1994 Weezer release their self-titled debut (aka The Blue Album).
1991 Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys gets a signature look when he loses his right eye after being shot by his girlfriend.
1986 Paul Simon plays three songs from his upcoming Graceland album on Saturday Night Live. He's backed by South African musicians, including the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who perform with him on "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes." With South Africa under a cultural boycott in an attempt to stop Apartheid, its music is sequestered. Simon's appearance with musicians from the country and the subsequent album introduce the sound to a global audience, but also cause problems for Simon when he faces criticism for violating the boycott.
1975 Stevie Wonder headlines the fourth annual "Human Kindness Day" festival in Washington, DC. Belying the name of the festival, many in the estimated crowd of 125,000 turn violent, and hundreds of robberies and assaults are reported.
1899 Fred Astaire is born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska. After appearing with his sister Adele on the Broadway stage, he becomes a Hollywood star.
2019 The #FreeBritney movement gains traction as supporters gather outside the Los Angeles courthouse where Britney Spears speaks to a judge about her conservatorship. Spears has been under the conservatorship, a legal maneuver typically used to protect the elderly or mentally incompetent, since 2008, with her father, Jamie Spears, conservator.
2018 Responding to the #MuteRKelly campaign, Spotify removes R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from playlists as part of a new policy against "hate content" and "hateful conduct." The capricious policy is rescinded two weeks later after an industry backlash.
2018 Scott Hutchison, the 36-year-old lead singer of the Scotish band Frightened Rabbit, is found dead after going missing a day earlier.
2016 Justin Timberlake performs his new single "Can't Stop the Feeling" in the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest as the show is broadcast in America for the first time. His appearance in Stockholm, Sweden, leads to speculation that the USA will be invited to enter the song competition, following the successful addition of Australia to the line-up in 2015.
2011 The Cars, disbanded since 1988, release their album Move Like This and kick off a tour with a concert at the Showbox in Seattle. It doesn't go well: tensions soon resurface, and the tour is cut short after less than a month. They don't play together again until their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2018.
2011 Norma Zimmer, The Lawrence Welk Show's longtime "Champagne Lady," dies at age 87.
2010 In tribute to the recently deceased Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, Jose Feliciano performs the US national anthem before the Tigers/Yankees game at Tiger Stadium. In 1968, Harwell had Feliciano sing the anthem before a Tigers World Series game, and the 23-year-old blind Puerto Rican singer responded by playing the first non-traditional rendition of the song at a major sporting event. He and Harwell took a lot of heat, but in later years, it became common for singers to put their own spin on the song.
2009 Songwriter/historian Julie Coryell dies at 61.
2006 T.I. is arrested and jailed in Georgia for failing to fulfill the conditions of his probation. In 2003, the rapper was involved in an altercation with security officers at a Florida mall. He was taken into custody for striking an officer. After pleading guilty to battery, T.I. was sentenced to complete community service. Three years later, the rapper was taken back into custody for not completing the required number of hours set by his parole agreement.
2005 British soul and R&B singer Seal marries celebrity model Heidi Klum. The couple had been dating since 2004, when Klum gave birth to her daughter Leni, sired by her previous boyfriend; Seal was present at the birth and Klum announced that Seal would adopt Leni as her father. The couple have three biological children together before their divorce in 2012.
2003 #1 Billboard Album: Madonna's American Life
2003 Matthew West marries his long term girlfriend, Emily.
1992 Jazz singer Sylvia Syms (not to be confused with the actress Sylvia Syms) dies from a heart attack onstage at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.
Kraftwerk release their eighth studio album, Computer World, featuring prescient songs about the influence of computers on society.
With Computer World, the German electropop pioneers are not only chronicling the rise of technology in society, but also the way computers are changing their own music. The band hadn't released a new album in three years because they were rebuilding their studio with computers. "It means that we can now play anything and that completely changes our relationship with physical music," Kraftwerk co-founder Ralf Hutter tells NME in 1981. "You can no longer say 'that's good music, but we need three more trumpets,' because if we want sounds we obviously just make the sounds ourselves. It's going to create new tensions and possibilities for us." Thematically, the electronic music pioneers explore the promises and pitfalls that go along with the increasing reliance on technology. "Computer Love" predicts the advent of online dating, while "Pocket Calculator" praises the convenience of the portable device that solves mathematical problems and makes music (Kraftwerk uses a Casio calculator as an instrument on the track). The title track, however, hints at a sinister side effect of a computerized world with the lyric "Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard," noting the international agencies that keep tabs on the public by storing their personal information in computers. "There are stores and societies which control your financial situation so the whole computerization gets more like a 1984 vision," Hutter says. "Our idea is to take computers out of context of those control functions and use them creatively in an area where people do not expect to find them. Like using pocket calculators to make music, for instance. Nobody knew you could do that, we always try to do things to break the normal order - and knowing it so well from Germany we know how to break it... possibly. It's about time technology was used in resistance, it shouldn't be shunned, reviled or glorified." Computer World peaks at #15 in the UK and is ranked at #2 on NME's list of the Top 10 albums of the year for 1981. A techno-pop touchstone, the album influences a range of bands who sample the tracks on their own tunes, including Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force with "Planet Rock," LCD Soundsystem with "Disco Infiltrator," and Coldplay with "Talk."
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