LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Ike Turner, whose musical achievements were largely overshadowed by the notoriety he received after his former wife and recording partner Tina Turner said he had abused her, won his first Grammy Award since 1972 on Sunday.
The 75-year-old R&B veteran took home the traditional blues album award for “Risin’ with the Blues.” He won his only other Grammy — shared with Tina Turner — in 1972 for their cover of “Proud Mary.”
Also nominated were Tab Benoit with Louisiana’s Leroux, Dion, James Hunter and Duke Robillard.
“I’m scared to death,” Turner said in accepting the award, accompanied by his son, Ike Jr.
Turner helped pioneer rock ‘n’ roll in 1951 when his band the Rhythm Kings recorded the song “Rocket 88,” a tune widely regarded as the first record in the nascent genre. (The Chess Records release was credited to the band’s saxophone player Jackie Brenston “and his Delta Cats.”)
As a guitarist and pianist, Turner played with the likes of B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon in the 1950s. He married Annie Mae Bullock in 1958, she changed her name to Tina, and they enjoyed such hits as “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Proud Mary” and “Nutbush City Limits.”
After their 1976 divorce, he was crippled by a cocaine addiction and was widely vilified in the mid-1980s as Tina Turner mounted a huge comeback and said she had suffered abuse and humiliation at his hand.
While contemporaries such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley crossed over to white audiences, Ike Turner never made the jump and was confined to the less-lucrative R&B category.
The Turners were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, but he was serving a two-year prison sentence at the time for cocaine possession.
The 49th annual Grammy Awards, the music industry’s highest honors, were handed out at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.