Turkish-American music mentor and founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, dies at age 83.
Ahmet Ertegun, who was born July 31, 1923 in Istanbul will be laid to rest in Turkey. A memorial service will be held after New Year’s in New York, said Bob Kaus, a spokesman for Ertegun’s family and Atlantic Records.
“He was in a coma and expired today with his family at his bedside,” his doctor, Dr Howard A Riina, said from New York.
Ahmet Ertegun, came to the United States at the age of 11, when his father was named Turkish ambassador, and founded Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson in 1947.
Ertegun turned Atlantic Records (Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Bee Gees …) into a powerhouse with the help of a $10,000 loan from his dentist. Later Warner Seven-Art bought the label in ’67. Even though Warner Seven-Art bought into the label Ertegun managed to stay on to help create the albums we all love, which changed two years later.
The label is under Warner Music Group, and includes a roster of artists such as Kid Rock, Lil Kim and Missy Elliott.
“All of us at Atlantic Records are profoundly saddened by the loss of our founder and mentor,” said Atlantic Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman.