1985 The first Farm Aid concert plays in Champaign, Illinois, to benefit American farmers trying to survive amidst a national agricultural crisis.More
1974 The Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman boxing match (the "Rumble In The Jungle") in Zaire is postponed, but a concert festival promoting the event goes on anyway, with Bill Withers, The Spinners and Celia Cruz performing along with the African artist Tabu Ley Rochereau.More
1964 The musical Fiddler on the Roof makes its Broadway debut at the Imperial Theatre.More
1958 Joan Jett is born Joan Marie Larkin near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, raised in Rockville, Maryland. After joining the music scene as the guitarist for the all-girl punk band The Runaways, she goes on to form Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Their debut album is turned down by the first 23 record labels it is offered to, despite containing the future #2 hit "I Love Rock And Roll."
2018 Paul McCartney's album Egypt Station hits #1 in America, his first chart-topper on that tally since Tug of War in 1982.
2018 Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave dies at 74.
2012 Taylor Swift's single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" notches its third week at #1 on the Hot 100. Swift is still considered a country artist (the song also hits #1 on the Country chart), which puts her in company with Kenny Rogers in terms of crossover appeal; the last country song to spend at least three weeks at #1 was Rogers' "Lady" back in 1980.
2011 The world's most prolific songwriter, Paul McCartney, adds another string to his bow when his ballet Ocean's Kingdom is performed in New York.
2010 Eddie Fisher, one of the biggest pop stars of the '50s, dies of complications from hip surgery in Berkeley, California, at age 82.
2002 Sting receives an Emmy for his A&E documentary Sting in Tuscany: All This Time. He dedicates his award to his "dear late friend Timothy White."
2001 Isaac Stern, Soviet-born violinist and conductor, dies of congestive heart failure in New York City, at age 81.
2000 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper Flesh-N-Bone (Stanley Howse) is sentenced in a Los Angeles court to 10 years in prison for assault with an AK-47 rifle and possession of a gun, which is illegal for an ex-convict. Howse faces nearly 20 years in prison but receives a lesser sentence after his attorneys present evidence that he was an abused child.
1999 Vince Gill competes with himself in the vocal event category at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville. Gill is up with Patty Loveless for "My Kind of Woman/My Kind of Man" and with Sara Evans for "No Place That Far."
1999 Diana Ross is held in police custody at London's Heathrow Airport for several hours following an incident involving a member of the airport's security staff. Ross is arrested then cautioned and released following an allegation of assault on a female security officer during routine security checks prior to boarding a plane.
1998 White Zombie calls it a night. Bassist Sean Yseult confirms that the 13-year-old hard rock group has decided to break up.
1995 Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting System agree to a $7.5 million merger.
1992 Bruce Springsteen records a concert for MTV Unplugged, but plugs in after the first song and does the rest of the set electric. When the episode airs on November 11, it's billed as "MTV Plugged."
Auditioning for the third season of American Idol, William Hung performs a lively, but stupefyingly bad rendition of the Ricky Martin hit "She Bangs."
Hung, a University of California, Berkeley student studying civil engineering, shows up at the audition with no singing experience or training, which becomes clear as soon as he starts in on the song. By the time he gets to the chorus, Randy Jackson is laughing hysterically (his face hidden by a piece of paper), Simon Cowell is wearing his trademark scowl, and Paula Abdul is enjoying the show. Simon's assessment: "You can't sing, you can't dance, so what do you want me to say?" Hung answers, "I already gave my best, and I have no regrets at all." The audition airs on the January 15, 2004 episode of the show in a kicker segment showing some contestants who didn't make the cut. The clip goes viral and Hung becomes a minor celebrity, serving as an emblem of the delusional contestant who vastly over-rates his talent - a durable Idol trope. Auditions for the show drew about 80,000 contestants that year, and Hung's two minutes of airtime is more than all but a very few of them earned. His notoriety leads to media appearances, talk show performances, and even a record deal. His success prompts future contestants to attempt similarly bad performances, but in the post-Hung era of Idol, the judges (and pre-judges) quickly sniff out the frauds, keeping all but the most believable disasters off the air. Hung later joined the proletariat, working for the County of Los Angeles in the Sheriff's Department and Department of Public Health.
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