2016 Taking the stage in Times Square to ring in the new year, Mariah Carey gets through "Auld Lang Syne" but then stops singing and narrates the technical problems to the crowd as the backing track plays on.More
2015 Natalie Cole dies of heart failure at age 65. The singer (daughter of Nat King Cole) battled health problems for much of her life; drug use led to hepatitis C, and in 2009 she had a kidney transplant.More
1994 Rod Stewart plays a free concert on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, drawing a crowd estimated at 3.5 million (the fireworks help goose that number). Guinness declares it the largest free rock concert ever.
2018 Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show dies at 81.
2017 Britney Spears wraps up her Vegas show Britney: Piece of Me, after four years. It's her last concert for a while; a subsequent residency is cancelled, and she refuses to perform under the terms of her conservatorship, which has been controlled by her father since 2008.
2014 Six months after divorcing salsa singer Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez officially drops her married name (Muñiz).
2009 Blues singer Earl Gaines dies at age 74, after his declining health forces him to cancel a European tour.
2008 At halftime of the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, 40,148 fans perform the "Y.M.C.A." dance while the Village People perform, establishing a Guinness World Record. It is the most memorable part of the game, which Oregon State wins 3-0 over Pittsburgh.
2002 Phish jump back in the pond with a concert at Madison Square Garden, their first show since going on hiatus in October 2000.
2000 Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson marries actress Kate Hudson in Aspen, Colorado. Their seven-year marriage includes the birth of their son, Ryder.
1997 Floyd Cramer, pianist and forerunner of the "Nashville sound," dies of lung cancer at age 64. He played piano as a session musician on Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel."
1996 Queen Elizabeth II announces that Paul McCartney will be knighted - these announcements are traditionally made on New Year's Eve.
1991 After 62 years, Radio Luxembourg, Europe's oldest commercial radio station, goes off the air for good.
1991 Ted Nugent, who often donates meat from his kills to charity, serves about 200 pounds of venison courtesy of the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger program at a Detroit soup kitchen, telling clients, "I kill it, you grill it."
1985 Rick Nelson dies in a plane crash at age 45. A child star on The Ozzie and Harriet Show, he became a teen idol as a singer, charting 36 hits on the Top 40.
1982 E Street Band guitarist Miami Steve and/or Little Steven Van Zandt marries Maureen Santora at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Little Richard officiates, Bruce Springsteen is the best man, and Percy Sledge sings "When A Man Loves A Woman" during the reception.
1980 At the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, bass player Kathy Valentine plays her first show with The Go-Go's, establishing the lineup that in 1982 becomes the first all-girl band to land a #1 album in America.
Mötley Crüe play their last show: a New Year's Eve concert in Los Angeles complete with Nikki Sixx's flamethrower bass and Tommy Lee's drum roller coaster.
When the band sets out on their "Final Tour" in 2014, they make sure it sticks, signing a legal document stating they will never tour again as Mötley Crüe. The goal is to go out on top before they kill each other, or worse, end up playing county fairs and nostalgia shows. The band formed in 1981 and rose to the top of the hair metal hierarchy with hits like "Dr. Feelgood" and "Girls, Girls, Girls." Along the way, they set new standards in infighting and excess. By 1987, all members are high-functioning alcoholics (drink of choice: Jack Daniel's), and bass player Nikki Sixx has developed a nasty cocaine problem. They soldier on, losing Vince Neil from 1992-1997 and Tommy Lee from 1999-2004. In 2005, Lee returns, and Crüe resumes their cycle of touring, now in separate buses. For their last show, they play the city where they spawned: Los Angeles. Lee's drum kit is attached to the "Crüecify" roller coaster, which extends into the crowd. During his drum solo, it takes him over the crowd and upside down, but then almost in a tribute to Spinal Tap, it stalls and the roadies come to his rescue. In their four decades, the band has gotten pretty good at pyro, and lots of stuff is on fire throughout the performance. Apparently the fire marshal is a fan, since Nikki Sixx is allowed to bring out a bass attached to a flamethrower and shoot blasts 30 feet high. He uses it to light their pentagram logo on fire. After a balloon drop to celebrate the new year, they play "Kickstart My Heart" and return for an emotional encore of "Home Sweet Home." Looking back on their years of destructive debauchery, each band member is shocked that they made it this far - alive. In 2019, Crüe find a loophole in the contract and announce a tour for the summer of 2020, which is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
©2022 Songfacts®, LLC