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R&B Legend Ike Turner, 1931-2007

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R&B Legend Ike Turner, 1931-2007

R&B Legend Ike Turner, 1931-2007

R&B Legend Ike Turner, 1931-2007

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17253727/17253719" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ike Turner performs in July 2003 at a jazz festival in France. Some rock writers identify his "Rocket 88" as the first rock 'n' roll recording. Vanina Luccesi/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Vanina Luccesi/AFP/Getty Images

Ike Turner performs in July 2003 at a jazz festival in France. Some rock writers identify his "Rocket 88" as the first rock 'n' roll recording.

Vanina Luccesi/AFP/Getty Images

Ike Turner, the soul-music star and rock 'n' roll pioneer, died this week. He was 76, and had reportedly suffered from emphysema.

Turner shaped the sound of early rock 'n' roll, co-writing and playing piano on the 1951 song "Rocket 88." (He was the "Jackie Brenston" of Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.)

Then, in 1958, he discovered a singer named Anna Mae Bullock; before long, she and his band both had new names, and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue became one of the hottest acts of the '60s and early '70s

His legacy as a songwriter and bandleader was tarnished, though, when Tina Turner revealed that their 13-year marriage was marred by drug abuse and domestic violence.

We remember him with this Fresh Air interview from Aug. 22, 1996.