2003 The Luther Vandross album Dance With My Father is released two months after the singer suffered a debilitating stroke. The album goes to #1 in America and the title track wins the Grammy Award for Song of the Year, but Vandross dies on July 1, 2005.
1991 In his first public appearance since being released from prison in February, James Brown stars in the pay-per-view concert special James Brown: Living in America. For $19.95, viewers can see Brown perform at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles along with MC Hammer, Bell Biv DeVoe, C+C Music Factory, Kool Moe Dee and En Vogue.
1990 Members of the rap group 2 Live Crew are arrested on charges of public obscenity after performing songs from their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be in a Hollywood, Florida, nightclub. A few days earlier, a federal court ruled the album obscene, and therefore performing it is against the law. It gets even more ridiculous when a cover band performs the songs for the purpose of getting arrested, which they do. Eventually, the ruling is overturned and charges against the rappers (and cover band) are dropped.
1976 Paul McCartney and Wings set a new indoor concert attendance record of 67,100 at the newly-opened Kingdome in Seattle.
1922 Judy Garland is born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
2020 Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne takes innovative social-distancing measures on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert: The band sings their tune "Race For The Prize" from inside massive plastic bubbles. Each audience member is also enclosed their own bubble to keep the coronavirus at bay.More
2017 Gorillaz stage their first Demon Dayz Festival, which takes place at Dreamland amusement park in Margate, Kent, England. Performers include Mavis Staples, De La Soul and Carly Simon, all of whom appeared on their album Humanz.
2016 Rick Astley releases 50, his first album of original songs in 15 years, in the UK. It goes to #1 its first week.
2010 Appearing at Milan's PalaSharp Arena to promote his self-titled solo record, Slash, in the midst of performing the Guns N' Roses classic "Sweet Child o' Mine," is tackled by a concertgoer. The guitarist bravely keeps on rocking, eventually switching guitars and finishing the song. Afterward, Slash described the night as "a kick-ass rock show."
2009 Barry Beckett, record producer and session musician of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, dies in Hendersonville, Tennessee, at age 66.
2008 Lil Wayne releases Tha Carter III, which goes on to sell over 3 million copies.
2005 Ottawa Governor General Adrienne Clarkson officially makes Paul Anka an Officer of the Order of Canada.
1992 The Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas calls for a boycott of Time Warner, whose label Sire is distributing the song "Cop Killer" by Body Count, which is Ice-T's hardcore group. Six weeks later, the song is pulled from the album, but not before it sells over 500,000 copies, mostly due to the controversy.
1992 Model Kelly Emberg has her palimony suit against Rod Stewart thrown out.
1991 Temptation David Ruffin's funeral is held in Detroit, with attendees including Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and former bandmate Eddie Kendricks, who is arrested at the service for failure to pay child support.
1988 Steve Sanders (baritone singer, guitarist for The Oak Ridge Boys) dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 45.
1986 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrates its 20th anniversary with a concert in their hometown of Denver, Colorado.
Ray Charles dies at age 73 of liver disease.
When times got tough, Ray Charles learned to lean into music. The Georgia-born soul singer was already learning how to play the piano by age 5, when his 4-year-old brother drowned in a laundry tub. Just two years later, he went completely blind after being stricken with glaucoma and begrudgingly enrolled in the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, where he trained in classical piano and learned to read music in Braille. By age 14, he was just beginning to cultivate his love for jazz and blues when his mother died. By the time he landed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1952, Ray's baritone was so infused with passion and past heartaches that the blues couldn't contain it. Nor could gospel, jazz, or R&B. This voice had soul, and all the elements had to come together to support it. His first big hit, "I Got A Woman," is considered a prototype of the soul genre that would come full force in "What'd I Say," the 1959 smash that broke him through to mainstream pop. In addition to being an R&B star with Grammy Award-winning songs like "Georgia On My Mind" and "Hit The Road Jack," he let his fingers do the talking on a series of instrumental jazz albums and even ventured into country music. But Ray continued to struggle in his personal life as his addictions to marijuana and heroin (a habit he kicked in 1966) led to many arrests throughout his career. He married twice and had 12 children to nine different women. By 2004, Ray's catalog includes over 50 studio albums and 127 singles. He's won multiple Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There's even a biographical movie, Ray, in the works starring Jamie Foxx. But after a hip replacement surgery the year before, his health continues to decline and he dies at age 73 of acute liver disease.
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