Ike Turner, who gained nearly as much fame for his pioneering rock and soul music as he did being Tina Turner's abusive husband, died at age 76 today, the AP reports. The cause of death was not immediately known. Turner teamed with Tina for a series of powerful hits in the 1960s and '70s, including "River Deep, Mountain High" and their signature cover, "Proud Mary."
She divorced him in 1976, and soon his drug abuse and volatile treatment of her during their marriage became common knowledge. Turner had revived his career of late, earning a Grammy last year for a blues album. Many rock historians view his seminal 1951 album, Rocket 88, as the first rock and roll album, the AP notes. He didn't gain acclaim, however, until he met 18-year-old Tina in 1959 and made her lead singer of his group.