1 January

Pick a Day

Music History Events: Debut Albums

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August 14, 2015 The first presidential playlists are released. Barack Obama's selections include tracks by Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and John Legend.More

June 17, 2014 Sam Smith releases his debut album, In the Lonely Hour, in the US.

April 21, 2014 Big Sean becomes the first rapper to perform at the White House when he duets with Ariana Grande on "Right There" at the annual Easter Egg Roll.

October 5, 2012 Adele posts her new theme to Skyfall, the 23rd film in the James Bond series. The theme song, written by Adele and her songwriting partner Paul Epworth, features a 77-piece backing orchestra. In an informal Billboard poll, 69% of responses vote it the best theme to a Bond film ever.

September 13, 2011 The B-52s play their first ever show in Idaho, finally performing their song "Private Idaho" in the state that inspired it.

October 27, 2009 Country singer Brantley Gilbert releases his debut album, Modern Day Prodigal Son. It includes the song "My Kinda Party," which becomes a hit for Jason Aldean the following year.

May 19, 2009 The first episode of the TV show Glee airs, featuring a Glee Club performance of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" that brings the song back to the charts. The Glee version lands at #4 - which is five spots higher than Journey's original.

June 17, 2008 With Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne becomes the first artist since 50 Cent in 2005 to sell more than 1 million copies of an album in a single week.

June 17, 2008 Katy Perry's major-label debut album, One of the Boys, is released, featuring the hit single "I Kissed a Girl." It's not her first album: In 2001 she released a gospel album under her real name, Katy Hudson.More

March 3, 2008 Duffy releases her debut album, Rockferry, featuring the hit "Mercy." It sells about 9 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling album of 2008 in the UK. For her next album, Endlessly, she uses a different writing, production and marketing team, with disastrous results, as the album is a startling commercial failure with no hit singles.More

July 1, 2006 During the brief time when American Idol Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks is the most popular Taylor in music, his first single, "Do I Make You Proud?," hits #1 in America.More

November 6, 2005 The Four Seasons musical Jersey Boys opens on Broadway to rave reviews.

October 26, 2004 Sugarland's debut album, Twice the Speed of Life, is released. It is the only Sugarland album to feature Kristen Hall, who leaves the band in 2005.

September 1, 2004 Under pressure to account for download sales, the Official Charts company releases its first UK Download Chart. The boy band Westlife claims the #1 spot with a live release of their 1999 song "Flying Without Wings."More

October 11, 2003 Justin Timberlake makes his first appearance on Saturday Night Live, doing double-duty as host and musical guest. It's the first of many appearances he makes on the show through the coming years; his sketches eventually grow to include a Bee Gees parody, a sketch about dating Lady Gaga, a bailiff in a courtroom trial of an alligator, "the Target lady," appearing in drag onstage with Beyoncé, and the infamous "Dick in a Box" bit.

June 24, 2003 Beyoncé releases her first solo album, Dangerously in Love. The standout track is "Crazy In Love," which features her boyfriend, Jay-Z.

March 4, 2003 Evanescence release their first album, Fallen, featuring the hits "Bring Me To Life" and "Going Under."

November 5, 2002 Justin Timberlake releases his debut solo album, Justified. It debuts at #2 in America and earns Top 5 entries with the singles "Cry Me A River" and "Rock Your Body."

June 11, 2002 The TV show American Idol premieres on the FOX network. The show is a reality-show talent contest judged by three hosts, and becomes one of the most popular network reality shows. Singers who win a season of American Idol go on to fame, fortune, and record contracts.
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May 15, 2002 The Wu-Tang Name Generator goes online. The apps turns your real name into one suited for the rap collective; the Songfacts Calendar Wu name is Drunken Desperado.

Donald Glover gets his stage name from the generator, becoming Childish Gambino.

March 26, 2001 Gorillaz launch their debut self-titled album, which becomes a surprise chart success in the US. Although the band's vocalist Damon Albarn is well known in Europe through his band Blur, he is virtually unknown in the States, leading to low expectations for the release. The album eventually sells over a million copies, and peaks at #14 on the Albums chart.

February 8, 2001 Katy Perry releases her self-titled debut gospel album under her real name, Katy Hudson.

May 23, 2000 A Perfect Circle release their debut album, Mer de Noms. In addition to Maynard James Keenan of Tool, the group features guitarist Billy Howerdel and drummer Josh Freese, who had been working on the Chinese Democracy album for Guns N' Roses. Mer de Noms racks up worldwide sales of well over 2 million; Chinese Democracy doesn't appear until 2008.

February 23, 1999 Eminem drops his first major-label album, The Slim Shady LP. He quickly becomes the most controversial rapper in the game.More

January 12, 1999 Britney Spears releases her first album, ...Baby One More Time.More

December 18, 1998 Alice Cooper's Cooper'stown restaurant opens in Phoenix (try the "Welcome To My Nightmare" chili). To celebrate, Cooper performs with his original bandmates Michael Bruce and Neal Smith - the first time the three have been on stage together in 24 years.

February 22, 1997 The Spice Girls conquer America as their debut single, "Wannabe," hits #1.More

July 8, 1996 Spice Girls release their debut single, "Wannabe," in the UK. It shoots to #1, setting Spice-mania in motion. The single is released in the US in January 1997, and climbs to the top spot there as well.

February 28, 1995 Jewel Kilcher releases her debut album, Pieces of You, under the mononym Jewel.More

December 6, 1994 Bush release their debut album Sixteen Stone, which takes off in America but is largely ignored in their native England.More

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