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Ike Turner's Scandals
- Ike Turner
The Ike Turner Wife Beating Scandal:
He made quite name for himself in the music business as a musician, songwriter, arranger, bandleader, record producer and talent scout. He also developed quite a reputation as a wife beater.
Ike Wister Tuner was born in Clarksdale Mississippi on November 5, 1931. He claimed seeing violence as a boy, saying his father was severely beaten by a mob of whites. (Others say his father died in an industrial accident.)
His mother remarried and Ike remembered his stepfather as a violent alcoholic, with whom he'd often argue and fight. Ike says he once knocked the older man out with a piece of wood.
He also said he was introduced to sex at the age of six by a middle aged woman, but later stated that in his time they didn't call it abuse – they called it fun.
When he was eight he started hanging around a local radio station, giving him his introduction to music and he learned to play the piano. By high school, Ike was putting together dance band called the Kings of Rhythm and came up with a song called "Rocket 88."
And then, in 1958, he met an 18year old nurse's aide named Annie Mae Bullock and she asked to audition for the band. Ike liked her voice and nicknamed her "Little Ann."
By 1960, they were recording together under the names Ike and Tina Turner.
Their backup singers were called "The Ikettes".
"Proud Mary" was their signature song, but they also had a big hit in England with 1965's "River Deep – Mountain High", produced by Phil Spector. It wasn't as successful in the U.S.
However, their professional and personal partnership was troubled. In her autobiography, "I Tina" she recounted his abusive behavior. By 1993, he was a full-fledged demon after the release of the film "What's Love got To Do with it". Played by Lawrence Fishburn, Ike was portrayed as a real brute. Here's a send from the movie, with Ike singing "Rocket 88."
And while some music notables like Spector (himself later convicted of killing a woman) called the movie a piece of trash, others said Ike did not maintain the best show-business persona.
Turner was married at least five times. He sometimes said he had thirteen wives. He and Tina divorced in1978. She accused him of violent spousal abuse. He later said: "Yeah I hit her, but I didn't hit her more than the average guy beats his wife."
Ike Turner became reclusive in the weeks before his death. He told a personal assistant he didn't think he'd make it to Christmas. He was right. Ike Turner died December 12, 2007 at age 76 …
…and was cremated at his home near San Diego.
By January, the San Diego Medical Examiner reported Ike died of a cocaine overdose. A daughter expressed surprise, figuring his advanced staged emphysema did him in.
In fact Turner once estimated that he spent eleven million dollars on cocaine, acknowledging in 1986 that he'd been an addict for 15 years.