Musician Ike Turner died on Wednesday (Dec. 12) at his San Diego home. He was 76. There is no immediate word on the cause of death. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is best known for his work in the 1960s and ’70s as the husband and music partner of Tina Turner, but he remained active up until his death, winning a traditional blues album Grammy in 2007 for Risin’ With the Blues.
Many musicians consider Turner to be one of the fathers of rock and roll and credit him with recording the very first rock and roll record in 1951, when Turner’s Kings of Rhythm cut ”Rocket 88,” which would become a No. 1 R&B hit for Chess Records. He next went on to work with the Bihari brothers of L.A.’s Modern Records, becoming their talent scout and field producer in the Deep South. As such, Turner helped discover and produced blues artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, and Elmore James.
His first hit with Tina Turner was 1959’s ”A Fool in Love.” The duo went on to become one of the premier R&B /rock acts of the next decade and a half, pounding out a number of huge hits, including ”It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” ”River Deep – Mountain High,” ”I Want To Take You Higher,” and ”Proud Mary.” Ike and Tina broke up in 1976, and though most of Ike’s solo material has not been that well received (he battled addictions throughout the 1980s), critics sat up and took notice when he put out Blues in 2006, earning him the Grammy.
Despite his many accomplishments as a musician, his image will forever be identified with the drug-addicted, wife-abusing man depicted by Laurence Fishburne in the movie What’s Love Got To Do With It, based on Tina Turner’s autobiography. (EW.com/AP via Yahoo!)