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Rock-n-Roll Pioneer Ike Turner Dies at age 76

December 13, 2007 6:19 PM | R&B | Comments (0)

Legendary rock-n-roll pioneer, musician Ike Turner has died at age 76. Turner suffered from emphysema and may have died of a heart attack. His success has always been overshadowed by his abuse of ex-wife Tina Turner. Ike Turner was born November 5, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  In 1951 he launched his band The Kings of Rhythm and then launched their first single "Rocket 88." The Chess Records release is considered by many rock historians as one of the genre's first songs.

As a guitarist and pianist, Turner played with B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon in the 1950s. In 1958 he married Annie Mae Bullock who changed her name to Tina Turner.  The couple enjoyed such hits as "River Deep, Mountain High," "Proud Mary" and "Nutbush City Limits."   Turner is said to have been married 14 times but he has only been known to have married four times publicly. Turner's first marriage was to Lorraine Taylor, who had two sons with Ike.

While artists such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley crossed over to white audiences, Ike Turner never was never able to make the jump and was confined to the less-lucrative R&B category.

Ike and Turner won a Grammy in 1972 for "Proud Mary," and earlier this year Ike Turner was awarded again with the record industry's top honor for his traditional blues album, "Risin' with the Blues."     

After the couple divorced in 1976, Ike Turner's career spiraled downward due to a cocaine addiction, while Tina Turner enjoyed a huge comeback in the 1980s. At the time, she wrote an autobiography that chronicled the years of brutal abuse suffered at the hands of Ike Turner during their marriage. 

Ike Turner

     Ike and Tina Turner

Tina Turner & Ike Turner medley

Tina & Ike Turner - Proud Mary


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