Ike Turner 1931-2007


 Ike Turner Biography

Hat Tip: NY Times, Associated Press 

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ike Turner, whose role as one of rock’s critical architects was overshadowed by his ogrelike image as the man who brutally abused former wife and icon Tina Turner, died Wednesday at his home in suburban San Diego. He was 76.

”He did pass away this morning” at his home in San Marcos, in northern San Diego County, said Scott M. Hanover of Thrill Entertainment Group, which managed Turner’s musical career.

There was no immediate word on the cause of death, which was first reported by celebrity Web site TMZ.com.

Turner managed to rehabilitate his image somewhat in his later years, touring around the globe with his band the Kings of Rhythm and drawing critical acclaim for his work. He won a Grammy in 2007 in the traditional blues album category for ”Risin’ With the Blues.”

But his image is forever identified as the drug-addicted, wife-abusing husband of Tina Turner. He was hauntingly portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in the movie ”What’s Love Got To Do With It,” based on Tina Turner’s autobiography.

In a 2001 interview with The Associated Press, Turner denied his ex-wife’s claims of abuse and expressed frustration that he had been demonized in the media, adding that his historic role in rock’s beginnings had been ignored.

”You can go ask Snoop Dogg or Eminem, you can ask the Rolling Stones or (Eric) Clapton, or you can ask anybody — anybody, they all know my contribution to music, but it hasn’t been in print about what I’ve done or what I’ve contributed until now,” he said.

Turner, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is credited by many rock historians with making the first rock ‘n’ roll record, ”Rocket 88,” in 1951. Produced by the legendary Sam Phillips, it was groundbreaking for its use of distorted electric guitar.

But as would be the case for most of his career, Turner, a prolific session guitarist and piano player, was not the star on the record — it was recorded with Turner’s band but credited to singer Jackie Brenston.

And it would be another singer — a young woman named Anna Mae Bullock — who would bring Turner his greatest fame, and infamy.

Turner met the 18-year-old Bullock, whom he would later marry, in 1959 and quickly made the husky-voiced singer the lead singer of his group, refashioning her into the sexy Tina Turner. Her stage persona was highlighted by short skirts and stiletto heels that made her legs her most visible asset. But despite the glamorous image, she still sang with the grit and fervor of a rock singer with a twist of soul.

The pair would have two sons. They also produced a string of hits. The first, ”A Fool In Love,” was a top R&B song in 1959, and others followed, including ”I Idolize You” and ”It’s Gonna Work Out Fine.”

10 thoughts on “Ike Turner 1931-2007

  1. Well, at least he got his three score and ten, plus an additional six.

    RIP, Ike, but you should have treated Tina right so you could be remembered for pioneering in Rock and Roll, as opposed to being remembered for beating your wife.

  2. Michael

    Yip true….I think he’ll be remember edfor the beating, not much else. Thats a shame. I would have liked to see Tina smack him one last time for posteristy though 🙂

  3. Appreciate the Black Man

    Tina Turner would still be in Nuttbush Tennessee if it weren’t for Ike. Cher was gracious and spoke kind words of Sunny Bono upon his death, but Tina Turner has chosen to ignore the Death of the man who made her career. I guess she’s too busy having white men fawn over her in Germany.

    True he was an abusive horrible husband, but take the high road forgive and move on. Tina Turner is showing a pettiness that is not becoming.

  4. Sonny wasn’t abusive to Cher. That’s why she eulogized him the way she did.

    We can appreciate the Black Man if he’s known as a righteous brother. Tina might have gotten out of Nutbush, Tennessee in spite of Ike Turner – he just happened to be on the scene. It was never a license for him to beat her ass on a daily basis and make her perform on stage with a broken nose and busted lip.

    If Tina is a no-show at Ike’s funeral, who can blame her? She moved on with her life, and if a white guy is showing her the love and respect she never got from Ike, that’s her business, and more power to her. She’s been with that German guy for more than 20 years, so somethng’s working out right between them.

    While her actions may not be becoming (to you), sistas who have been in Tina’s shoes do not blame her at all. And how do you know she hasn’t forgiven Ike? She forgave that brotha, but forgiveness does not mean you let a wife-beater back into your life – it meant she didn’t give Ike that power over her again…but it’s easier to say she’s in the wrong because she’s a woman. If that were you on the receiving end of Ike beating your ass 24/7, would you be as forgiving as you’re imploring Tina to be?

    ::crickets chirping::

  5. PTCruiser

    At the time of Ike Turner’s death he and his former wife, Tina Turner, had not seen or spoken to each other in 35 years. And in statement released by her publicist, she declined to make any comment about him or his death. Tina Turner, IMHO, doesn’t have to forgive or forget the physical and psychological abuse that she received from Ike Turner.

    What the rest of us should not forget are Ike Turner’s contributions to popular music despite his misogynistic behavior and antics. I have never tired of hearing the hits that Ike and Tina recorded nearly 50 years ago and I first heard them on the old R&B Oakland-based radio station KDIA when they were initially released.

    What Ike Turner really craved is forgiveness from Tina and her public. That never happened and it no longer matters. He could have lived a better life but he did not. He made some great music and for that I will remember him.

  6. Befree

    Tina got zero money from him. Now if she got “get rich off of him” why in the hell he didn’t get rich off himself? LOL.

    She made a new career and she owns that. She was doing crappy shows in Vegas when he finshed kicking her ass.

    I had to speak up, and I don’t even like Tina Turner. ( long story) LOL

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