1 April

Pick a Day

1 APRIL

In Music History

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2020 Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne dies at 52 after contracting coronavirus. He's one of the first popular entertainers to die from the virus, which a week later claims the life of John Prine.

2016 Actor-turned-singer Kiefer Sutherland releases his debut single, "Not Enough Whiskey."

2015 Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon's first wife, dies of cancer at age 75 in Mallorca, Spain.

2008 Scott Weiland officially departs Velvet Revolver, effectively ending the band.

2008 The Rolling Stones release Shine A Light, the soundtrack to their concert film of the same name, directed by Martin Scorsese.

2007 The Hammersmith Palais in London, subject of The Clash song "(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais," hosts its last concert - a gig by The Fall.

2005 Jack Keller dies of leukemia at age 68 in Nashville, Tennessee. The songwriter is known for his pop collaborations with Howard Greenfield, including "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" and "Run To Him." He was also a writer and producer for The Monkees TV series.

2004 Guitarist Paul Atkinson (of The Zombies) dies at age 58 from liver and kidney disease, while also suffering from cancer.

1999 "Shake, Rattle And Roll" composer Jesse Stone, aka Charles Calhoun, dies at age 97 in Alamonte Springs, Florida.

1995 Tupac Shakur is in jail (serving time for sexual abuse), but his third album, Me Against the World, hits #1, where it stays for four weeks.

1992 Billy Idol pleads no contest to charges of misdemeanor assault and battery and is fined $2,000. The incident happened in October 1991, when Idol ended up in a car with two women and allegedly punched one of them. Alcohol was involved.

1992 MC Hammer's 2 Legit 2 Quit tour begins in Hampton, Virginia. By the end of the tour, two of his support acts have become more popular than he is: Boyz II Men and TLC.

1992 Jimmy Buffett and his wife Jane welcome their second daughter, Sarah Delaney.

1992 Nigel Preston, drummer and founding member of The Cult, dies of a heroin overdose at age 28.

1991 At his Wembley Arena concert in London, Rod Stewart calls for his wife Rachel Hunter to join him on stage for "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)," but she instead sends out his buddy Elton John, dressed in women's clothes and makeup, to prank her husband. Stewart gamely plays along and sings to Elton.

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YouTube Rickrolls Users

2008

On April Fools' Day, YouTube tricks users with the popular bait-and-switch prank called Rickrolling by featuring video links that actually lead to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" music video. Several other websites have the same idea, creating an unintentional, internet-wide April Fools' joke.

"Never Gonna Give You Up" is the hit 1987 single that introduced the world to British singer Rick Astley's dreamy baritone and unwittingly set a plan in motion that would come to fruition 20 years later. Before there was Rickrolling, there was Duckrolling. It started on the internet forum 4chan when the owner made the word "egg" autocorrect to "duck," turning "eggroll" into "duckroll." An image of a duck with wheels emerged to give it representation, and users had some fun tricking others into clicking links that led to the duck. Astley came into the story in May 2007, when a user on 4chan's video game forum posted a link claiming to be the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV game trailer, but actually led to Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" video. "Duckrolling" evolved into "Rickrolling," and a new internet phenomenon was born. By the time April Fools' Day rolls around in 2008, over 25 million people click on YouTube's copies of the video. Either a lot of people have been Rickrolled, or someone has an unhealthy obsession with '80s dance-pop. "Never Gonna Give You Up" was Astley's first single. Composed by the hitmaking production team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, it soared to #1 in his native UK and also in America. His next US single, "Together Forever," also hit the top spot, and in the UK each of his first eight singles hit the Top 10. After his fourth album in 1993 he retreated from the spotlight, with just a few limited releases. The Rickrolling trend thrusts him back into the media glare, but instead of capitalizing on it with a remix or other money-grabbing release, he continues to lay low, showing up only for a few (high-paying) stunts like popping out of a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float where he lip-syncs the song. He's generally amused by the trend and takes it in stride. Rickrolling really gets out of hand a week after the April Fools' stunt when – with nearly 5 million online votes - the song nearly becomes the official eighth-inning singalong for the New York Mets. Most of the votes are submitted by pranksters looking for a laugh, so the team decides to poll the fans on Opening Day, where "Never Gonna Give You Up" elicits boos from the crowd. The White House even gets in on the action a few years later on Twitter. When a critic complains about a boring White House correspondence briefing, @whitehouse replies with a link to a fun "WHChat" ... one that will never give you up or let you down. Astley makes a triumphant return in 2016 with his album 50, which goes to #1 in the UK. When he performs, "Never Gonna Give You Up" remains in his repertoire and is always a fan favorite. He gets lots of support from Dave Grohl, who brings him on stage with the Foo Fighters to perform the song.

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