8 February

Pick a Day

8 FEBRUARY

In Music History

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2021 Mary Wilson, the only member of The Supremes with the group throughout their tenure, dies at 76.

2015 Sam Smith is the big winner at the Grammy Awards, taking Best New Artist and also Record of the Year and Song of the Year ("Stay With Me").

2011 Ashlee Simpson files for divorce from Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, citing irreconcilable differences.

2011 Blues singer-songwriter Marvin Sease dies of complications from pneumonia at age 64.

2009 Sugarland's track "Stay" scoops two Grammy Awards - Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Best Country Song.

2009 Ne-Yo wins the Grammy awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for the Year of the Gentleman single "Miss Independent."

2009 Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Lil Wayne and Coldplay are the big winners at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.

2006 David Bowie is awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

2005 Keith Knudsen (drummer, vocalist for The Doobie Brothers) dies of pneumonia at age 56.

2005 Tori Amos releases Piece By Piece, a Q&A-style autobiography co-authored by rock journalist Ann Powers.

2004 Pink wins her first solo Grammy Award when her Try This single "Trouble" is named Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. She previously earned a trophy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals in 2002 alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim and Mýa for their rendition of "Lady Marmalade."

2003 The Faux-lesbian duo t.A.T.u. hits #1 in the UK with "All The Things She Said," becoming the only Russian act ever to top the chart.

2002 The Chicago Police Department receives a videotape allegedly showing R. Kelly engaging in lewd acts with a young girl. Kelly is indicted on child pornography charges, but found not guilty at trial.

1993 Tom Jones guest stars on Will Smith's TV show The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, where he sings a variation of "It's Not Unusual" with Alfonso Ribeiro, whose character Carlton often dances to the song.

1990 Del Shannon, struggling with depression, commits suicide at age 55.

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The First Major Reggae Movie Comes To America

1973

The Jamaican cult classic film The Harder They Come is released in the US.

The Perry Henzell-directed film casts real-life reggae performer Jimmy Cliff as an aspiring reggae singer who turns to a life of crime after getting mixed up with a corrupt record producer. Black Jamaicans praise the movie (the first ever produced on the island by natives) for bringing their authentic experience to the big screen, citing the use of reggae music and Jamaican patois against the backdrop of real locations with real Jamaican performers. But those very attributes make the film difficult to market in the US. "Nobody would take it," Henzell explains in a 1995 interview with Variety. "They'd never heard of reggae music, and nobody was interested in black people in Jamaica." The actors' thick, Creole-influenced dialect is difficult for many English speakers to understand, making the use of subtitles necessary. It doesn't find an appreciative audience until it runs on the midnight circuit a few months later, where the subtitles take a backseat to the real star of the movie: the soundtrack. Indeed, Henzell wanted The Harder They Come to be the film that brought reggae off the island and into the rest of the world. The soundtrack features four songs from Cliff, including the title track, and tunes from reggae artists like Desmond Dekker, Toots and the Maytals, and The Slickers. It would also pave the way for Bob Marley, whose breakthrough album, Catch A Fire, would nearly coincide with the movie's US debut.

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