9 May

Pick a Day

9 MAY

In Music History

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2020 Rock pioneer Little Richard dies of bone cancer at the age of 87. Over the course of his legendary career he recorded some of America's most recognizable songs, including "Tutti Frutti," "Long Tall Sally," and "Good Golly Miss Molly."

2017 Italian trance DJ Robert Miles dies in Ibiza, Spain, at age 47 after a short illness.

2014 Michael Jackson's second posthumous album, Xscape, is released.

2014 Hunter Hayes breaks the record for most concerts performed in different cities in a single day when he plays 10 shows in 24 hours.

2013 The RIAA starts counting streaming toward its Gold and Platinum awards, with 1,500 album streams equal to one album sale (a "unit"), and 150 song streams counting for one song sale.

2013 Rocker Sixto "Sugar Man" Rodriguez receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from his alma mater, Wayne State University, Detroit.

2010 Cyndi Lauper is the ninth contestant booted off Season 9 of The Celebrity Apprentice.

2006 The Red Hot Chili Peppers release their ninth album, Stadium Arcadium. Featuring the hit singles "Dani California" and "Snow (Hey Oh)," it's their first album to hit #1 in the US.More

2005 The music video for Stevie Wonder's "So What The Fuss" is issued with a descriptive audio track by Busta Rhymes for the visually-impaired.

2003 The Eagles, trimmed to a four-man lineup (Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit) after parting ways with Don Felder, start their Farewell I tour in Richmond, Virginia, the title a mocking reference to the many "farewell" tours that aren't really. They play 168 dates on the tour over a span of three years.

2000 Bad Religion release their 11th full-length studio album, The New America. It's the band's final release on Atlantic Records and their final recording with drummer Bobby Schayer, who had been a member of Bad Religion since 1991. On The New America, guitarist Brett Gurewitz (who left Bad Religion in 1994, but eventually rejoined the band in the next year) co-wrote the song "Believe It" with frontman Greg Graffin.

1998 Blues musician Lester Butler dies of a heroin and cocaine overdose at age 38.

1998 Brian Wilson plays his first ever solo concert (no Beach Boys) at a show in St. Charles, Illinois.

1989 In an interview with The Washington Times, Public Enemy's "Minister of Information," Professor Griff, blames Jews for "the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe."More

1979 Pierre Bouvier (lead singer, guitarist for Simple Plan) is born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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Billy Joel Is Born

1949

Billy Joel is born in The Bronx, New York, raised in Hicksville on Long Island.


Like many of his contemporaries, Billy Joel can pinpoint the exact day he decided to be a rock star: February 9, 1964, when The Beatles made their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. "That one performance changed my life," he explains in a CBS retrospective of the historic event. "Up to that moment I'd never considered playing rock as a career. And when I saw four guys who didn't look like they'd come out of the Hollywood star mill, who played their own songs and instruments, and especially because you could see this look in John Lennon's face – and he looked like he was always saying: 'F--- you!' – I said: 'I know these guys, I can relate to these guys, I am these guys.' This is what I'm going to do – play in a rock band'." As a teenager, Joel joins the British Invasion cover band The Echoes and cuts his teeth in the studio on demo sessions for the Shangri-Las, who hit #1 with "Leader of the Pack" in 1964. By the end of the decade, he temporarily abandons pop for heavy metal as half of the duo Attila who, recalls Joel, "were intent on destroying the world with amplification and raging testosterone." The group disbands when the singer takes up with his bandmate Jon Small's wife, Elizabeth. Throughout the '70s, life experience adds an authenticity to his songs that resonates with his fans. His stint as a piano-playing lounge singer in Los Angeles inspires his breakthrough hit, "Piano Man." His frustration with the fleeting nature of fame yields "The Entertainer." His devotion to his wife is evident in the tender ballad "Just The Way You Are," and "Only The Good Die Young" recalls a young Joel trying – and failing - to win a devout Catholic girl's virginity. Joel explores social topics in the '80s, with "Allentown" expressing the plight of laid-off factory workers and "Goodnight Saigon" sympathizing with mistreated Vietnam War veterans. Meanwhile, he rolls out the upbeat pop hits "You May Be Right" and "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me," and his old-school influences inspire the doo-wop themed album An Innocent Man, featuring "Tell Her About It" and "Uptown Girl." The latter tune is derived from Joel's penchant for wooing high-class fashion models, such as Christie Brinkley, whom he marries in 1985, the same year the pair welcomes daughter Alexa. Shortly after, he takes a trip to the Soviet Union, where he is one of the first rockers to play since the Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961. Back at home, he wraps up the decade with his final #1 hit, "We Didn't Start The Fire." Joel faces many personal and professional ups and downs in the ensuing decades. On the downside, he loses millions to crooked managers and goes through divorces from Christie Brinkley and third wife, Katie Lee. On the upside, he embarks on a wildly successful series of "Face to Face" tours with Elton John, enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, begins a residency at Madison Square Garden, marries his fourth wife, and welcomes another daughter. Overall, Joel's catalog includes 13 albums, five compilation albums, and 33 Top 40 hits.

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