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Ike Turner's Death Blamed On Cocaine Overdose

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Ike Turner, ex-hubby to Tina Turner and a "rock and roll pioneer", died last month on December 12 in his northern San Diego county home. The cause of death was not immediately known then, but today, the results from the coroner came to light.

"We are listing that he abused cocaine, and that's what resulted in the cocaine toxicity,'' said Paul Parker, chief investigator at the medical examiner's office. The findings were first reported by the North County Times.

The medical examiner's office also listed hypertensive cardiovascular disease and pulmonary emphysema as "significant and contributing factors'' to Turner's death, Parker said.


Turner once told The Associated Press he originally began using drugs to stay awake and handle the rigors of nonstop touring during his glory years. [KNX 1070 via AP]

Despite winning a Grammy this year in the traditional blues category ("Risin' With the Blues") , being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and known for having the first rock 'n' roll record ("Rocket 88," 1951), Turner's image is marked in the media with drug addiction and wife-abuse (think Laurence Fishburne in Tina Turner's autobiography, "What's Love Got To Do With It"). Turner later denied his ex-wife's claims of abuse.
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Between their split and his death, Turner turned to drugs, eventually be jailed for over a year in 1989, was married many, many more times, battled emphysema and made a comeback in 2001 out of obscurity with the Grammy nominated album "Here and Now." He ended his last years of life acknowledging his mistakes and focusing his passion on music with pride.

Below is an audio from Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions ("the world's only rock n' roll talk show") giving summary of the good things Ike did.

Show #109: 12.28.07 - Sound Opinions

And now some photos of Little Richard and Phil Spector at Ike Turner's funeral.


Little Richard speaks at Turner's funeral | Photo by Jonathan Alcorn via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

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Phil Spector and wife leave the funeral for Ike Turner, Spector ripped Oprah Winfrey and Tina Turner referring to "That piece of crap movie" meaning the biopic ,What's Love Got to Do with It, which detailed Ike's abuse of Tina | Photo by Jonathan Alcorn via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr