Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary record man and founder of Atlantic Records, died today in New York City, from the head injury he suffered while attending a Rolling Stones concert in October at the Beacon Theatre. He was 83.

Ertegun suffered a severe brain injury and was in a coma. He passed away with his family at his bedside, according to a statement put out by the Warner Music Group.

"All of us at Atlantic Records are profoundly saddened by the loss of our founder and mentor," said Atlantic chairman/CEO Craig Kallman said in a statment. "The music community has lost a pioneer and an icon, and we have lost our father. 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."

Warner Music Group chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said in a statement, "Ahmet's visionary talents as a businessman and as a recording industry pioneer are the stuff of legend, but it is his lifelong pursuit of truth -- as distilled into music -- that I find most inspiring. For all of us at Warner Music, it has been an honor to work with Ahmet. He showed us all how to live life with passion, integrity, generosity, and joy, and we will miss him deeply."

Ertegun co-founded Atlantic Records in 1947 with friend Herb Abramson and built the independent label into an R&B powerhouse that released records by Ray Charles, Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker and the Drifters among others.

In the 1960's Atlantic continued to dominate the genre with artists like Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Percy Sledge as well as a deal to distributed the Stax label and its roster of stars that included Otis Redding and Booker T. During that decade the label also moved into pop and rock by signing such artists as Sony & Cher in the mid-1960's and later, Buffalo Springfield, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Crosby Stills & Nash.

The label was eventually sold to Steven Ross' Warner-Seven Arts, but Ertegun retained creative control for decades more and was still closely associated with the label, through mentoring the current management team at the label and in the corporate ranks of the Warner Music Group, at the time of his death.

"Yes, the business has changed," Ertegun told Billboard in January 1998. "We're expected to do 15% better than the previous year, every year, and entertainment is not the kind of business where you can predict any outcome. So we can budget that we're going to do 15% or 20% better than last year, but it all depends on how well the records come out. And we have very little control any more over that, because we are not producing the records; we're just signing up the talent."

Ertegun will be buried in a private ceremony in his native Turkey. A memorial service will be conducted in New York after the New Year.