2005Carrie Underwood wins Season 4 of American Idol and becomes their most successful alum: Her debut album goes on to sell over 7 million copies.
1996Brad Nowell (frontman of Sublime) dies of a heroin overdose at age 28, just one week after marrying Troy Dendekker, the mother of his 11-month-old son, Jakob.More
1991Billboard implements SoundScan technology on their Albums chart, replacing the decades-old system that relied on record stores to report sales figures. With SoundScan, the sales are tracked electronically, providing much more accurate data.More
1986It's Hands Across America, as millions of Americans form a human chain from New York to Santa Monica to raise money for hunger relief. The project is organized by the same guy who put together "We Are The World," but the theme song is far less ambitious.More
1985Wham!'s "Everything She Wants" hits #1 in the US, making them the first group since the Bee Gees to have three #1 hits from the same album.
2014Two members of the Japanese girl group AKB48, along with a staff member, are attacked by a saw-wielding maniac during a meet-the-fans event. The victims are treated for cuts and fractures while the suspect is arrested for attempted murder.
2013Marshall Lytle (bassist for Bill Haley) dies of lung cancer at age 79.
2013Clarence Burke Jr. (lead singer of The Five Stairsteps) dies at his home in Marietta, Georgia, from an undisclosed cause at age 64.
2012At a concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson interrupts a performance of "Stupid Girl" to challenge a member of the crowd who was punching a woman.
2008Jet releases a YouTube video featuring their song "Shine On" that honors the life and work of Australian ophthalmologist Fred Hallows. It is estimated that Hallows' work in Australia and other developing nations has helped bring eyesight to over one million people. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, lead singer Nic Chester said, "hopefully [the video] encourages people to make a donation to keep Fred's work going."
2006Reggae singer-songwriter Desmond Dekker dies of a heart attack at age 64.
2005Domenic Troiano (guitarist for The Guess Who, Bush) dies at age 59 after a ten-year battle with prostate cancer.
2005Garth Brooks proposes to Trisha Yearwood in front of 7,000 fans during a show at Buck Owens's Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California. The pair marry in December.
2004In a letter to fans, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio says that after 21 years together, the band is splitting up. "We all love and respect Phish and the Phish audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don't want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act."
They wrap things up with a show in Coventry, Vermont in August, but it is not the final curtain: In 2009, the band reunites.
2002The mosh pit goes horribly wrong at an Eminem concert in Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium, and at least 25 people are injured.
1998"Ramsey Lewis Week" is declared in Chicago to honor the Grammy Award-winning jazz composer.
1996The Fugees hit #1 in America with their album The Score.
1994Jazz guitarist Eric Gale (of Stuff) dies of lung cancer at age 55.
1992Boyz II Men is touring as the opening act for MC Hammer's 2 Legit 2 Quit tour when their manager, Khalil Rountree, is murdered by three gunmen at a Chicago hotel.
George Lucas' space opera Star Warsdebuts in theaters, accompanied by an instantly iconic score from John Williams.
Star Wars thrills audiences with its groundbreaking special effects, from ships whizzing through space to intense lightsaber battles to otherwordly creatures. Fans will return to the theaters again and again, making the film the most successful of the year, at over $775 million at the box office, and laying the groundwork for one of the most celebrated film franchises of all time.
Lucas wanted a trio of unknowns for the central "good guy" characters: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). But for the music, he turned to a seasoned veteran. John Williams was already known for memorable scores for films like Fiddler on the Roof, The Poseidon Adventure, and – of course – Jaws.
For Star Wars, Williams creates a symphonic score that includes leitmotifs (musical phrases specific to each main character, like Darth Vader's ominous "Imperial March") that are also incorporated into the thundering opening themeas the yellow words scroll over the screen for the first time. Williams is cleverly telling the story before it even begins, introducing through music the young hero who will take down the evil Galactic Empire, with the help of a rebel princess and a hot-shot mercenary.
The main title theme, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, is a #10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and Williams takes home numerous awards for the soundtrack, including an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award. A re-imagined disco version from Meco – complete with a bleeping R2-D2 solo - also lands at #1 on the pop chart.