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Wham! Play China - April 7, 1985
7 April

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2020 Acclaimed singer-songwriter John Prine dies at 73 after coming down with coronavirus.

2015 Don McLean's original manuscript to his lyric for "American Pie" sells at auction for $1.2 million. Says McLean: "I thought it would be interesting as I reach age 70 to release this work product on the song 'American Pie' so that anyone who might be interested will learn that this song was not a parlor game."

2014 25-year-old Peaches Geldof, daughter of the Live Aid mastermind Bob Geldof, is found dead in Kent, England, after overdosing on heroin. Her mother, Paula Yates, died in 2000 when Peaches was 11.

2013 Andy Johns (engineer for Led Zeppelin, Television, and The Rolling Stones) dies at age 62 of complications from a stomach ulcer.

2009 The jukebox musical Rock of Ages, a celebration of glam metal and classic rock of the '80s, opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. More

2008 The newly reunited Stone Temple Pilots announce a 65-date reunion tour and play for the first time since 2002.

2007 Beyoncé's "Beautiful Liar," featuring Latin-pop star Shakira, breaks the record for the highest leap on the Billboard Hot 100 when it jumps 91 places to #3. The record was previously held by Akon, whose "Smack That," featuring Eminem, rose from #95 to #7 (ultimately peaking at #2) in 2006.

1999 Shania Twain's third album Come On Over is certified Diamond (10 million in sales) by the RIAA, making her the first female artist with back-to-back Diamond albums; her second album, The Woman in Me, was certified in 1997.

1998 Drummer Carlos Vega (James Taylor's band) dies at age 41 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound the day before he is scheduled to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show alongside James Taylor.

1998 Mary Bono, who was married to Sonny Bono when he died in a skiing accident four months earlier, wins a special election to claim her husband's seat in California's 44th Congressional District. Mary, who has no previous political experience, holds office until 2013.

1988 When the piano wire that keeps him safely suspended during his gallows stunt snaps, Alice Cooper nearly hangs himself for real on stage at Wembley Arena in London. He's able to slip his chin over the rope to keep his neck from snapping until a roadie can rescue him.

1987 Jazz singer Maxine Sullivan, known for her 1937 swing version of "Loch Lomond," dies after suffering a seizure at age 75 in New York City.

1987 Whitesnake slides into hair metal with their seventh, self-titled album. It's by far their most successful, with the MTV hits "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love?"

1984 New British Invasion: 40 of the artists on the US Top 100 singles chart are Brits - a new record.

1981 Rick James releases his most successful album, Street Songs, with "Fire And Desire" and "Super Freak."

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Wham! Play China


Wham! become the first Western pop group to play in China when they perform at the Worker's Gymnasium in Beijing. Footage from their trip appears in the video for their song "Freedom."

The trip is spearheaded by Wham!'s manager, Simon Napier-Bell, who spent 18 months arranging the trip with the Chinese government, a communist regime that typically denies such requests. It's a tough sell, but China is looking to change their image and spur foreign investment, so they agree to the concert. Wham! is not widely known in China, which limits access to outside media. The audience is mostly government officials and curious teenagers. They don't sing along or show much emotion during the show, but the show goes off without incident. The opening act is a local singer named Cheng Fangyuan, who performs Wham! songs in Chinese. At the show, cassette tapes are given a given to audience members with his covers on one side and the Wham! originals on the other. The global superstars are a good fit for this trip, as they aren't the least bit political or controversial (two adjectives that later apply to George Michael). The "Freedom" video opens like a documentary, with Michael and Andrew Ridgeley talking about the trip under footage of their adventures in China. MTV objects, not because of the content, but because at 6:30, it's way too long for their taste. Wham! has clout on the network though, and their manager refuses to edit the clip. MTV complies and airs it in full form.



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