2015 Leonard Nimoy dies at age 83. The actor, best known for playing Spock on Star Trek, also made a musical impact: His albums Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space and Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy both charted in the US (#83 and #97, respectively), and his voice was sampled in the Information Society hit "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)."
1980 Michael Jackson wins his first Grammy: Best R&B Performance for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." Other winners include Donna Summer (Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Hot Stuff"), Earth, Wind & Fire (Best R&B Group Vocal Performance for "After the Love Has Gone"), and The Doobie Brothers (Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "What A Fool Believes").
2016 Twenty One Pilots' "Stressed Out" peaks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stays for one week. It's the duo's first foray into the Top 10.
2015 R&B singer Charmayne Maxwell (of Brownstone) dies in a freak accident at age 46 when she falls on a broken wine glass and cuts her neck.
2013 Richard Street, singer with The Monitors and The Temptations, dies at age 70.
2011 Blues musician Eddie Kirkland dies at age 87.
2001 Dave Matthews Band release Everyday, trading producer Steve Lillywhite for Jagged Little Pill mastermind Glen Ballard. With the hit "The Space Between," the radio-friendly release expands their fanbase, but leaves diehards to seek out the unreleased Lillywhite Sessions.
2001 Carlos Santana (Santana) returns to the Mexican town where he grew up, Autlan De Navarro, for the first time in 46 years. A statue honor of Carlos and his father, mariachi player Jose Santana, is unveiled.
2000 The Beach Boys: An American Family TV mini-series begins on ABC, chronicling the rise of the title band.
1998 Motley Crue member Vince Neil, not to be outdone by Tommy Lee, announces an agreement with Internet Entertainment Group and Vivid Video to distribute a 60-minute home video of him having sex with two adult film models while on vacation in Hawaii.
1996 Bad Religion release their ninth full-length studio album, The Gray Race. This is the first Bad Religion album to feature Brian Baker on guitar, replacing Brett Gurewitz, who left the band two years earlier.
1991 James Brown is released on parole from a South Carolina prison after serving two years of a six-year sentence on drug and assault charges.
1984 The Jacksons' Pepsi commercial premieres on MTV.
Janis Joplin's album Pearl hits #1 in the US, where it stays for nine weeks. Joplin died of a heroin overdose three months before the album was released.
On October 4, 1970, Joplin was found dead at the Landmark Hotel in Los Angeles. She had started taking heroin again while recording the Pearl album, and died when she got a much stronger batch from a local dealer, leading to her overdose. Joplin was 27 when she died, the same age Jimi Hendrix was when he passed away 16 days earlier. Joplin had released three albums, two with her band Big Brother And The Holding Company and one as a solo artist. None of them quite captured the verve of her live performances, which is what producer Paul Rothchild, known for his work with The Doors, set out to do on Pearl. The album was almost done when Joplin died - she was scheduled to record vocals for the completed track "Buried Alive In The Blues" the day of her death. That song was included as an instrumental, closing out side one as a tribute to Joplin. Pearl was released on January 12, 1971. The big hit from the set is "Me And Bobby McGee," a song written by Kris Kristofferson that was first recorded by Roger Miller in 1969. It goes to #1 in March, becoming Joplin's only chart-topping single. Joplin didn't write many songs, but did compose two of the 10 tracks on the setlist: the opener "Move Over," and the a capella "Mercedes Benz," a song initially dismissed as a novelty by critics that is now recognized as a profound and insightful statement on materialism. Will a luxury car really make you happy? A hidden gem on the album is "Half Moon," a song co-written by John Hall that he later recorded with his band Orleans. Joplin's vocal is a scratch track, but you'll forgive any imperfections. Pearl is by far Joplin's most popular album, with nine weeks at #1 and 4 million in sales, more than all her other albums combined.
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