2016 Leonard Cohen, ordained Rinzai Buddhist monk and songwriter extraordinaire, dies at age 82 after a life of music that saw him inducted into the Juno/Canadian, Canadian Folk Music, Canadian Songwriters, Songwriter, and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.
2011 Dr. Conrad Murray is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. Murray was accused of giving the singer a lethal dose of the sedative propofol on the day he died.
2003 With tourism suffering because of the SARS outbreak, the Hong Kong government hires The Rolling Stones to perform a concert there to assure people it is safe. The rockers play to 13,000 people at the city's Harbourfest.
1997 The Titanic soundtrack is released. It contains just one song with vocals - Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" - but sells well over 10 million copies and goes to #1 in most countries thanks to the runaway success of the film.More
1969 After Life magazine tracks down Paul McCartney at his farm in Scotland, they put him on the cover with his family, dispelling the "Paul is dead" rumors with the headline, "Paul Is Still With Us."More
2020 The Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., and T. Rex enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Because of coronavirus, the ceremony is virtual and there are no performances.
2017 Aretha Franklin plays at Elton John's AIDS Foundation gala at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City in what turns out to be her final performance. "We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time," Elton says.
2015 Presidential candidate Donald Trump hosts Saturday Night Live, with musical guest Sia. He asks for a photo with the reclusive songstress, but she declines, explaining that she doesn't want her gay and Mexican fans to think she supports him.
2015 Pentatonix becomes the first a capella group to score a US #1 album when their self-titled release tops the chart.
2011 Adele, just 23, has laser surgery on her vocal chords at a hospital in Boston. The singer had to cancel many tour dates in 2011 because of her throat problems.
2011 Andrea True (of The Andrea True Connection) dies of heart failure at age 68.
2009 At the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas, Linda Ronstadt makes her last concert appearance. Four years later, she announces that she has Parkinson's disease.
2008 Rockabilly singer Jody Reynolds dies of liver cancer at age 75.
2006 Originally due in the summer of 2005, the last album from late Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard finally arrives. The release date for A Son Unique coincides with the two-year anniversary of ODB's death at a New York recording studio.
2006 Enjoy the Ride, Sugarland's second album (and first as a duo, following the departure of Kristen Hall) is released. The album peaks at #4 on the US charts.
2006 Two months after giving birth to her second child, Britney Spears files for divorce from Kevin Federline, whom she married in 2004.
2005 Twelve years after the release of her previous album, The Red Shoes, Kate Bush returns to the music scene with Aerial. The double album features the Elvis-inspired single, "King Of The Mountain."
2004 Howard Keel, star of Broadway and film musicals before landing a long-running gig on the TV series Dallas, dies of colon cancer at age 85.
2004 Soul singer Lenny Mayes (of The Dramatics) dies of lung cancer at age 53.
MGM Records president Mike Curb announces that his label is dumping 18 acts that "exploit and promote hard drugs through music."
Curb, 25, makes the announcement in the trade magazine Billboard. The headline: MGM Busts 18 Rock Groups. "Drug groups are the cancer of the industry. Their effect on young people who are their fans or followers is devastating. When they appear smashed out of their minds and describe musically a great experience they had on LSD, they are glorifying hard drugs. I credit hard drug record acts with hundreds and hundreds of new young drug users." The announcement puts MGM in the good graces of the Nixon administration, which has been pushing labels to purge drug references in songs. Rock musicians and their listeners have long vilified Nixon (the archetype of the stone-faced authority figure), but the overdose deaths of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix have made the mixture of drugs and music a hot topic. Curb is the youngest head of a major label, and also leader of the Mike Curb Congregation, a group of 20 singers that make wholesome music. His conservative stance makes him an outlier in his industry, and by labeling wide swaths of musicians as "drug groups," he alienates many in music. "Drug groups' track record is very poor for staying together, for showing up at concerts," he says, making the case against signing these acts. Nixon praises Curb, saying, "Your forthright stand against drug abuse is a responsible contribution to the welfare of your country and specifically to the millions of young Americans who buy records." MGM has alienated many artists by flooding the market with re-issues and "greatest hits" compilations. Frank Zappa, The Velvet Underground and Tim Hardin have all left the label. The 18 groups dropped by MGM are never named, but one act that remains on the roster is Eric Burdon, the former Animals frontman whom John Lennon dubbed the Eggman. "Isn't that the sickest pile of bulls--t you ever heard?" his manager tells Rolling Stone when asked for comment. The MGM anti-drug crusade continues into 1971 when the label releases a series of public service announcements to radio stations with Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke, Lorne Greene, Lily Tomlin and Jonathan Winters delivering sober messages. Curb goes on to have a #1 hit in 1972 backing Sammy Davis Jr. on "The Candy Man" with The Mike Curb Congregation. In 1978, he is elected Lieutenant Governor of California and serves office until 1983, when he returns to music with Curb Records. His artists include Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Andy Williams and The Four Seasons.
©2022 Songfacts®, LLC