7 July

Pick a Day

7 JULY

In Music History

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2009 Lionel Richie got his first big break when The Commodores snagged 42 dates in the opening slot for The Jackson 5 in 1972. Thirty-seven years later on the same date, he performs The Commodores song "Jesus is Love" at a memorial service for the late Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

2006 Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett dies at age 60.

2005 Former calypso artist Arthur Edlin Frederick is one of 52 innocent people killed in the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London.

2001 Sharon becomes the first Corr to wed when she marries Gavin Bonnar, a Belfast barrister. They will have two children, Cathal Robert Gerard and Flori Jean Elizabeth.

2001 Fred Neil, a folk singer-songwriter known for writing Harry Nilsson's hit "Everybody's Talkin'," dies during a battle with skin cancer at age 65.

1998 Barenaked Ladies release their fourth studio album, Stunt. It's the Canadian band's breakthrough record in the US, where it lands at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

1998 Along with his financial partner Don Barden, Michael Jackson announces plans to build an entertainment complex in Detroit called "The Majestic Kingdom." It never materializes.

1993 Mia Zapata (lead singer of The Gits), age 27, is murdered after being accosted by a stranger outside of Seattle's Comet Tavern. The case goes unsolved for years until DNA evidence links the crime to Florida fisherman Jesus Mezquia in 2003, who eventually is sentenced to 36 years in prison.

1992 Spinal Tap cap their reunion tour with a sold-out show at Royal Albert Hall in London.More

1973 Paul McCartney & Wings release "Live And Let Die."

1973 Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round In Circles" hits #1 in America.

1971 Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA are married in Verum, Sweden (it lasts eight years).

1969 The Beatles release "Here Comes The Sun."

1968 The Yardbirds perform their final gig in Luton, England.

1968 The folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary appear as the "mystery guest" on CBS-TV's What's My Line?

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Stars Pay Tribute At Michael Jackson's Funeral

2009

After a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, Michael Jackson's public funeral is held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Most TV networks cover the event, where Kobe Bryant, Mariah Carey, Andrae Crouch Choir, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jennifer Hudson, Magic Johnson, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Brooke Shields, Usher and Stevie Wonder all participate.


The Jackson family sits in the front row, sisters in black and each brother wearing a single white sequined glove in honor of their late sibling. Fellow Motown alum Smokey Robinson opens the service by reading letters of condolence from luminaries who couldn't be present, like Diana Ross and former South African President Nelson Mandela. Elizabeth Taylor, Jackson's longtime friend, is also absent, having tweeted she didn't want to get caught up in the "public hoopla." But plenty of Jackson's pals and admirers show up to honor the King of Pop. Mariah Carey is the first performer, singing her hit rendition of the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" with Trey Lorenz. Although she isn't present, Maya Angelou writes a special poem for the occasion. Read by Queen Latifah, the elegy "We Had Him" celebrates Jackson's rare talent, noting, "He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance." Latifah, who grew up listening to the pop star and his brothers, also speaks of the special connection fans shared with the singer. "Somehow, when Michael Jackson sang, when he danced, he never felt distance," she said. "He felt like he was right there." Others who knew Jackson both personally and professionally share their memories. Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records who signed the Jackson 5 in 1969, elicits a standing ovation with his comments on the superstar. "He raised the bar, and then he broke the bar," he said. "The more I talk about Michael Jackson, the more I feel the King Of Pop is not big enough for him… I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived." After performances from Stevie Wonder, singing "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer," and Jennifer Hudson, singing a gospel rendition of "Will You Be There," actress Brooke Shields remembers when she and Jackson were inseparable during their teen years. "We had a bond," the former child star explains. "And maybe it was because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a very young age." She likens Jackson's sensitivity to the title character from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and reads excerpts from the novella. Jermaine Jackson follows by singing his brother's favorite song, "Smile," written by silent film star Charlie Chaplin. As he looks upon the 50-year-old singer's gold-plated casket, R&B singer Usher struggles to finish an emotional rendition of "Gone Too Soon," and is embraced by the Jackson clan after the performance. Lionel Richie, who got his big break when he opened for the Jackson 5 nearly four decades earlier, also takes the stage, singing "Jesus Is Love" by The Commodores. After the moving performances from entertainers and comments from sports stars like Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson and political figures like Sheila Jackson-Lee (representing the US House of Representatives), the Jackson family gathers on stage, including the late singer's three children, whom he shielded from the media. Eleven-year-old daughter Paris gives a spontaneous and emotional statement: "I just want to say, ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you can imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much." As the service closes with an instrumental version of "Man In The Mirror," a single spotlight shines on the empty stage, highlighting the King of Pop's absence.

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