2005 Carrie Underwood wins Season 4 of American Idol and becomes their most successful alum in terms of sales. Her debut album goes on to sell over 8 million copies in America.
1991 Billboard implements SoundScan technology on their Albums chart, replacing the decades-old system that relied on record stores to report sales figures. With SoundScan, the sales are tracked electronically, providing much more accurate data.More
1990 ZZ Top appear in Back to the Future Part III, playing an Old West-themed rendition of their #1 rock hit "Doubleback" when Marty McFly travels to 1885 to rescue Doc Brown. The regular version plays over the closing credits. Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers also reprises his role as Marty's nemesis Needles.
1986 It's Hands Across America, as millions of Americans form a human chain from New York to Santa Monica to raise money for hunger relief. The project is organized by the same guy who put together "We Are The World," but the theme song is far less ambitious.More
1977 George Lucas' space opera Star Wars debuts in theaters, accompanied by an instantly iconic score from John Williams. More
2014 Two members of the Japanese girl group AKB48, along with a staff member, are attacked by a saw-wielding maniac during a meet-the-fans event. The victims are treated for cuts and fractures while the suspect is arrested for attempted murder.
2013 Marshall Lytle (bassist for Bill Haley) dies of lung cancer at age 79.
2013 Clarence Burke Jr. (lead singer of The Five Stairsteps) dies at his home in Marietta, Georgia, from an undisclosed cause at age 64.
2011 Judas Priest perform "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking the Law" on American Idol with contestant James Durbin, a rare heavy metal showing on the program. It's the debut of guitarist Richie Faulkner in Judas Priest; he replaces K. K. Downing, who is having health problems.
2008 Jet releases a YouTube video featuring their song "Shine On" that honors the life and work of Australian ophthalmologist Fred Hallows. It is estimated that Hallows' work in Australia and other developing nations has helped bring eyesight to over one million people. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, lead singer Nic Chester said, "hopefully [the video] encourages people to make a donation to keep Fred's work going."
2006 Reggae singer-songwriter Desmond Dekker dies of a heart attack at age 64.
2004 In a letter to fans, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio says that after 21 years together, the band is splitting up. "We all love and respect Phish and the Phish audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don't want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act." They wrap things up with a show in Coventry, Vermont, in August, but it is not the final curtain: In 2009, the band reunites.
2002 The mosh pit goes horribly wrong at an Eminem concert in Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium, and at least 25 people are injured.
1998 "Ramsey Lewis Week" is declared in Chicago to honor the Grammy Award-winning jazz composer.
1996 The Fugees hit #1 in America with their album The Score.
Brad Nowell (frontman of Sublime) dies of a heroin overdose at age 28, just one week after marrying Troy Dendekker, the mother of his 11-month-old son, Jakob.
After playing a show in Petaluma, California, on May 24, Sublime heads about 40 miles south to San Francisco, where they have a show the next night. Nowell and drummer Bud Gaugh get a room at the Oceanside Motel. With Nowell out of the room, Gaugh gets into his stash of heroin and shoots up. In the morning, he wakes to find Nowell lying dead in the bed across the room. Nowell battled addiction most of his adult life. "Everything revolved around whether Brad was using or not," his widow Troy says. "People don't know the price he had to pay just because he was curious and thought it would be a cool rock-star thing to do." Sublime developed a large West Coast following with their blend of reggae-tinged rock. They released independent albums in 1992 and 1994, and had completed their major label debut at the time of Nowell's death. That album was going to be called Killin' It, but is renamed Sublime when it is issued in July. The album sells over 5 million copies, with the tracks "What I Got," "Santeria" and "Wrong Way" earning substantial airplay. The other two members of the group, Gaugh and bass player Eric Wilson, form Long Beach Dub Allstars, and later, Sublime with Rome (fronted by Rome Ramirez).
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