1917, Rufus Thomas, singer
1944, Diana Ross, singer
1948, Steven Tyler, vocals (Aerosmith)
1950, Teddy Pendergrass, soul singer
1968, James Jonas Iha, guitar (Smashing Pumpkins)
1968, Kenny Chesney, U.S. country singer
1965, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman all received electric shocks from a faulty microphone on stage during a Rolling Stones concert in Denmark. Wyman was knocked unconscious for several minutes.
1969, Marvin Gaye was at #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Co-written and produced by Norman Whitfield, the song was first recorded by The Miracles and had also been a U.S. million-seller in 1967 for Gladys Knight & The Pips.
1970, Peter Yarrow of the folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary plead guilty to “taking immoral liberties” with a 14-year-old girl in Washington D.C. He was sentenced to three months in prison. Ironically, just days earlier, the trio had won a Grammy for Best Recording for Children for their album Peter, Paul And Mommy.
1976, one-man British blues band, Duster Bennett, who worked with Alexis Korner, John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac and B.B. King, was killed in a car accident.
1977, Hall & Oates started a three-week run at #1 on the Billboard singles chart with “Rich Girl,” the duo’s first U.S. chart-topper.
1983, Duran Duran were at #1 for the first time on the U.K. singles chart with “Is There Something I Should Know?” On this day the group were on an American promotional trip when they were greeted by 5,000 screaming fans at an in-store appearance in New York City.
1985, radio stations in South Africa banned all of Stevie Wonder’s records after he dedicated the Academy Award he had won the night before to Nelson Mandela.
1988, Michael Jackson started a two-week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “Man in the Mirror.”
2000, Santana started a two-week run at #1 on the U.K. album chart with Supernatural.
2004, Jan Berry of Jan & Dean died at the age of 62 after being in poor health from injuries sustained in a 1966 car crash. The duo’s biggest hit was the 1963 #1 single “Surf City” (#26 in the U.K.), which was co-written by Beach Boy Brian Wilson.
2005, Australian drummer Paul Hester, formerly of Split Enz, Crowded House and Largest Living Things, committed suicide by hanging himself in a park in Melbourne. He was 46. After leaving Crowded House in 1994, Hester appeared on many TV and radio shows in Australia.
2006, British readers of Total Guitar magazine voted Jimmy Page’s “Stairway to Heaven” solo the “greatest guitar solo of all time”. It edged out entries from Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles.
2006, U2’s The Edge donated his favorite guitar - a 1975 Gibson Les Paul - to a charity he co-founded to replace instruments lost or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.