2003 Celine Dion begins her Las Vegas residency with the show A New Day... at Caesars Palace. With elaborate sets and a full dance troupe, it ushers in a new era of highly theatrical Vegas shows headlined by huge stars. Shania Twain, Elton John and Britney Spears all follow this path.
1986 Guns N' Roses sign with Geffen Records, which in addition to making sure the band records an album, has to keep them alive and out of jail, which is no easy task. It pays off when Appetite For Destruction goes on to sell over 18 million copies just in America.
1972 America's first single, "A Horse With No Name," rides to #1 on the Hot 100, and the group's self-titled debut album also takes the top spot on the Albums chart. The group becomes one of the most successful acts of the decade, with subsequent hits "Sister Golden Hair," "Ventura Highway" and "Tin Man."
1955 The movie Blackboard Jungle is released, giving new exposure to the song "Rock Around The Clock," which is featured in the film. A few months later, the song becomes the first ever #1 rock song.
1947 Elton John is born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex, England. His stage name, taken at age 20, comes from two members of the band Bluesology: Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.
2020 It's the 15,561st day since Elvis Presley died, the exact number of days he lived, making him now dead longer than he was alive.
2018 Founding member Steven Page, who left the Barenaked Ladies nine years earlier, performs with the band at the Juno Awards, where they are honored for their induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip, who died the previous year, earns Artist of the Year.
2016 Two weeks after Major Lazer made history as the first US act to perform in Cuba since democratic relations eased between the two countries, The Rolling Stones play their first-ever Cuba gig, performing a free show for 1.2 million fans at Havana's Cuidad Deportiva. The Stones spend around $7 million to finance the trip, which follows President Obama's historic visit to the island.
2009 Dan Seals (of England Dan & John Ford Coley) dies of cancer at age 61.
2008 The Raconteurs release Consolers of the Lonely.
2007 Elton John sets the record for the most performances at New York's Madison Square Garden when he performs there for the 60th time – on his 60th birthday.
2006 Country musician Buck Owens dies of a heart attack at age 76, hours after giving his final performance at the Crystal Palace music hall in Bakersfield, California.
2004 "Suspicion," the final episode of The Chris Isaak Show - an adult comedy starring Chris Isaak - airs on Showtime.
2001 At the Academy Awards, where she is nominated for Best Song from her movie Dancer In The Dark, Bjork wears a swan dress complete with a purse that looks like an egg, which she "lays" on the red carpet. Such bold fashion would not be seen again until Lady Gaga's emergence.
2000 The Razzies aren't done with Madonna yet. After saddling her with three prizes for Worst Actress (Shanghai Surprise, Who's That Girl, Body of Evidence) and one for Worst Supporting Actress (Four Rooms) throughout her film career, the Golden Raspberry Awards names her Worst Actress of the Century. Will Smith is also a star of the evening at the 20th annual ceremony, where he wins Worst Original Song for "Wild Wild West." The movie of the same name (which he also starred in) is named Worst Picture.
1997 Kenny Moore, a songwriter who was Tina Turner's musical director, dies of apoplexy at age 45.
Stevie Wonder accepts the Oscar for Best Original Song "in the name of Nelson Mandela."
Wonder wins for "I Just Called To Say I Love You," a song that, depending on your disposition, is either heartwarmingly sweet or unbearably sappy. One thing it's not is political, but in mentioning Mandela, who has been imprisoned in South Africa since 1962 for opposing the government, Wonder draws attention to his plight and to the anti-apartheid movement in that country. The next day, the South African government bans Wonder's music, which strengthens his resolve; on his next album, In Square Circle, he includes the song "It's Wrong (Apartheid)." Over the next five years, many musicians work to free Mandela, with dozens of luminaries performing at a 1988 Wembley Stadium concert to push for his release, which finally comes in 1990. Wonder's win was far from a sure thing. "I Just Called To Say I Love You" was a #1 hit, but so were the other four nominees: "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)" by Phil Collins, "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr., "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins and "Let's Hear It For The Boy" by Deniece Williams. This is the only time every song up for the award was a Hot 100 chart-topper. Another winner is Prince, who gets Best Original Song Score for his movie Purple Rain. Wonder's song is part of the soundtrack to the film The Woman In Red, starring Gene Wilder, who also directed the film. He wrote the soundtrack after being suggested by Dionne Warwick, who sang some of the tracks.
©2021 Songfacts®, LLC