21 June

Pick a Day

21 JUNE

In Music History

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2011 Crossfade return after five years with We All Bleed - the band's first album after being dropped by Columbia Records in 2008.

2011 Bon Iver, the self-titled second album by Bon Iver, is released. The album reaches #2 in the US.

2010 Tam White, the Scottish singer and actor who was the first person to sing live on Top of the Pops in 1975 with a rendition of "What in the World's Come Over You," dies of a heart attack at age 67.

2007 After dating for 18 years, Tony Bennett marries teacher Susan Crow.

2001 Bluesman John Lee Hooker dies of natural causes at age 83.

1994 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony release the EP Creepin on ah Come Up, which eventually goes platinum four times.

1990 Little Richard finally gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Says Richard: "Like everything I got, it took a long time to get."

1990 Exodus release their fourth studio album, Impact Is Imminent.

1988 The Rascals reunite onstage for the first time in eighteen years.

1985 Lana Del Rey is born Elizabeth Grant in New York City.

1982 The first "Fête de la Musique," a music festival also known as "World Music Day," is launched in Paris. Unlike corporate festivals, this one is about street music, and free to the public. The festival returns every June 21 and spreads throughout the world in various forms.

1981 Brandon Flowers (lead vocalist of The Killers) is born in Henderson, Nevada.

1981 Walter Becker and Donald Fagen announce the split of Steely Dan and begin work on solo projects. They would re-form in 1993.

1980 Bert Kaempfert, composer of "Strangers in the Night" and "Moon Over Naples," dies after suffering a stroke at age 56.

1979 Angus MacLise (original drummer for The Velvet Underground) dies of hypoglycemia and tuberculosis at age 41.

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George Michael Loses Lawsuit Against Sony

1994

A judge rules against George Michael in his lawsuit against his record label, Sony, derailing his music career for two years.


Michael's duo Wham! was signed to Columbia Records, and when he launched his solo career in 1984, he stayed with the label. In 1988, the year his Faith album was the worldwide top seller, he signed a new 8-album deal with Columbia. This was also the year Sony acquired CBS Records, giving them control of the Columbia label. His first album under the new contract is Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 in 1990. Burned out from the scrutiny of success that came with Faith, he takes a new tack, rejecting many industry customs to focus on his artistic endeavors and personal well-being. He doesn't appear on the album cover or in the videos, and refuses to tour to support it. The album sells over 7 million copies (about half as many as Faith), but Michael claims Sony held back promotion to retaliate against him. In an effort to free himself from his contract, Michael files a lawsuit against Sony in October 1992 and issues the following statement: Since the Sony Corporation bought my contract, along with everything and everyone else at CBS Records, I have seen the great American music company that I proudly signed to as a teenager become a small part of the production line for a giant electronics corporation who have no understanding of the creative process... Sony appears to see artists as little more than software... my relationship with CBS records was a successful affair, whereas this arranged marriage with Sony simply does not work. We do not speak the same language. The judge sides with Sony, and orders Michael to pay the defendant's court costs. Sony responds with a one-sentence statement: "We have great respect for George Michael and his artistry, and look forward to continuing our relationship with him." Michael refuses to record for Sony and puts his career on hold, so the label entertains offers to buy out his contract. In 1995, Michael agrees to a two-album deal with Virgin in the UK and Dreamworks SKG (a new venture headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen) in the US. Sony gets $40 million, a royalty from the two albums, and control of Michael's back catalog. His first album under the new deal is Older, which lands in 1996. Songs from the Last Century, a collection of cover songs, arrives in 1999, satisfying his end of the deal. In 2003, he signs a new contract with... Sony Records. His 2004 album, Patience, is released on the label; it proves to be his last, as he stops recording and dies in 2016.

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