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Music History Events: Milestones

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November 3, 1990 "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice hits #1 in the US, marking the first time a rapper has topped the chart.More

September 10, 1990 Starring a young rapper named Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air debuts on NBC. Smith hones his acting skills during his six seasons on the show, which features guest appearances by his musical partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff.More

January 27, 1990 Soundgarden become the first grunge band to make the Billboard albums chart when Louder Than Love shows up at #168 (Phil Collins is at #1 with ...But Seriously). It peaks at #108 in March.

October 7, 1989 Paula Abdul's first album, Forever Your Girl, hits #1 in America. The album was released on June 13, 1988 and first appeared on the chart July 23 that year. It took 64 more weeks to hit the top spot, a record for the longest climb to the top.

September 5, 1989 Soundgarden release Louder Than Love, the first grunge album on a major label (A&M).

March 2, 1989 "Like A Prayer" becomes the first hit song to debut in a commercial when it is used in a 2-minute Pepsi ad starring Madonna.More

February 3, 1989 "Wild Thing" by Tone Loc becomes the first rap single certified Platinum, with sales of over a million.

September 24, 1988 Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy" becomes the first a cappella song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

July 2, 1988 Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana" hits #1 on the Hot 100, making him the first artist to score five #1 singles from the same album (Bad).

May 11, 1988 Still going strong, the legendary songwriter Irving Berlin turns 100. A concert celebrating his life and music takes place at Carnegie Hall, with Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Ray Charles and Rosemary Clooney all taking part.

January 23, 1988 At age 16, Tiffany becomes the youngest female singer with a #1 album in the US when her self-titled debut tops the chart.

July 28, 1987 The Ice-T album Rhyme Pays becomes the first hip-hop album to get a warning label for explicit lyrics.

May 16, 1987 U2 break big in America with their first #1 hit in that country, "With Or Without You," from the album The Joshua Tree. Their next single, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," follows to #1, cementing their superstar status.

March 7, 1987 Licensed To Ill by Beastie Boys becomes the first rap album to top the US chart. It stays at #1 for seven weeks.

October 11, 1986 "When I Think of You" by Janet Jackson goes to #1 on the Hot 100, making her and Michael the first siblings to land #1 solo singles on the chart. The song is also the first #1 produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who reach the summit 15 more times.

July 19, 1986 Genesis have their first (and only) #1 Hot 100 hit as "Invisible Touch" tops the chart.More

July 15, 1986 Run-DMC's Raising Hell becomes the first rap album certified Platinum.

April 19, 1986 You don't have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude: Prince hits #1 in the US with "Kiss." The #2 song is "Manic Monday" by the Bangles, which he wrote.More

November 9, 1985 The Miami Vice Theme hits #1 on the Hot 100, the last instrumental song to top the tally.More

May 25, 1985 Wham!'s "Everything She Wants" hits #1 in the US, making them the first group since the Bee Gees to have three #1 hits from the same album.

December 17, 1984 Run-DMC's self-titled debut album is certified Gold, making it the first rap album to do so.

October 30, 1984 Less than two years after its release, the RIAA certifies Michael Jackson's Thriller album with sales of 20 million copies in America, introducing a new designation, "Double Diamond." The stratospheric sales of Thriller are unprecedented, and keep climbing to well over 30 million. It isn't until 1994 when another album gets the Double Diamond designation, and that's a greatest hits package: Eagles - Their Greatest Hits 1971 - 1975.

April 21, 1984 "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)" goes to #1 on the Hot 100, giving Phil Collins his first solo chart-topper on the tally. He will have six more.

November 26, 1983 Quiet Riot's Metal Health hits #1 in America, becoming the first heavy metal album to reach the top spot. It's one of just six albums to top the chart in 1983, as Thriller (22 weeks) and Synchronicity (17 weeks) breathe most of the air.

August 20, 1983 Taco's cover of the Irving Berlin song "Puttin' On the Ritz" reaches #9 on the Hot 100, making the 95-year-old Berlin the oldest living songwriter ever to land a Top 10 on that tally.

September 13, 1982 After co-producing her previous release, Never For Ever, British singer-songwriter Kate Bush returns as sole producer with The Dreaming.More

September 11, 1982 John Mellencamp becomes the first male solo artist with a #1 album (American Fool) and two Top 10 singles, all at the same time ("Hurts So Good" at #8; "Jack & Diane" at #4).

March 27, 1982 "Pac-Man Fever," a song about the arcade game that has America enthralled, cracks the Top 10, becoming the only song about a video game ever to do so.More

March 6, 1982 Beauty and the Beat hits #1 in America, making The Go-Go's the first all-girl band with a #1 album.More

March 28, 1981 Blondie's "Rapture" hits #1 on the Hot 100, becoming the first chart-topper with a rap.More

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