27 January

Pick a Day

27 JANUARY

In Music History

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2014 Pete Seeger dies at age 94.

2014 The day after winning the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album for The Heist, Macklemore takes to Instagram, where he posts a screenshot of his text to Kendrick Lamar, whose good kid, m.A.A.d city was one of the nominees. The Seattle rapper texted: "I wanted you to win. You should have. It's weird and sucks that I robbed you."

Macklemore takes some flak for the post, which many feel is disingenuous (Drake calls it "wack"). Lamar is more charitable. "Macklemore is a genuine dude," he says. "However it panned out, I wish him much success." On his 2016 track "Light Tunnels," Mac recounts these events.

2013 A fight breaks out after Frank Ocean accuses Chris Brown of taking his parking space at a Los Angeles recording studio. Brown throws a punch at Ocean, and threatens to shoot him, allegedly shouting: "We can bust on you too!"

2002 Koko Taylor collapses during a private function at her club, Koko Taylor's Celebrity, in Chicago, Illinois, after failing to take her diabetic medication. Doctors also discover arterial blockage in her heart.

1991 At the Speakeasy club in Los Angeles, Dr. Dre roughs up Dee Barnes, the female host of a rap music TV show called Pump It Up. Dre, who was upset over a segment on the show, later reached a settlement with Barnes, who filed a $22.7 million lawsuit.

1979 Keith Morris (vocals), Gregg Ginn (guitar), Chuck Dukowski (bass) and Brian Migdol (drums) play live for the first time under the Black Flag moniker in Redondo Beach, California.

1976 Glam rocker Gary Glitter announces his retirement and begins traveling the world, spending time in Paris, Thailand, and New Zealand before a 1977 bankruptcy forces him back into action.

1976 David Bowie sues his former attorney, Michael Lippan, for unfair business practices and withholding of funds. Bowie claims Lippan took a 15% fee instead of the customary 10% and adds that after his dismissal, Lippan withheld $475,000 from the musician.

1972 Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson dies from heart failure and diabetes complications in Evergreen Park, Illinois, at age 60.

1972 The New Seekers' "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing," originally a Coke commercial, is certified Gold.

1971 David Bowie arrives in the United States for the first time, not to perform, but to do a series of interviews. He creates a stir by wearing a dress to many of the appearances.

1970 Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel drummer) is born.

1969 The Beatles record "Get Back" and "I've Got A Feeling."

1968 Mike Patton (lead singer of Faith No More) is born in Eureka, California.

1962 Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" is certified gold.

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Michael Jackson Catches Fire

1984

At the peak of his popularity, Michael Jackson films an ad for Pepsi that goes horribly wrong when some stray pyro sets his hair on fire.

With Thriller topping charts around the world, Michael Jackson is on fire, figuratively speaking, but things really heat up during a commercial shoot at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. With thousands of fans watching, Jackson dances onstage to the beat of "Billie Jean," reworked especially for the Pepsi ad, as it lights up with a flash of premature pyrotechnics.

So dazzling is the scene that no one notices the King of Pop's hair and jacket aflame until he lets out a frantic shout. Miko Brando, a security aide who is also the son of actor Marlon Brando, rushes to Jackson's side and extinguishes the fire by giving him a bear hug and running his fingers through the singer's hair. Still wearing his signature jewel-encrusted glove, he's rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre and is swiftly transferred to Brotman Medical Center's burn unit. Despite the media's claims that he's in serious condition, Jackson is quite comfortable during his stay at the facility, where doctors treat second-and third-degree burns to his scalp and the staff screens his favorite movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He discharges himself the next day.

The ill-fated shoot was part of a $5 million endorsement with PepsiCo, a landmark advertising deal that launched the company's "New Generation" campaign in hopes of luring a youthful demographic to the brand. In exchange, the deal included sponsorship for The Jacksons' upcoming Victory Tour, with the "Billie Jean" singer joining his brothers to promote their latest album, Victory. The contract, however, didn't cover medical costs for errant fireworks.

The company pays out another $1.5 million to settle with Jackson, who donates the settlement to Brotman, where he returns for scalp repair surgery. Soon after, the hospital unveils its Michael Jackson Burn Center and establishes a burn fund that will finance reconstructive surgery for burn victims. But the honor is short-lived: In 1987 the struggling hospital is forced to close the 23-bed burn center. Meanwhile, Jackson reunites with Pepsi for a $10 million campaign to support his worldwide Bad Tour. Celebrity endorsements become an industry standard, and are especially lucrative for pop stars who make the most of multi-faceted marketing campaigns that offer major advertising and foot the bill for costly tours. Pepsi continues to attract top acts in the coming decades, including Madonna, Beyoncé and Britney Spears.

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