25 December

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2015 Concussion, a biographical drama starring Will Smith as a doctor who exposes the risk of traumatic brain injuries in football players, debuts in theaters. Soul singer Leon Bridges wrote the tune "So Long" for the movie.

2010 Alanis Morissette gives birth to her first child, a son named Ever Imre. Morissette married the baby's father, rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway, earlier in the year.

2009 Tony "T-Bone" Bellamy (frontman for Redbone) dies of liver failure in Las Vegas, Nevada, at age 63.

2009 Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt dies from an overdose of muscle relaxants at age 45.

2008 Bluesman Robert Ward dies from a culmination of health issues, including two strokes, in Dry Branch, Georgia, at age 70.

2008 Eartha Kitt dies of colon cancer in Weston, Connecticut, at age 81.

2006 James Brown, age 73, dies of congestive heart failure resulting from complications of pneumonia.

1998 Singer/actress Damita Jo dies at age 68 following a respiratory illness in Baltimore, Maryland.

1998 Bryan MacLean (guitarist and songwriter for Love), age 52, dies of a heart attack in a Los Angeles restaurant.

1995 Dean Martin, also suffering from lung cancer, dies from acute respiratory failure due to emphysema at age 78. Las Vegas honors the legend by dimming the lights along the city's famous Strip.

1990 Soldiers in South Carolina are treated to a concert by James Brown, who is given a furlough from the work center where he is being detained so he can play for the troops. He includes his patriotic hit "Living In America" in the set.

1981 The J. Geils Band play a gig for prisoners at Boston's Norfolk Correctional Center, with lead singer Peter Wolf telling his captive audience, "We wanna be the first to buy you all a free drink on the outside."

1977 At Ivanhoe's in Huddersfield, the The Sex Pistols play their last UK gig before their split. The show is a charity benefit for firemen who are on strike.

1976 Boston's debut single, "More Than A Feeling," reaches its US chart peak at #5. When it was released, group leader Tom Scholz still had his day job working for Polaroid.

1973 Slade, Suzi Quatro and 10cc are among the performers on the BBC Top Of The Pops Christmas special. The show's dancers do a routine with dogs to Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Get Down," leading to rumors that the "bad dog baby" in the song was Sullivan's misbehaving pooch (it isn't).

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Jennifer Hudson Makes Acting Debut In Dreamgirls


Alongside stars like Beyoncé, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson makes her acting debut in the movie Dreamgirls, based on the Supremes-inspired Broadway musical.

Based on the Tony Award-winning 1981 musical, Dreamgirls is a fictionalized account of the legendary Detroit label Motown Records, where acts like The Supremes, James Brown, and Marvin Gaye changed the course of American R&B throughout the '60s and '70s. The Dreamgirls are loosely based on The Supremes, with Beyoncé in the lead role as Deena Jones (Diana Ross), Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell Maya Robinson (Mary Wilson), and Jennifer Hudson as Effie White (Florence Ballard). Jamie Foxx plays their sleazy manager Curtis Taylor Jr, based on Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. Diana Ross may be leader of The Supremes and Deena Jones may be leader of the Dreamgirls, but it's the Florence Ballard-inspired Effie White who makes her mark in the film, thanks to Jennifer Hudson. Hudson has only been on the scene for two years, having made her debut on American Idol in 2004, where she was sixth runner-up to winner Fantasia Barrino. Director Bill Condon auditioned nearly 800 actresses for the role of Effie, but couldn't find what he was looking for: a relative newcomer who could carry the emotional weight of a woman who loses everything and fights to gain it back. Plus, she had to be able to sing songs like "Love You I Do," "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," "I Am Changing," and – Effie's comeback song – "One Night Only." He nearly cast Idol winner Barrino, but found his star in runner-up Hudson. Never mind that she had never acted before. With an $80 million budget, Dreamgirls is the most expensive film with an all-African American cast ever made in the US, and it earns $154.8 million at the box office. Hudson's performance stands out among critics and she wins an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Eddie Murphy, who plays R&B singer Jimmy "Thunder" Early (a combination of stars like Marvin Gaye and James Brown), is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Three of the film's songs are nominated for Best Original Song: "Listen," "Patience," and "Love You I Do."



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