. 

The clip sees Mr Ramazzotti slaloming in his Citroën DS along the winding mountain roads to Peille to meet with Ms Turner. The clip was shot by Spike Lee.

Ms Turner insisted the clip be shot here after she felt enamoured by the village. It remained “a very good memory,” said the commune on its Facebook page.

4. She was mother-in-law to French singer Afida Turner

Tina Turner was the mother-in-law to French singer and former reality television star Afida Turner. The latter was married to one of Ms Turner’s sons, Ronnie Turner, who died last December.

Afida paid tribute to Ms Turner in an Instagram post and told the French TV show Touche pas à mon poste that she had last seen her in 2018 for the funeral of her oldest son Craig.

She said her best memories with the late singer were in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a southern French town near Nice. 

5. She was awarded a top French arts honour

Ms Turner was awarded the Chevalier of Arts and Letters in 1996, one of France’s most prestigious arts honours.

“It's a very special honour for me because France is very special for me,” she said during the ceremony, as reported by The Associated Press.

“I can honestly say as a first memory that I received my first encore right here in Paris...I have a home here in France and I want to thank all the French people for this great honour,” she added. 

“I think Tina Turner is someone extraordinary because all her life she has managed to overcome adversity,” said Philippe Douste-Blazy, then France's culture minister.

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