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.
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.
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.
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.
The first SoundScan-based chart shows Michael Bolton's Time, Love & Tenderness at #1, but it soon becomes clear that hip-hop and country have been under-reported (the New Jack City Soundtrack is at #2 and Garth Brooks' No Fences at #4). On June 22, Niggaz4Life by N.W.A is on top; on September 28 it's Ropin' the Wind by Garth Brooks. In 1992, Ice Cube has a #1 album (The Predator), but Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus dominate, with 34 weeks at #1 between them. Brooks would become the top artist of the SoundScan era.
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