3 November

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2015 Months after 1000 singers and musicians in Cesena, Italy perform "Learn to Fly" in an effort to entice Foo Fighters to play there, the group complies, performing a concert in the city.

2010 UB40 performs a gig at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth, Birmingham, helping the club raise money to soundproof their roof after a series of noise complaints. Five hundred fans are given a rare chance to see the band play up close and personal in this intimate setting.

2009 Country singer Carrie Underwood releases her third studio album, Play On, featuring the crossover hit "Cowboy Casanova."

2006 Lyricist Betty Comden dies in New York City aged 89.

2006 French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat, known for a hit 1968 cover of Andre Popp's "Love Is Blue," dies at age 81.

2005 Alicia Keys hosts and performs at a fundraiser for the AIDS charity Keep a Child Alive at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. She is joined by fellow music heavyweights Usher, Paul Simon, John Mayer and Common, as well as African acts Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Femi Kuti and the Agape Children's Choir from Durban, South Africa.

2005 Colombian vocalist Juanes adds more statues to his mantel with three wins during the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Juanes, who is the all-time leader with nine wins going into the event, takes home awards for best rock solo vocal album for Mi Sangre, best rock song for "Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor" and best music video for "Volverte a Ver."

2004 Eric Clapton is made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace.

2003 Coldplay Live 2003, a forthcoming DVD release from Coldplay, receives big screen premieres across the US.

2002 '60s British singer Lonnie Donegan, known as The King of Skiffle, dies of a heart attack at age 71.

2001 Phil Vassar is named songwriter-artist of the year at the 39th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards at Nashville's Opryland Hotel.

1997 In Santa Monica, California, Billy Preston is sentenced to three years in prison for cocaine possession and violating parole.

1996 Blues harmonica player William Clarke, age 45, dies from complications of a bleeding ulcer after a performance in Fresno, California.

1993 Leon Theremin dies. Theremin (1896-1993) was a Russian inventor, most famous for the Theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments. Popularized in the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations," the device was used to create those futuristic sound effects in many sci-fi movies.

1992 Grateful Dead tell stunned fans that they will not play their traditional New Year's Eve concert in San Francisco.

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Vanilla Ice Becomes First Rapper To Top Hot 100


"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice hits #1 in the US, marking the first time a rapper has topped the chart.

In 1981, Blondie landed the first-ever #1 with a rap when they hit the top spot with "Rapture," a silly but reverent song that established Fab 5 Freddy as a hip-hop tastemaker and threw a shout-out to Grandmaster Flash. Wrapped in a soothing disco track, it was a way for listeners to dip their toe into the genre. While artists like LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C. refined the sound, many pop songs in the '80s incorporated anodyne rap breaks, bringing the audience into the shallow end of the hip-hop pool, where Vanilla Ice found his calling. Born and raised middle class in a Dallas suburb as Robert Van Winkle, his original bio, distributed to the music press when his album was released, is full of artificial flavor, suggesting he grew up among gangs in a rough Miami neighborhood and went to school with Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew. Further fabrication is found in the composer credits of the song, which make no mention of Queen, whose David Bowie collaboration "Under Pressure" is clearly the basis for the track (this is later corrected, with members of Queen credited as writers). The fake bio does acknowledge the origin of the hook: "Ice ice baby, too cold, too cold" is a chant used by the black fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. When a more realistic bio appears, there is no mention of where this phrase came from, and A Phi A is never given credit. Despite the chicanery, the To The Extreme album, Ice's debut, also goes to #1, where it stays for a remarkable 16 weeks. Over the next few years, there is a backlash against rappers who didn't live out their rhymes. Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer fall fast, replaced by the likes of Naughty by Nature and Dr. Dre.



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