Atlantic founder Ertegun buried in Turkey


ISTANBUL - U.S. rock star Kid Rock and Turkish singer Tarkan were among those who paid tribute on Monday to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who launched the careers of Ray Charles and Led Zeppelin.

Ertegun died last week in New York aged 83.

Time Warner CEO Lyor Kohen and many of Turkey's business elite also joined members of Ertegun's family to pay their respects to him at the Muslim ceremony near the Bosphorus.

"He performed a great service for the Turkish people ... His death leaves a great emptiness," said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who represented the Turkish government at the ceremony.

Tarkan said: "He was both father and elder brother for me. He did a lot for me. He was a great man."

Atlantic Records, founded in 1947 in New York, has become one of the world's biggest record companies and is now owned by Warner Music Group Corp.

A lover of jazz and blues when they were still unknown to many Americans, Ertegun is credited with helping to pioneer rock 'n' roll by being one of the first music executives to sell music by black artists to white youth in the 1950s.

In his long career, Ertegun worked with the likes of the Rolling Stones and John Coltrane and was also closely associated with the Three Tenors, the superstar combo of Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

The bald, goateed bon vivant was designated a "living legend" by the Library of Congress in 2000. He fell into a coma after hitting his head at a Rolling Stones concert in October.

Ertegun was born in Istanbul on July 31, 1923, and was educated in Europe and the United States where his father served as Turkish ambassador.