2014 Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin gets a speeding ticket in her hometown of Wasilla. She blames her excessive speed (63mph in a 45) on Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55," which was playing on her radio. When Hagar gets word, he tweets Palin offering to cover the ticket.
2002 New Jersey-based alt rockers My Chemical Romance release their vampire-themed debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. Released through the independent punk label Eyeball Records, it was produced by Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly.More
2001 Three years after the death of first wife, Linda, Paul McCartney gets engaged to former model and activist Heather Mills, whom he met at a charity event in 1999. The marriage lasts six years (including a two-year separation) and produces a daughter - Beatrice Milly McCartney - and a large settlement for Mills.
1988 Paula Abdul makes her first appearance on the US Albums chart when Forever Your Girl enters at #184. Sixty-four weeks later, it rises to #1, setting a record for most weeks on the chart before hitting the top spot.
1984 Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America crown midway through her run after naked pictures of her appear in Penthouse. The controversy doesn't keep her from becoming a very popular actress and singer: in 1991 she releases her #1 hit "Save The Best For Last."
1971 Bluegrass-country performer Alison Krauss is born in Decatur, Illinois. She meets Union Station bandmate Dan Tyminski at a 1984 festival held by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America.
1955 Chuck Berry releases his first single, "Maybellene."
2010 Kings of Leon have a strange encounter during a show in St. Louis when just a few songs into their set, they abruptly leave the stage, complaining about a flurry of bird poop coming from a flock of pigeons chilling in the rafters. The band never returns, and a full refund is made available to all concertgoers.
2009 Danny "Dirty Dan" McBride (lead guitarist for Sha Na Na) dies in his sleep at age 63.
2009 Further to Nas and Kelis squabbling over child support and divorce for the past few months, with both sides accusing each other of infidelity, Los Angeles Superior Court orders Nas to pay Kelis nearly $40,000 in monthly support, with Kelis receiving $30,471 in spousal support per month, and the couple's son receiving $9,027 per month.
2003 The US National Registry of Historic Places declares Memphis, Tennessee's Sun Studios, at 706 Union Avenue, a historic landmark.
2003 In a bizarre ad placed in Variety, James Brown announces his separation from his fourth wife, Tomi Rae, by featuring a picture of the couple and their two-year-old, James Brown II, posing with Goofy at Disney World.
2001 Megadeth is banned from playing in Malaysia, where they have a concert scheduled in three weeks. They are forced to cancel, as authorities say their albums contain "unsuitable imagery."
2000 Mike Diamond of Beastie Boys gets mangled in a bike accident while riding in New York City, forcing the group to cancel their planned Rhyme & Reason tour with Rage Against the Machine. Diamond, who took the spill after hitting a dastardly pothole, has surgery to repair a fifth degree joint dislocation in his shoulder.
1996 Rob Collins (keyboardist for The Charlatans UK) dies in a car crash at age 33.
1994 The International Astronomical Union names an asteroid in Mars' orbit ZappaFrank, after the musician Frank Zappa, who'd passed away from cancer the year before.
1993 Poetic Justice, starring Janet Jackson (in braids) and Tupac Shakur, opens in theaters. Jackson has been acting on TV since she was a kid, appearing regularly on Good Times and Diff'rent Strokes, but the film marks her big-screen debut.
1984 An appeals court overturnes a ruling that the Bee Gees plagiarized a song called "Let It End" on their hit "How Deep Is Your Love." The judge agrees that there are "striking similarities" between the two songs, but believes the Bee Gees claim that they hadn't heard "Let It End," which was never released and only available as a demo sent to publishers. The case puts the onus on plaintiffs to prove that defendants had access to songs they are accused of copying.
Amy Winehouse dies in London of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
Originally signed as a teenage jazz singer, Winehouse shot to international fame with her 2006 Mark Ronson-produced album Back to Black. Propelled by the hits "Rehab" and "Valerie," the album won five Grammy awards. Her vocal style and mannerisms inspired a generation of British female singers including Adele, who cites her as having paved the way for British music artists. However Winehouse's musical success was overshadowed by her personal life, as her talent is squandered in a descent into the depths of drug addiction. Winehouse was a famously hard-living star, and had been struggling with alcohol and drug addiction for a number of years. As far back as promotional appearances in support of her 2003 debut album Frank, she had often been too drunk to sing at shows and TV appearances. Her tumultuous on-off relationship with ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil led her to the London underworld of hard drugs, and she started showing up in the newspapers more and more regularly - looking emaciated and unkempt. In 2007 she was admitted to the hospital after one fateful London pub crawl ended in her overdosing on a mixture of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and ketamine. She entered rehab for the first time in 2008 when a tabloid newspaper published a video of her smoking crack cocaine. Despite several more stints, she never fully recovered, and her drug problems rapidly worsened. Winehouse's death revives interest in the "27 Club," the group of famous musicians and singers who died at the age of 27. Other "members" include Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.
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