20 August

Pick a Day

20 AUGUST

In Music History

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2020 Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali dies of pancreatic cancer at 68.

2018 The RIAA certifies the Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 at 38 million units, making it the best-selling album of all-time in America, besting Michael Jackson's Thriller by 5 million (another Eagles album, Hotel California, is third with 26 million). Worldwide, Thriller is by far the biggest selling album.

2016 Former 3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts is found dead in a Wisconsin hotel room at age 38, presumably from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

2016 Tom Searle of the band Architects dies of skin cancer at age 28.

2012 Edgy alt band Green Day continues its hip appeal by partnering with the smash hit video game "Angry Birds." A special 10-level edition of the game, featuring Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool as green pigs, is launched by video game maker Rovio and players can even unlock a new Green Day song from the tenth level of the game.

2011 Jazz singer Ross Barbour (of The Four Freshmen) dies of cancer in Simi Valley, California, at age 82.

2009 Keyboardist/bassist Larry Knechtel (of Bread) dies of a heart attack in Yakima, Washington, at age 69.

2005 On what would have been Phil Lynott's 56th birthday, a concert is held in Dublin featuring Thin Lizzy members Brian Downey, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. Eric Bell, the original lead guitarist with Thin Lizzy, and Gary Moore share the lead on the classic "Whiskey In The Jar."

1992 Demi Lovato is born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

1992 Sting marries Trudie Styler at their estate in Wiltshire, England. The couple first met in 1977 when Sting was a struggling musician and Trudie was trying to make it as an actress.

1991 Spin Doctors release their debut album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite.More

1990 Prince releases his album Graffiti Bridge, which contains the tracks "Thieves In The Temple" and "New Power Generation."More

1988 Soundgarden play Capitol Lake Park in Olympia, Washington as part of Capitol Lake Jam. Also on the bill: Nirvana.

1987 Lindsey Buckingham, who helped turn Fleetwood Mac into one of the biggest-selling groups of the '70s, leaves the group after refusing to tour behind its latest album, Tango In The Night.

1987 Metallica play a secret show at The 100 Club in London. Two days later, they play Donington Park at Castle Donington as part of the massive Monsters of Rock Festival, headlined by Bon Jovi.

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Following "Cop Killer," Ice-T Wears A Police Uniform On Rolling Stone Cover

1992

Embroiled in controversy over his song "Cop Killer," Ice-T doubles down by appearing in a police uniform on the cover of Rolling Stone.


"Cop Killer" is a track on Body Count, the eponymous album from Ice-T's thrash metal band. It gets little attention until months after its release when a police group in Texas noticed the track and threatened to boycott Ice-T's parent label, Warner Bros. The label held firm, and the controversy spread, hitting a hot-button topic in an election year. The song is about what the title implies: murdering a cop. It's a revenge fantasy told from the perspective of a deranged sociopath fed up with how he's been treated by police. Ice-T drew from his days as a street hustler in Los Angeles. He had run-ins with the law and witness racism-fueled police brutality, but he never considered murder. "It's a record about a character," he says. "I know the character, I've woken up feeling like this character." The character argument holds water: He played a cop in the 1991 film New Jack City, and nobody accused him of promoting law enforcement. By appearing on the cover in uniform, he's simply portraying another character. Point taken. "Cop Killer" makes reference to Rodney King, a black motorist savagely beaten by four white police officers in Los Angeles. When the song was released, the trial was ongoing; in April 1992, the officers were found not guilty, lending credence to Ice-T's stance that police in the city consistently get away with brutalizing black suspects. After the verdict, riots raged in the city for days. Swept up in the controversy, Ice-T was targeted at the highest levels. Oliver North of the Freedom Alliance group called for criminal proceedings against Time Warner for sedition; President George H. W. Bush didn't mention the song by name, but said, "It is wrong for any company to issue records that approve of killing law enforcement officers." The Body Count album eventually sells over 500,000 copies. Ice-T and Warner Bros. part ways, and his next album, the menacing Home Invasion, is released on Priority Records in 1993. He again plays a cop when he joins the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2000 as Detective Fin Tutuola.

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