2015 In Tulsa, Rush begin their R40 Live tour, playing their newer songs first and working backward to "Working Man," the song that launched them in America. It ends up being their last tour, as drummer Neil Peart develops brain cancer and dies in 2020.
1993 The comeback is complete as Aerosmith's Get a Grip album debuts at #1, marking their first trip to the top of the album charts.
1981 Lionel Richie and Diana Ross meet at a Reno, Nevada recording studio at 3:30 a.m., where they record vocals for "Endless Love," needed quickly so it can be inserted into the film of the same name. Richie flew in from Los Angeles; Ross drove up after her concert in Lake Tahoe. The song becomes one of the biggest hits of the decade.
1976 John Sebastian's "Welcome Back," the theme song to the TV series Welcome Back, Kotter, hits #1 in America. The series was originally called Kotter, but after Sebastian wrote the song, the title was changed to accommodate (Sebastian tried writing a song called "Kotter," but could only rhyme that word with "otter").
1970 The Beatles release their final studio album, Let It Be, in the UK. Its American release date is May 18.
1965 On their first American tour, The Rolling Stones stop in Jacksonville, Florida. In the audience is 17-year-old Ronnie Van Zant, who decides then and there that he wants to be a singer in a rock band. He later forms Lynyrd Skynyrd.
2022 Bono and The Edge of U2 play an acoustic set at a subway station in Kyiv that has been converted into a bomb shelter. Their appearance is in support of Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia months earlier.
2012 Fiona Apple releases "Every Single Night," her first new song since 2005. The song is a visceral expression of her internal struggle, as she sings about how every single night is a fight with her brain.
2008 Country singer Eddy Arnold dies in Nashville, Tennessee, a week before his 90th birthday.
2008 Crosby Loggins, son of Kenny Loggins, wins the first and only season of MTV's Rock The Cradle, a singing competition featuring the offspring of celebrity musicians. Runners-up are Jesse Blaze Snider, son of Twisted Sister's Dee Snider and Chloe Lattanzi, daughter of Olivia Newton-John.
2001 Clint Black and his wife Lisa Hartman Black welcome their daughter Lily Pearl Black.
2001 Sum 41 release their debut studio album, All Killer, No Filler.
1999 Jazz singer Leon Thomas dies of heart failure at age 62.
1995 Rick Nelson receives a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1993 The newly formed Backstreet Boys give their very first public performance, at SeaWorld Orlando.
1992 Will Smith (AKA the Fresh Prince) marries a songwriter named Sheree Zampino, who is pregnant with their son Trey. The couple will divorce in 1995.
1991 Bohemian-born pianist Rudolf Serkin dies of cancer at age 88.
1990 A jury orders Frito-Lay to pay the famously anti-advertising Tom Waits $2.6 million for imitating his voice in a Doritos radio commercial that transforms his song "Step Right Up" into an ad for their SalsaRio flavor chips. In 1992, the verdict is upheld on appeal.
Tom Gabel, lead singer of the Florida punk band Against Me!, comes out as transgender and announces he will undergo gender reassignment surgery, becoming Laura Jane Grace.
The punk rocker Jayne County became the first high-profile musician to change gender, going through three phases of operations from 1979-1982. A generation later, Gabel makes his transition, garnering widespread support from fans and peers. Gabel makes the announcement in Rolling Stone, where he defines gender dysphoria: "It's a feeling of detachment from your body and from yourself. And it's s--tty, man." A missive from a transgender fan helped convince him to go public. "If she had the courage to come out as trans – then why the f--k didn't I?" Gabel's announcement draws attention to the plight of trans individuals and helps clear up many misconceptions. The next Against Me! album is released in 2014 and titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Much of it deals with the struggles Grace faced along her journey; the song "True Trans Soul Rebel" is about the first time she went out in public dressed as a woman. Grace helps demystify transgenderism and becomes a leader in the fight for transgender rights. The movement is galvanized in 2015 when Olympic hero and reality TV star Bruce Jenner announces that he will transition, becoming Caitlyn Jenner. Like Grace, Jenner receives a great deal of support. Musicians in particular stick their necks out to help the cause - when North Carolina passes a law in 2016 demanding people use the bathrooms that match the gender they were born with, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam protest by canceling concerts in the state.
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