A three-hour funeral and memorial service for Ike Turner was held Friday at the Greater Bethany Community Church City of Refuge in Gardena, California, south of Los Angeles.
Phil Spector and Little Richard were among those who eulogized the late rock and roll pioneer, according to The Associated Press. Little Richard reportedly called Turner “one of the greatest musicians I have ever met in my life.”
Turner’s eight-piece band, the Kings of Rhythm, reportedly performed “Nutbush City Limits,” “Proud Mary” and more of the rock legend’s greatest hits.
The Ikettes, a female trio who backed the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, were also in attendance, according to TMZ.com.
Turner was a musician, bandleader, talent scout and record producer best known for his work with former wife Tina Turner. He died December 12 at his home in San Marcos, California, at age 76.
According to TMZ.com, Turner will be cremated. The disposition of the ashes has not been announced, the site says.
Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and he was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2001. Ike released his last solo album, Risin’ With the Blues, in 2006, and it earned him a Grammy Award.
While his contributions to the world of music were largely overshadowed by his personal turmoil (documented in the 1993 Tina Turner biopic, “What’s Love Got to Do With It”), Turner was a true rock legend, having released what many consider to be the first rock and roll song, “Rocket 88″ (albeit under the name of his band’s singer, Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats), in 1951.
Little Richard alluded to Turner’s personal troubles in his eulogy, as did others, although no one addressed his domestic- or drug-abuse problems.
“Stop holding this mess — whatever it is — against this man. Even Jesus forgives,” Richard said.
Spector, on the other hand, made direct accusations at Tina Turner — as well as Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg — in his eulogy. He reportedly said, “Ike made Tina the jewel she was,” and that he was “demonized and vilified” by her. Spector — was tried for murder earlier this year — also said Winfrey and Goldberg “demonized” Ike Turner on their talk shows, and that the “What’s Love Got to Do With It” biopic was a “piece of trash movie,” according to AP.
“He was sent to prison for no other reason than he was a black man in America.”