Ike Turner Dead

Rocker and bluesman IKE TURNER has died at his San Marcos, California home, aged 76. The Proud Mary hitmaker was born Izear Luster Turner Jr in Clarksdale, Mississippi - the son of a trader who was beaten to death in a racial attack. He began his music career as a Mississippi-area DJ and pianist and later became a tough-talking, demanding band leader, finding early success with the Kings Of Rhythm, who scored a hit with Rocket 88 in 1951. The song turned Turner and his band into favourites in Memphis, Tennessee, where they recorded the track, and the Kings Of Rhythm spent four years backing blues greats like Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James and Buddy Guy, often recording with them at Sun Studios. The hard-working act went on to conquer other parts of America as Turner adopted a revue format for live performances and used the band to try out talented performers. One such talent was a teenage singer called Anna Mae Bullock, who became a regular part of Turner's revue in the mid-1950s. Bullock moved into Turner's house after falling pregnant by a bandmate. While living together, the pair embarked on a torrid affair and Bullock wed Turner, becoming Tina Turner, in 1958. Ike Turner enjoyed massive chart success in the 1960s and 1970s with his then-wife, scoring hits with tracks like Proud Mary and Nutbush City Limits - and touring with The Rolling Stones. With international success came problems and Turner developed a cocaine addiction, which, in turn, transformed him into a violent control freak, who would often pick on his wife and accuse her of trying to destroy his act. In her autobiography, she accused Ike of beating her and deliberately burning her with cigarettes and coffee. Unable to cope with the abuse any more, Tina walked out on her husband in the middle of a 1975 tour. The couple divorced the following year. Ike Turner became a famous cocaine addict during the late 1970s - the drug drained his finances, and brought him many legal woes. He was arrested numerous times for drug-related crimes. As his ex-wife's solo career took off, Ike struggled to stay clean and when he and Tina were jointly inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1991, he was unable to attend the ceremony because he was serving prison time. Ike was vilified as a wife beater in the media and demonised in Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got To Do With It. During the 1990s, Turner remarried and turned his back on drugs. His autobiography, Takin' Back My Name, was a hit in 1999 and he released a comeback record in 2001, Here And Now, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. He lost that prize but won his second Grammy earlier this year (07).


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