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  • Atlantic Records Founder Dead at 83

    Thu, 14 Dec 2006 16:43:04

    Atlantic Records Founder Dead at 83 - Ahmet Ertegun helped popularize early R&B artists like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles.

    Ray Charles Photos

    • Ray Charles - LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Actor Kyle Massey attends the unveiling of the new Ray Charles stamp at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, Calif, on Monday, September 23, 2013. The limited-edition stamp is part of the Music Icons stamp series and is available for sale starting today, on what would have been Ray's 83rd birthday, at post offices nationwide.
    • Ray Charles - LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Reverend Jesse Jackson; singer Chaka Khan, Ten-time GRAMMY Award-winning performer; Cliff Rucker, U.S. Postal Service Vice President of Sales; Valerie Ervin, Executive Director of the Ray Charles Foundation; Joe Adams, Ray Charles' former manager, Raye Charles Robinson, Jr., Ray Charles' son attend the unveiling of the new Ray Charles stamp at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, Calif, on Monday, September 23, 2013. The limited-edition stamp is part of the Music Icons stamp series and is available for sale starting today, on what would have been his 83rd birthday, at post offices nationwide.
    • Ray Charles - ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23: General view of at Morehouse College - Ray Charles Performing Arts Center on September 23, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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    One of the most influential record executives in American music history, Ahmet Ertegun, died today (December 14th) at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the result of injuries he suffered in a fall at an October 29th Rolling Stones concert. He was 83 years old and had been in a coma since his fall.

    Ertegun was the co-founder and head of Atlantic Records, which first gained success in the 1950s with soul/R&B artists like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. The success of labels like Atlantic in helping black recording artists reach a wider audience paved the way for later hitmakers like Motown.

    Later, Atlantic was at the forefront of the British Invasion, introducing American audiences to up-and-coming British groups like the Stones, Cream and Led Zeppelin. Ertegun is credited with personally signing all three bands, as well as being the one who suggested that Neil Young form a supergroup with Crosby, Stills & Nash.

    Today, Atlantic is part of the Warner Music Group and continues to be one of the most successful labels in the industry at breaking new artists. Recent Atlantic success stories include James Blunt, Gnarls Barkley, T.I. and Sean Paul.

    Ertegun, the son of a Turkish ambassador, will be buried in his native Turkey, a spokesman for Atlantic said. A memorial service will be held in New York sometime after the New Year.

    --The ARTISTdirect Staff
    12.14.06



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    Tags: Ahmet Ertegun, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, James Blunt

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