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 Clarence Burke Jr. (lead singer of The Five Stairsteps) dies at his home in Marietta, Georgia, from an undisclosed cause at age 64.
2013 Marshall Lytle (bassist for Bill Haley) dies of lung cancer at age 79.
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.
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, their seventh studio album, showcases the various sonic moods the British alt-rock band has tapped into thus far. But, according to frontman Robert Smith, the album is just as much about where they're going as where they've been. Smith, known for his love affair with the dark romanticism that's defined the band's image, was doing a deep dive into The Cure catalog to select tunes for the Standing On A Beach compilation when he discovered unexplored territory. "I reimmersed myself in certain moods and certain styles that we'd been involved with, that I didn't think I'd carried through as far as I could," he explained in a 1987 interview. "I sort of made mental notes of those, and we used some of them on the new record. So in some way, the new record is almost a resume of everything we've done over the years. Half of it's looking forward, and half of it's trying to sum up what the group's done in the past." As a result, the album is a sonic tasting platter that has something for everybody, from the angst-ridden psychedelia of "The Kiss" to the funk-rock explosion of "Hot! Hot! Hot!" to the energetic R&B-influenced pop of "Why Can't I Be You" to the romantic new-wave pop of "Just Like Heaven." The latter becomes the band's first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, signaling their mainstream breakthrough in the US. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me sells 1 million copies in America (3 million worldwide), where it peaks at #35 on the albums chart. Everyone expects the band to exploit their success with a shiny pop followup. Instead, they retreat back into the darkness with Disintegration.
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