Controversial rock and roll pioneer Ike Turner, who passed away last month, died of an apparent cocaine overdose, according to a report filed by the San Diego County coroner's office on Wednesday (January 16). Turner had a long, well-known history of drug problems."The cause of death for Mr. Turner is cocaine toxicity with other significant additions contributing," Paul Parker, the chief investigator at the medical examiner's office, said in a statement earlier Wednesday. Those other factors included hypertensive cardiovascular disease and pulmonary emphysema.
Parker concluded that Turner's death would be ruled accidental, although an official announcement has not been made.
Though Turner was a famed musician and record producer, he was best known for his rocky relationship with Tina Turner and the claims of spousal abuse that she brought against him. During the 1980s, Turner was convicted of drug-related charges, and he was later sentenced to serve several years in a California state prison.
In recent years, Turner sought to ensure his legacy in a brighter light. He won his first Grammy Award in 2007 for Best Traditional Blues Album thanks to his Risin' with the Blues LP. And in a 2000 appearance on VH1's "Behind the Music," Turner seemed to recognize his need to come to terms with his past tribulations.
"I went back over my complete life, man, and I see the things that I did that was good and I see things that I've done that was wrong," he said. "I don't wanna be remembered as the demon they made me [in the media]. ... People that know me, what they really know I am, that's what I want to be remembered for."
On December 22, a funeral and memorial service were held for Turner in Gardena, California, south of Los Angeles. Phil Spector and Little Richard were among those who eulogized the late rock and roll pioneer, with Richard calling Turner "one of the greatest musicians I have ever met in my life."
Turner was 76 years old.