Atlantic Co-Founder Ahmet Ertegun Dies

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By: Rizoh

      Ahmet Ertegun, the Turkish diplomat’s son who co-founded Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson in 1947, died Thursday (December 14, 2006) of a brain injury. He was 83.

      As previously reported, Ertegun never recovered from a fall he sustained on October 29 at a Rolling Stones event.

      The music community has lost a pioneer and an icon, and we have lost our father," said Atlantic CEO Craig Kallman. Ahmet changed the course of modern music and culture, and he will live on through the timeless legacy of work that was created under his direction and care."

      Ertegun’s Atlantic lineup included Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, Bette Midler, Eric Clapton and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as many stars of modern jazz.

      Jerry Heller, co-founder of Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records and manager of N.W.A. issued a statement crediting Ahmet Ertegun as being responsible for the first West Coast hip-hop group to go gold. Ruthless’ JJ Fad became the first West Coast rap group to go gold with the success of their hit album "Supersonic."

      Heller says of Ertegun, "Ahmet brought integrity, vision, style and class to the music business. A giant among mere mortals. His presence will be sorely missed by those of us who had the privilege of knowing him."

      A private funeral will be held in Turkey next week.