1 January

Pick a Day

Music History Events: Song Inspirations

Page 1
1 2 ... 6

May 5, 2014 Beyoncé's sister Solange Knowles attacks Jay-Z in an elevator they are all riding after attending the Met Gala at The Standard hotel in New York. The footage, which is leaked on TMZ, shows Jay taking his whooping before a security guard restrains Solange. Beyoncé later mentions the incident in her song "Flawless" when she sings, "sometime s--t go down when there's a billion dollars on an elevator."More

January 7, 2012 Beyoncé and Jay-Z have their first child: a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter.More

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.

May 15, 2007 During her performance of her debut single "Tim McGraw" at the Academy of Country Music Awards, teenaged Taylor Swift goes into the audience and introduces herself to McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill.More

May 6, 2007 Amy Lee of Evanescence marries Josh Hartzler, the inspiration for the song "Bring Me To Life."

May 9, 2005 Kenny Chesney and Renee Zellweger get married. Their union lasts just four months, but provides inspiration for Chesney's song "I'm Alive."

October 23, 2002 Kanye West, recently signed to Roc-a-Fella Records, falls asleep at the wheel and crashes his car into an oncoming vehicle. His jaw is shattered, inspiring his song "Through The Wire," which he records with his jaw wired shut. The song appears on his debut album, The College Dropout, in 2004.

June 30, 2000 During a Pearl Jam concert at Denmark's Roskilde Festival, nine people are crushed to death as the crowd rushes the stage. Several people fall and can't get up, and in addition, crowdsurfers are falling into the open area. Pearl Jam stops the show and asks people to back up, but it is too late. Investigations conclude that the events were an accident, and many European venues ban crowdsurfing. The Pearl Jam song "Love Boat Captain" refers to the events with the line "Lost nine friends we'll never know... two years ago today."

September 6, 1997 Elton John sings a new version of "Candle In The Wind" at Princess Diana's funeral. This rendition, which replaces "Goodbye Norma Jean" with "Goodbye England's Rose," becomes the best-selling single of all time in the UK.More

July 11, 1996 The night before a show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin dies at age 34 after shooting heroin with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who is fired from the band a few days later (he returns to the fold in 1999). The Sarah McLachlan song "Angel" is inspired by Melvoin's death.

January 16, 1996 Jamaican police mistake Jimmy Buffett for a drug smuggler and shoot at his seaplane (the Hemisphere Dancer) after it lands in the water. Bono of U2 is on board with his family, along with Island Records head Chris Blackwell.More

April 2, 1991 Lenny Kravitz releases his sophomore album, Mama Said, with the hit "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over," a plea for reconciliation to his soon-to-be ex-wife, actress Lisa Bonet. More

March 20, 1991 Eric Clapton's 4-year-old son, Conor, dies after falling out of a window at his mother's apartment. Clapton later writes "Tears In Heaven" about Conor.

February 17, 1991 Ed Sheeran is born in West Yorkshire, England. He breaks through in 2011 with "The A-Team," written about a drug-addicted prostitute he met while performing at a charity event for a homeless shelter.

December 24, 1988 Hair metal reaches its apogee as Poison's power ballad "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" hits #1 in the US. It stays for three weeks.More

December 22, 1987 After a night of debauchery with Robbin Crosby of Ratt and Slash from Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe bass player Nikki Sixx suffers a drug overdose and his heart stops beating. He is declared clinically dead, but comes back to life.More

October 4, 1986 The popular newsman Dan Rather is attacked by a man who hits him from behind and repeats the phrase "Kenneth, what is the frequency," prompting REM to write the song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"

January 28, 1986 The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after liftoff, killing the seven crew members on board. The disaster inspires a lyric in the Prince song "Sign O' the Times": Silly, no? When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants to fly.

March 21, 1985 In Vancouver, the Canadian wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen begins his "Man In Motion" tour to raise money for spinal cord research. Inspired by his quest, fellow Canadian David Foster works with John Parr to write a tribute song to Hansen for the film St. Elmo's Fire.More

July 4, 1982 Neil Diamond sees the movie E.T. along with the songwriters Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. That night, they write the song "Heartlight" based on the film.

April 17, 1982 Denison University freshman Laura Carter is killed when a bullet from a gunfight a block away strikes her in the chest while she is riding in a car with her parents. Christopher Cross, who is dating her best friend, writes "Think Of Laura" in her honor.

January 29, 1979 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opens fire on Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, from her home across the street, killing two adults and injuring nine kids. When asked why she did it, she replies, "I don't like Mondays," which the Boomtown Rats use as the title for a song about the incident.

October 20, 1977 In town for a gig with The Police, Sting kills some time by walking through the red light district of Paris. Watching the ladies of the night ply their trade gives him the inspiration for what becomes the band's first hit: "Roxanne."

December 12, 1976 At a show in Lakeland, Florida, Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is nearly electrocuted when he grabs a metal railing on the poorly wired set, completing a circuit that sends current through his body.More

September 5, 1976 Garry Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd falls asleep at the wheel of his new Ford Torino and hits a tree and a house. The incident inspires their song "That Smell."

August 30, 1976 The Notting Hill riots take place as black youth clash with police at the Notting Hill Carnival in England. Members of The Clash are present, and the event inspires them to write "White Riot" as a call for white people to protest with the same furor.More

May 8, 1976 John Sebastian's "Welcome Back," the theme song to the TV series Welcome Back, Kotter, hits #1 in America. The series was originally called Kotter, but after Sebastian wrote the song, the title was changed to accommodate (Sebastian tried writing a song called "Kotter," but could only rhyme that word with "otter").

January 17, 1976 Barry Manilow's "I Write The Songs," written by Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys, hits #1 in America. It goes on to win the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.More

March 5, 1975 Rod Stewart meets the Swedish actress Britt Ekland when she comes backstage after his concert at the Los Angeles Forum, kicking off an affair that results in a famous song and a nasty lawsuit.More

December 15, 1974 Young Frankenstein opens in theaters. When members of Aerosmith take a break from recording the Toys in the Attic album and see the film, they laugh hysterically at the scene where Igor (Marty Feldman) tells Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) to "walk this way," and the doctor imitates Igor's walk. Returning to the studio, they have the title to the track they've been working on.More

Page 1
1 2 ... 6
Back to Categories

©2021 Songfacts®, LLC