20 May

Pick a Day

20 MAY

In Music History

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2018 Hosting the Billboard Music Awards, Kelly Clarkson rejects the planned moment of silence in favor of a "moment of action" for the victims of a school shooting that took place two days earlier in her native Texas.More

2017 At the Palladium in London, The Cranberries play their last show with lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, whose health issues for cancellation of the remaining dates. She dies on January 15, 2018.

2016 Barenaked Ladies release the live album BNL Rocks Red Rocks, which was recorded on June 10, 2015, at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, during the band's Last Summer On Earth tour. Guests include former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay and Violent Femmes sax player Blaise Garza, who join BNL for a rendition of Hay's 1982 hit "Who Can It Be Now?"

2016 The National release an anthology album of 59 Grateful Dead covers called Day of the Dead, with appearances by Lucinda Williams, Bruce Hornsby, Courtney Barnett and Wayne Coyne. Proceeds go to the Red Hot Organization, which helps fight AIDS.

2013 Ray Manzarek (keyboardist for The Doors) dies at age 74 in Rosenheim, Germany, while receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma or bile duct cancer).

2012 Robin Gibb (of Bee Gees) dies from colorectal cancer-related kidney and liver failure at age 62.

2009 Kris Allen wins season 8 of American Idol, defeating Adam Lambert in a surprise victory.

2007 Composer Ben Weisman dies in Los Angeles, age 85. He wrote or co-wrote more songs for Elvis Presley (57!) than anyone else.

2006 Hawthorne, California, dedicates a monument to their famous hometown sons: the three Wilson brothers of The Beach Boys.

2006 Saturday Night Live spoofs Neil Young's latest album, the very political Living With War, reimagining it as I Do Not Agree With Many Of This Administration's Policies.More

2003 South Carolina's parole board pardons James Brown of all past offenses committed in the state, even the felonies, spurring James to spontaneously sing "God Bless America" at the conclusion of the hearing.

2003 Lynyrd Skynyrd release Vicious Cycle, their twelfth studio album. It's the last to feature work by bassist Leon Wilkeson, who passed away during recording. Kid Rock appears on the album in a remake of "Gimme Back My Bullets."

1998 Tommy Lee of Motley Crue is sentenced to six months in jail and three years' probation stemming from an incident three months earlier when he got in a fight with his wife, Pamela Anderson Lee. Goes to jail that evening and serves three months before he is released.

1998 Frank Sinatra's funeral takes place in Beverly Hills, which draws 400 invited guests and a slew of onlookers. Tony Bennett, Angie Dickinson, Joey Bishop (the only surviving member of the Rat Pack), Liza Minnelli, Jack Nicholson, Tony Danza and Tom Selleck all show up to pay their respects.

1995 The Eagles' Don Henley marries his first and only wife, the model Sharon Summerall, in Malibu, with Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Randy Newman, Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Jimmy Buffett, Sheryl Crow, and other celebs attending. At the reception, live music is provided by Tony Bennett, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Sting.

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Metal Band Lordi Wins Eurovision

2006

The Finnish band Lordi win the Eurovision Song Contest - the first heavy metal band ever to do so.

The annual Eurovision Song Contest is the world's longest-running televised songwriting competition. First broadcast in 1956, it is contested between the members of the European Broadcasting Union, which also includes several non-European countries such as Turkey and Israel. The 2006 event is held in Athens and hosted by Greek Singer Sakis Rouvas and Access Hollywood's Maria Menounos. A camp and glitzy affair, Eurovision has built up an enormous cult following around the globe, with its dedicated followers holding parties to celebrate the broadcast of the live show. The highlight for fans is the last quarter of the lavish four-hour spectacular, which features representatives of each country awarding scores of up to 12 points to their nation's favorite entries - the voting often following strict geographic and political lines. Since 2003 the results have been entirely based on audience telephone voting, rather than the previous jury system, which has opened up an opportunity for a shock result. Costumed Finnish shock rockers Lordi are an unexpected entry into the contest, which has historically focused on glam pop, ethnic music and power ballads (Celine Dion was a winner for Switzerland in 1988). Their appearance and sound is more akin to Slipknot and Kiss than the slick bubblegum pop of their more mainstream competitors. In a knowing nod to their hard-rock heritage, the band is joined on stage by a backing singer who wears a mask painted with Gene Simmons' iconic Kiss make-up. The masked quintet's pyrotechnic-packed performance of "Hard Rock Hallelujah" is a surprise hit with viewers, leading to it achieving a score of 292 points - the highest scoring winner to date. Pre-contest favorites Belgium, with their entry "Je T'Adore" performed by Kate Ryan, are only able to manage a lowly 12th place. Following the historic win, an area in the lead singer's home town of Rovaniemi, Finland, is renamed to Lordi's Square in his honor.

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