Published Dec 12, 2007Legendary rock'n'roll pioneer Ike Turner passed away at his home in San Marcos, California this morning. The cause of death has yet to be determined. Turner was 76.
Known for his personal life as much as his professional life, Turner built a reputation over the years for his hot-headed temper and his songwriting chops.
Turner's career rose in 1951 when he played on what is considered the first rock'n'roll song, "Rocket 88" by his band the Rhythm Kings. Throughout the '50s he played with everyone from B.B. King to Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, and married Annie Mae Bullock in 1958. Bullock soon after changed her name to Tina Turner, and the couple went on to collaborate on a string of hits like "River Deep Mountain High" and "Proud Mary." However, they divorced in 1976 after a tumultuous relationship that subjected Tina to abuse and humiliation large in part to Ike's cocaine addiction. (As one Exclaim!er puts it, "He won't be slapping anyone around any time soon.")
Though he never quite had the same impact after the split from Tina, Ike spent the remaining years on the road, touring constantly, and remained sober for the final 14 years of his life. He and Tina were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
Ike & Tina Turner "River Deep Mountain High"