26 May

Pick a Day

26 MAY

In Music History

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2022 Pink, who wrote and performed the theme song to The Ellen DeGeneres Show ("Today's The Day"), appears on the last episode, where she sings "What About Us" at Ellen's request.

2022 Alan White, the drummer for Yes since 1972, dies at 72.

2022 Andy Fletcher, a founding member of Depeche Mode, dies at 60. He played keyboards in the band and also served at times as peacemaker and business manager.

2017 Chris Cornell is laid to rest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles next to Johnny Ramone. Mourners at the funeral service include Dave Navarro, Tom Morello, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Courtney Love and his Soundgarden bandmates Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil. Cornell hanged himself on May 18.More

2016 Gucci Mane gets out of jail after serving three years on gun charges. He goes home and records vocals for "1st Day Out tha Feds," which is released the next day.

2012 Ian Astbury, frontman of The Cult, marries the musician Aimee Nash in Las Vegas.

2008 Yale University awards Paul McCartney an honorary Doctorate of Music.

2006 Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and her husband, Gavin Rossdale of Bush, have their first child: a son named Kingston James McGregor.

2004 Fantasia Barrino wins Season 3 of American Idol.

2004 Days after touching down in the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to film a documentary on the war-torn country, Sum 41 are forced to evacuate from their hotel in Bukavu after serious fighting erupts. They are rescued by UN peacekeeper Chuck Pelletier. Sum 41 would go on to name their third studio album Chuck in honor of Pelletier.

1999 British punk band Manic Street Preachers refuse to play a concert to mark the opening of Wales' parliament because Queen Elizabeth II is present.

1997 Bob Dylan's summer tour is canceled after he is hospitalized with chest pains.

1994 Alanis Morissette and her producer Glen Ballard write "Ironic" for her forthcoming breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill.

1993 At the Ivor Novello Awards, when the duo Shakespears Sister win an award for their album Hormonally Yours, Siobhan Fahey's publicist reads a statement letting her bandmate Marcella Detroit (and the rest of the audience) know they're breaking up. "I wish Marcy all the best for the future," it reads. "All's well that end's well."

1993 Singapore lifts its decades-old ban on the music of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Chicago.

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Lenny Kravitz Is Born

1964

Lenny Kravitz is born in Manhattan, New York, to The Jeffersons actress Roxie Roker and TV executive Sy Kravitz. He releases his debut album, Let Love Rule, in 1989.


Let Love Rule is a funky soul testament to his blissful life as a husband and father; he married actress Lisa Bonet in 1987 and they had a baby girl, Zoe, the following year. But Kravitz is an anachronism in the pop market of the late '80s, where new wave artists and hair bands abound. He prefers real instruments and vintage equipment as opposed to the modern synthesizers and drum machines found on most hits. When Let Love Rule – an intimate record modeled after Stevie Wonder's 1973 classic Innervisions - hits the shelves, critics aren't sure if a retro throwback with a peace message is relevant in the current pop scene. While Kravitz doesn't become an instant star, he earns a steady following in the UK and a gaggle of famous admirers in the US. One of them is Madonna, who collaborates with the singer on her steamy single "Justify My Love." The ensuing controversy over the erotic video and tabloid rumors about an affair between the artists draws Kravitz further into the public eye ahead of his sophomore album, Mama Said. The star track is the ballad "It Ain't Over Til It's Over," which Kravitz wrote in an attempt to reconcile with his estranged wife. It doesn't work - they divorce in 1993 - but it does mark his breakthrough in the US with a #2 entry on the Hot 100. Meanwhile, Kravitz continues to establish himself with guest appearances on albums from Aerosmith, Mick Jagger, and David Bowie. His next album, Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993), is a blues-rock reflection on his Christian faith. The title track, inspired by Jesus Christ, is a #1 Modern Rock hit. In the meantime, the singer struggles with the chaotic life of a rock star, which fuels his fourth album, Circus, and its lead single, "Rock and Roll Is Dead." He closes out the decade with 5, which brings him his first two Grammy Awards when "Fly Away" and "American Woman" (featured in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) win in the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance category. It's also his first album to experiment with digital technology. Kravitz carries his funk-rock love creed into the 21st century with a string of new releases. Lenny (2001) yields the Grammy Award-winning "Dig In," a hard-rock anthem about choosing faith in the face of adversity. Baptism (2004) is regarded as a retro misstep but features vocals from the late Michael Jackson, while It Is Time For A Love Revolution (2008) and Black and White America (2011) attempt to unite a fractured country with the power of love. Kravitz's foray into acting also influences his musical output. His debut role as Nurse John in Precious (2009) inspires the 2011 track "Push," and the bulk of Strut (2014) is written during filming of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, where he plays the character Cinna. In 2018 he releases Raise Vibration, which challenges political corruption and racism with "It's Enough!" and the revisits the kindness of a fellow artist with "Johnny Cash." Three decades after the release of his debut album, Kravitz has proven he's not an out-of-date throwback to a bygone era, but a rock icon with an unwavering message: Let Love Rule.

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