Content warning: This article contains references to sexual violence.
P.P. Arnold, the original singer of the classic tune “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” says in her forthcoming memoir Soul Survivor that she was sexually assaulted by Ike Turner.
In a new interview with The Telegraph, Arnold spoke about touring as a member of the Ikettes — the backup singers for the Ike and Tina Turner Revue — and claimed that Ike “trapped her in a room and raped her.”
“What can I say? It was awful,” she said. “I despised Ike on that level, but I didn’t know how to express myself. I was told Tina [Turner] wanted to get rid of me because Ike was after me. If I had run to Tina or called my parents, it would have meant I would have [had] to come home.”
The interview doesn’t clarify when the incident took place, but Arnold toured with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue around 1965 and began pursuing a solo career in 1966 or so. By 1967, she had a huge hit with “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” and charted again in 1968 with a cover of “Angel of the Morning.” In 1984, she performed in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Starlight Express, and in 2019 she released her most recent album, The New Adventures of… P.P. Arnold. Soul Survivor: The Autobiography is out this Thursday, July 7th.
Tina and Ike Turner were married from 1962 to 1978, and Tina has spoken many times about the domestic violence she experienced. As noted by Pitchfork, Tina wrote in her 2018 memoir My Love Story that, “Sex with Ike had become an expression of hostility — a kind of rape — especially when it began or ended with a beating.”
Ike Turner died in 2007 of a cocaine overdose exacerbated by emphysema. As for Tina, last year she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.