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John Lennon Is Killed - December 8, 1980
8 December

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2019 Juice WRLD, a 21-year-old rapper known for his hit "Lucid Dreams," dies after suffering a seizure onboard a private jet.

2017 Johnny Mathis releases The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection. The 68-disc box set includes 67 remastered albums, including two that have never been released in their entirety: I Love My Lady, a 1981 album written and produced by Chic founders Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, and The Island, a Brazilian-flavored album produced by Sérgio Mendes in 1989.

2013 Metallica play Antarctica as part of a promotion sponsored by Coca-Cola Zero. A documentary and audio download of the event are later issued under the title Freeze 'Em All.

2013 Muscle Shoals alum John Wyker dies of congestive heart failure age 68. His band Sailcat had a huge hit in 1972 with "Motorcycle Mama."

2011 Bob Burnett (of The Highwaymen) dies of brain cancer at age 71.

2011 Sinead O'Connor marries a drug counselor named Barry Herridge in Las Vegas. The couple split up a few weeks later but then announces they're back together shortly afterwards.

2007 Thanks to an appearance on Oprah where she declares it one of her "favorite things," the Josh Groban Christmas album Noël goes to #1 in America, where it becomes the top-selling album of 2007.More

2003 Ozzy Osbourne suffers several fractures in his upper body in an ATV accident.

1998 The FBI opens its 1,300 page file on Frank Sinatra to the public.

1998 Metallica release their live home video, Cunning Stunts, which was filmed at the Fort Worth Convention Center, in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 9-10, 1997.

1998 Yoko Ono spreads some Christmas cheer via a billboard in New York's Times Square, reprising her 1969 campaign with the message "War is Over! If you want it. Happy Christmas from John & Yoko."

1984 Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley (of Hanoi Rocks) dies in a drunk-driving accident in Redondo Beach, California. The 24-year-old drummer is the passenger in a car driven by Motley Crue's inebriated frontman, Vince Neil.

1984 "Out Of Touch" hits the top spot, giving Hall & Oates their sixth and final #1 in America.

1984 Country singer-songwriter Sam Hunt is born in Cedartown, Georgia.

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John Lennon Is Killed


John Lennon, 40 years old, is shot and killed outside his apartment in New York City.

The killer is Mark David Chapman, a stocky 25-year-old from Atlanta who was living in Hawaii. On October 23, he quit his job as a security guard, signing the logbook "John Lennon" on his way out. Four days later he buys a .38 revolver, legally, as he has no arrest record. On December 5, he arrives in New York and checks into a YMCA near the Dakota building where Lennon lives with Yoko Ono, and begins hanging around outside the building like many other autograph seekers (Roberta Flack, Leonard Bernstein and Lauren Bacall also live there). He checks out of the Y the night of December 7, and the next afternoon, he spots Lennon and gets an autograph. Lennon heads to the recording studio, and when he returns hours later, Chapman is waiting in the entryway with a paperback copy of The Catcher in the Rye and the gun. Assuming a combat stance, Chapman fires five shots at Lennon, who staggers and falls dead. The killer sits on the sidewalk and waits for police to arrive. The shocking news spreads quickly - many hear about it for the first time when Howard Cosell makes the announcement on Monday Night Football. Ringo Starr flies to New York to visit Yoko, while George Harrison and Paul McCartney, stunned by the news and fearful, remain secluded. There is no funeral: Lennon's body is cremated on December 10, and Yoko asks fans to participate in a "10-minute silent vigil" from wherever they are on December 14. Lennon's album Double Fantasy, released a month earlier, goes to #1 in many countries. The single "(Just Like) Starting Over" rises to #1 in America and also in the UK, where "Imagine" is re-released and also hits the top. Every few years, Chapman gets a parole hearing, and every time, he is denied. At one hearing he explains the motivation for his crime: "I was obsessed on one thing and that was shooting him so that I could be somebody."



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