13 December

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2017 Pat DiNizio, singer and main songwriter of the Smithereens, passes away at the age of 62.

2016 Canadian actor Alan Thicke, age 69, suffers a heart attack while playing hockey with one of his sons and dies shortly after. Aside from his popular role as dad Jason Seaver on the '80s sitcom Growing Pains, Thicke was a songwriter (Bill Champlin's "Sara") and TV theme song composer, penning themes for The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes. He was also dad to "Blurred Lines" singer Robin Thicke.

2014 Raoul Cita (pianist, arranger for The Harptones) dies from liver and stomach cancer at age 86.

2012 Police bust a bizarre murder plot targeting pop singer Justin Bieber. A team of three hit men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, had been making plans to stalk and kill the singer and even castrate him. One of the three men had reportedly been obsessed with Bieber to the point of having a tattoo of him on his leg. All three men were apprehended along with confiscated weapons - and a set of pruning shears.

2012 Songwriting legend Carole King, whose career dates back to the Brill Building, wins the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize in recognition of her lifetime achievement. She is the first woman awarded this honor, which fits with her having authored "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," among many other chart-smashers during her five-decade career.

2009 Big band singer Yvonne King (of The King Sisters) dies in Santa Barbara, California, at age 89.

2008 Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh marries Marjorie Bach, making him brother-in-law to Ringo Starr, who is married to Marjorie's sister Barbara.

2004 The "love shack" where Kate Pierson of The B-52s used to live in Athens, Georgia is destroyed by fire, with only its chimney and tin roof still standing.

2003 Jack White, frontman for The White Stripes, assaults Von Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer in a Detroit nightclub, possibly because Stollsteimer badmouthed White in the press. Three months later, White pleads guilty to assault and battery and is forced to pay $750 and take anger management classes.

1997 Hanson play "MMMbop" on Saturday Night Live and take part in a sketch where they are held hostage and forced to listen to the song until they snap.

1984 Deep Purple play the Entertainment Centre at Sydney. George Harrison makes a surprise appearance and is introduced by Jon Lord as "Arnold from Liverpool."

1975 Tom DeLonge (guitarist, co-lead vocalist for Blink-182) is born in Poway, California.

1966 Jimi Hendrix records "Foxy Lady."

1966 Jimi Hendrix, who is quickly gaining momentum in England, makes his first UK TV appearance when he performs on Ready Steady Go.

1953 Berton Averre (lead guitarist, keyboardist for The Knack) is born in Van Nuys, Los Angeles.

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Beyoncé Drops Surprise Album


In a bold and brilliant marketing move, Beyoncé's self-titled album is released with no advance notice, sending radio stations scrambling to get the songs on the air and generating lots of free publicity.

Three days later, the album has sold 617,000 digital copies on iTunes - far more than any previous release over a three-day span. It also debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200, Beyoncé's fifth consecutive album to top the chart. In an industry that operates on hype, hype, and more hype, such success for a release with zero promotion is a game-changer – especially in the age of digital downloads when music fans cherry-pick singles rather than purchase an entire album. That fact was not lost on Beyoncé and is a large factor behind the surprise drop. "I miss that immersive experience," she explains to Billboard. "Now people only listen to a few seconds of song on their iPods and they don't really invest in the whole experience. It's all about the single, and the hype. It's so much that gets between the music and the art and the fans. I felt like, I don't want anybody to get the message, when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans." Dubbed a "visual album," it's an enticing package of 14 soulful, sexy tracks and 17 companion videos that explore themes of sexuality and identity, including the electro R&B groove "Partition" and the feminist anthem "Flawless." Beyoncé is nominated for five Grammy awards and takes home three, including Best Surround Sound Album and Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for "Drunk In Love," a lustful duet with Jay-Z. Beyoncé's stealth album is the grand fireworks finale of the year, but it's not the only sneaky firework in the industry's display. Earlier in the year, David Bowie shocked fans with the surprise single "Where Are We Now?" and announced his first album in 10 years, The Next Day. That February, My Bloody Valentine resurfaced after a 22-year hiatus with the unexpected m b v. In June, news of Jay-Z's unforeseen Magna Carta Holy Grail slipped out during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Post-Beyoncé, plenty of artists follow suit with varying degrees of success. Kid Cudi's unpromoted Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon sells 87,000 digital copies in its first week and debuts at #4 on the Billboard 200. U2 notoriously gifts over 500 million iTunes users with a free copy of Songs of Innocence – whether they want it or not. In 2015, Drake's digital-only drop If You're Reading This It's Too Late arrives without fanfare and soon knocks Taylor Swift's 1984 from the apex. Rihanna announces Anti with a tweet in 2016. As for Beyoncé, she continues to toy with convention: Her next project, Lemonade, is heralded by an hour-long video treatment of the album's 12 songs.



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