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
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.
2000 Alanis Morissette files with the SEC to sell about $1 million worth of her MP3.com stock, which she accumulated in a partnership with the company. The shares were worth about 10 times as much a year earlier, not long after Morissette signed on.
1998 "Ramsey Lewis Week" is declared in Chicago to honor the Grammy Award-winning jazz composer.
George Lucas' space opera Star Wars debuts in theaters, accompanied by an instantly iconic score from John Williams.
Star Wars thrills audiences with its groundbreaking special effects, from ships whizzing through space to intense lightsaber battles to otherwordly creatures. Fans will return to the theaters again and again, making the film the most successful of the year, at over $775 million at the box office, and laying the groundwork for one of the most celebrated film franchises of all time. Lucas wanted a trio of unknowns for the central "good guy" characters: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). But for the music, he turned to a seasoned veteran. John Williams was already known for memorable scores for films like Fiddler on the Roof, The Poseidon Adventure, and – of course – Jaws. For Star Wars, Williams creates a symphonic score that includes leitmotifs (musical phrases specific to each main character, like Darth Vader's ominous "Imperial March") that are also incorporated into the thundering opening theme as the yellow words scroll over the screen for the first time. Williams is cleverly telling the story before it even begins, introducing through music the young hero who will take down the evil Galactic Empire, with the help of a rebel princess and a hot-shot mercenary. The main title theme, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, is a #10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and Williams takes home numerous awards for the soundtrack, including an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award. A re-imagined disco version from Meco – complete with a bleeping R2-D2 solo - also lands at #1 on the pop chart.
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