Ike Turner, the Grammy-winning musician whose reported abusive relationship with Tina Turner cast a long shadow over his own musical achievements, has died.
Turner, 76, died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, at his California home, according to press reports. No cause of death was immediately released, but Turner’s wife, Jeanette Bazzell Turner, said he had emphysema.
Turner’s "Kings of Rhythm" band was by his side, playing his favorite gospel music in his final moments, according to the news release posted at Turner’s Web site, www.iketurner.com.
Ike Turner was born in Clarksdale, Miss., on Nov. 5, 1931.
He is perhaps most widely known for discovering a teenage singer from Nutbush, Tenn., whom he renamed Tina Turner. The pair’s act, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, racked up a stack of hits before the couple broke up in 1975. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame in 1991.
Tina Turner described the relationship as abusive in her autobiography, “I, Tina,” which was adapted for the 1993 film “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” Those accounts made Ike Turner’s name synonymous with domestic abuse.
Ike Turner tasted musical success well before he met the future Tina Turner. He and his Kings of Rhythm group, which included saxophonist Jackie Brenston, collaborated to write the famous 1951 song “Rocket 88,” which was released under the name Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.
Turner’s talents ran wide and deep in music. He worked as a session guitarist, and he also was a producer, a songwriter, a talent scout for Sun Records. His discography listed at his official Web site credits him with about 25 albums of his own, and his work appeared on dozens more albums. Turner won a Grammy in 2007 for his album, Risin With the Blues.
In lieu of flowers the family asks mourners to donate to music programs at their local schools in memory of Turner’s name so that music lives on.
Fans who wish to post condolences can do so at http://ike-turner-love.last-memories.com. The site also features a photo gallery that shows Turner performing at different venues.