1999 The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announces the biggest-selling artists of the century in the United States: The Beatles have sold the most albums (106 million), Garth Brooks is the best-selling male solo act, and Barbra Streisand the best-selling female. Elton John's 1997 "Candle In The Wind" is the best-selling single of the century, and the best-selling album is the Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-1975.
1974 Bachman-Turner Overdrive become just the second Canadian band to hit #1 in America when "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" claims the top spot. The first to do it was another Randy Bachman band: The Guess Who, who topped the chart with "American Woman" in 1970.
1973 Billy Joel releases his second album, Piano Man. The title track, based on his nights performing at a piano bar in Los Angeles called The Executive Room, becomes his first hit when it peaks at #25 in America.
2012 Soul singer Major Harris (of The Delfonics) dies of congestive heart and lung failure at age 65.
2010 Rapper Wiz Khalifa is arrested in Greenville, North Carolina, on drug charges after authorities smell marijuana coming from his tour bus. Police find 60 grams of pot after searching the vehicle. Khalifa is booked and released on a $300,000 bond. The rapper's lawyers are able to reduce the charge to personal possession and Khalifa avoids jail time.
2010 Chris Tomlin ties the knot with his long-term girlfriend, Lauren Bricken.
2010 A three-alarm fire in a warehouse where Neil Young stored everything from vintage cars to guitar cases causes damage estimated at about $800,000. The cause is promptly investigated, but fire officials say they don't find any evidence of arson.
2009 Gary Glitter suffers the ultimate indignation when he is executed for child rape in a Channel 4 TV dramatization.
2008 "Pata Pata" singer Miriam Makeba dies of a heart attack at age 76 after performing at a concert in Castel Volturno, Italy.
2006 At the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, Alicia Keys and David Bowie perform "Changes" at a benefit for the Keep a Child Alive organization, which helps disadvantaged children in Africa. It is Bowie's final performance, as his health deteriorates and he withdraws from the public eye.
2004 Kenny Chesney is the big winner at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Chesney, who had never won a CMA award, scores both the Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year trophies. The latter is for his No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems set.
1999 Faith Hill releases her fourth album, Breathe. A huge crossover hit, it debuts at #1 in America and wins a Grammy Award for Best Country Album.
1998 Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun and Bobby "Blue" Bland receive lifetime achievement awards from the Blues Foundation at a ceremony held at the House of Blues in West Hollywood.
1998 Rick James suffers a stroke after a blood vessel ruptures in his neck while he is head banging during a performance in Denver, Colorado. A spokesman later comments, "The doctor called it a result of rock'n'roll neck, the repeated rhythmic whiplash motion of the head and neck."
1998 Michael Jackson settles a lawsuit over stories and pictures in the London Daily Mirror that say his face had been disfigured by cosmetic surgery. "The photographs were taken honestly and were not tampered with, but the Mirror has since met with the plaintiff in person and acknowledges that the photographs do not accurately represent the plaintiff's true appearance," says a lawyer for the publisher.
1993 R. Kelly releases his debut album, 12 Play. It peaks at #2 in America and holds the top spot on the R&B albums chart for nine weeks.
The first Wu-Tang Clan album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), is released. The album becomes a hardcore rap landmark and proof that a 9-man hip-hop collective can succeed.
In 1993, East Coast hip-hop is in a slump. With the emergence of seminal albums by West Coast rappers like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, the genre once dominated by Def Jam Records' New York sound has gone in another direction, giving birth to gangsta rap and G-funk. Enter the Wu-Tang. These nine MCs from New York alter the hip-hop universe and spark the East Coast Renaissance. RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Ol' Dirty Bastard form the Wu-Tang Clan and issue Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), an album that defines the golden era of '90s hip-hop and influences a generation of artists. The album is made on a tight budget, which is strained by the sheer size of the group. They can only afford to record in small studios, leading to cramped and overcrowded conditions. Money is so tight that at one point, they pay for a $300 studio session with quarters. When 36 Chambers hits the shelves, hip-hop fans, now accustomed to the sound of West Coast gangsta rap, are initially slow to buy the album, but critical praise and word-of-mouth tear those barriers down. Classic songs such as "C.R.E.A.M." (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) and "Protect Ya Neck" become part of the hip-hop lexicon and are routinely sampled and referenced in the decades that follow. With its dark yet philosophical lyrics, cult martial arts movie samples, and RZA's iconic production, 36 Chambers invents a sound in 1993 that Jay-Z, Kanye West, and many other rap luminaries cite as a major inspiration. Benchmark hip-hop albums such as Nas' Illmatic and The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready To Die all owe a debt to 36 Chambers.
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