7 December

Pick a Day

7 DECEMBER

In Music History

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2016 Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer dies at 69 after a battle with cancer.

2016 One Direction's Louis Tomlinson loses his 43-year-old mother, Johannah Deakin, to leukemia.

2015 Less than a month after their concert was invaded by terrorists and many of their fans murdered, Eagles of Death Metal make an emotional return to the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, where they lay flowers in memory of the 90 dead. They also join U2 on stage at the AccorsHotel Arena to perform Patti Smith's "People Have the Power." "Don't Let It Go Away" is performed by the Missing People Choir in a carol service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square in the evening.

2011 30 Seconds to Mars breaks the record for most shows performed during a single album cycle when they play their 300th concert in support of their album This Is War at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

2011 The Black Keys, who won three Grammy Awards in 2011, appear on The Colbert Report. They play "Lonely Boy" and "Gold on the Ceiling."

2010 Judas Priest announces that their Epitaph World Tour, which will run until 2012, will be their last major tour. In 2013 they change their minds and pick up right where they left off.

2008 Classics IV frontman Dennis Yost dies of respiratory failure at age 65, two years after suffering a traumatic brain injury from a fall.

2003 Mary J. Blige marries her manager, Martin "Kendu" Isaacs. She files for divorce in 2016.

1996 Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart" hits #1 in America for the first of 11 weeks.

1990 Soul singer Dee Clark, known for the 1961 hit "Raindrops," dies of a heart attack at age 52.

1987 Aaron Carter is born in Tampa, Florida, to a family that includes brother Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys. Aaron will release his self-titled debut album by the time he's 10.

1987 Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, and Judy Collins (among others) appear onstage at Carnegie Hall to pay tribute to Harry Chapin, who would have been celebrating his 45th birthday.

1987 Harry Chapin receives a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor for his efforts in fighting hunger. Along with Bill Ayres, Chapin founded World Hunger Year, which is later re-named WhyHunger and becomes a very effective organization in distributing food to those in need.

1985 "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister hits #1 in the US for the first of two weeks.

1980 Darby Crash (of the Germs) commits suicide at age 22 through an intentional heroin overdose.

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The King Of Pop Reigns With "Black Or White"

1991

"Black Or White" by Michael Jackson hits #1 in America for the first of seven weeks.

Out of the nine singles from Dangerous, "Black or White" is the only one to reach #1, but it's a really big #1. The anthem of racial harmony, co-written by future Sheryl Crow collaborator Bill Bottrell, entered the chart at #35 and leapfrogged to the top by its third week – the fastest jump in 22 years since The Beatles' rise with "Get Back." It also marks Jackson's 12th chart-topper as a solo artist, placing him third behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley for most #1's on the Hot 100.

Jackson's plea for tolerance comes just months after the assault by LAPD officers on African American cab driver Rodney King, an incident that incites the 1992 Los Angeles riots the following spring. The song becomes even more famous when the accompanying 11-minute video, directed by "Thriller" filmmaker John Landis, debuts on MTV, BET, and Fox. An estimated half a billion viewers tune in to watch the King of Pop's latest extravaganza, which boasts an innovative morphing technique that seamlessly blends a lineup of diverse faces together. Jackson makes headlines, however, for the last four minutes of the video. The music stops and all is silent, including Jackson as he moves through some crotch-grabbing choreography before unleashing some pent-up rage on a nearby car. The ensuing controversy only makes the clip, which is shortened in subsequent broadcasts, more popular and keeps the song at the apex for seven weeks.

Dangerous also tops album charts around the world, which is not an unusual feat for Jackson but is a particularly important milestone nonetheless – it's his first album in 16 years without longtime producer Quincy Jones. With the burgeoning new jack swing becoming increasingly popular, Jackson brought the genre's innovator Teddy Riley on board as a producer to groom the pop star for an urban audience (most evident on the album's #1 R&B singles, "Remember The Time" and "In The Closet"). With 32 million copies sold worldwide, Dangerous is listed among the best-selling new jack swing albums, or albums in general, of all time.

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