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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 08:47 GMT
Founder of Atlantic Records dies
Ahmet Ertegun (r) and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones (file)
Mr Ertegun helped shape American popular music
The co-founder of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun has died, aged 83.

Mr Ertegun helped make Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin stars and signed the Rolling Stones in the early 70s.

He suffered a head injury when he fell at a Rolling Stones concert at New York's Beacon Theatre in October, and died after slipping into a coma.

He will be buried in his native Turkey, and a memorial service will be held in New York in the New Year, an Atlantic Records spokesman said.

'Mentor'

Ahmet Ertegun

"He was in a coma and expired today with his family at his bedside," his doctor, Dr Howard A Riina, said from New York.

Mr Ertegun, a jazz fanatic who came to the United States at the age of 11 when his father was named Turkish ambassador, founded Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson in 1947.

They quickly turned it into one of the leading independent jazz and rhythm and blues labels signing such names as Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington.

Successes came steadily including the signing of Led Zeppelin in the 1970s.

Atlantic Records
Founded by Ertegun in 1947
Began as a jazz and R&B label
Early artists included Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Ray Charles, the Drifters, Bobby Darin and Roberta Flack
In 1955 Atlantic tried to sign Elvis Presley but lost out to RCA
Later diversified with acts such as Sonny and Cher and Led Zeppelin
Current artists include James Blunt, Bloc Party, Hard-Fi, Genesis, Missy Elliot, Lil Kim and The Streets

The label is now part of the Warner Music Group, and includes acts such as Kid Rock, James Blunt and Missy Elliott.

The founder of Rolling Stone magazine, Jann Wenner, paid tribute to Ertegun's ability to act as a mentor to many in the music business.

"Ahmet was perhaps the most revered, respected figure in American popular music of the modern era," he said in a statement.


SEE ALSO
Obituary: Ahmet Ertegun
15 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
Rolling Stones 'beat tour record'
25 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Singer Ruth Brown dies at age 78
18 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Soul singer Wilson Pickett dies
20 Jan 06 |  Entertainment

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