30 April

Pick a Day

30 APRIL

In Music History

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2018 The #MuteRKelly campaign picks up steam when Ava DuVernay tweets her support. The campaign is designed to marginalize R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.More

2015 Ben E. King, songwriter and singer of "Stand By Me," dies at age 76.

2014 Larry Ramos (guitarist, banjo player for The New Christy Minstrels, The Association) dies at age 72 from malignant melanoma.

2013 Actress and singer Deanna Durbin dies in Neauphle-le-Château, France, at age 91.

2011 Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon welcome twins: daughter Monroe and son Moroccan.

2008 Mariah Carey marries rapper and TV personality Nick Cannon at a secret ceremony in the Bahamas.

2007 Zola Taylor (of The Platters) dies after suffering numerous strokes and contracting pneumonia at age 69 in Riverside, California.

2006 Madonna plays a festival for the first time when she appears at Coachella.

2004 Michael Jackson is arraigned on his child molestation charges, pleading not guilty to ten different criminal counts, also including extortion and false imprisonment.

2003 1960s soul icon Earl King is buried in his hometown of New Orleans with an authentic jazz funeral. Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton send their condolences.

2002 Roger Daltrey of The Who stars as a music teacher on the "That '70s Musical" episode of That '70s Show.

1999 Darrell Sweet (drummer for Nazareth) dies of a heart attack at age 51 while on tour promoting the band's Boogaloo album.

1994 Ireland wins the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time in a row. Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan's performance of "Rock 'N' Roll Kids" at the Point Theatre in Dublin wows the international voting panels and gives the country a record sixth win. The show's interval features the first ever performance of Michael Flatley's Riverdance, which goes on to massive global success.

1988 An unknown Canadian singer named Celine Dion wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland. Her song "Ne partez pas sans moi" beats the United Kingdom's entry by a single point. The success encourages her to learn English, and two years later her fifteenth studio album, Unison (1990), reaches #4 in the US chart. She goes on to become one of the most successful singers in the world - her biggest hit, 1997's "My Heart Will Go On", selling over 15 million copies.

1983 Blues musician Muddy Waters dies of heart failure at age 70 in his Westmont, Illinois, home.

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"Beat It" Tops The Hot 100 As Thriller Takes Off

1983

Michael Jackson's fight is funky and strong, as "Beat It" hits #1 in America for the first of three weeks.

With Thriller's "The Girl Is Mine" pairing him with Paul McCartney and "Billie Jean" topping charts around the world, Jackson is on the verge of superstardom. Quincy Jones, who produced the record along with Jackson, wanted a rock-and-roll number to round out the album and boost the singer's crossover appeal. Jackson explained: "I wanted to write a song, the type of song that I would buy if I were to buy a rock song... That is how I approached it and I wanted the children to really enjoy it - the school children as well as the college students."

Enter "Beat It," a rock-driven single inspired by the perils of gang life, complete with an overdriven guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen.

Jackson is one of the first artists to use music videos to promote an album, and he goes all-out with this one, showing off his dance moves in the midst of a street battle. Along with "Billie Jean" and the forthcoming "Thriller" clip, the popular video makes Jackson one of the first black artists to gain regular airplay on MTV, while the success of the song itself is a testament to his appeal to both black and white audiences.

Along with accolades for the album, "Beat It" takes home two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male.

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