Ike Turner – musician and producer
Ike Turner was a DJ and self-taught pianist and guitarist.
Ike Wister Turner was born on November 5, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Ike actually was influential in rock ‘n’ roll. The Kings of Rhythm was formed as they were around 1948. This group impressed both B B King and then Sam Phillips, who signed The Kings to Sun Records, issuing the hugely influential Rocket 88. The band moved to St Louis, where they became one of the most highly regarded acts. The leader operated a strict “no alcohol/no drugs” policy that was to resonate paradoxically in his later life.
Annie Mae Bullock (Tina), the daughter of sharecroppers, joined Turner’s touring band as a backup vocalist in 1956, when she was 18. In 1959 they found Ike & Tina Turner duo. The partnership would result in one of popular music’s most combustible sounds.
Known for their impressive live performances, Ike and Tina Turner were an immediate crossover sensation who eventually released some 29 albums on various labels. Their first album, The Soul of Ike and Tina Turner was released in 1964 on Sue and their final album, Nutbush City Limits, was recorded in 1973.
Bullock became Turner’s second wife. In 1976, Tina left her husband after a violent incident ahead of a concert at the Dallas Statler Hilton. After years of mistreatment and abuse, Tina left Ike in 1975. She divorced him and rebuilt her career as a solo artist. In 1984, at the age of 45, she was once more an international sensation.
In 1990, the musician was sentenced to four years’ incarceration for attempting to sell the drug to an undercover cop three years previously. Turner was released on parole after seventeen months.
In 1991 Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Turner had been recording and performing with eclectic British act Gorillaz when he learned of his diagnosis with emphysema in 2005.
Ike Turner died on 12 December 2007, at seventy-six years of age. His funeral was held three days before Christmas, at the Refuge Church, Gardena, California.
In 2010, the musician was posthumously honoured with commemorative plaques unveiled by the state of Mississippi.