Monday, May 8, 2017


In Music History

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2009San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders declares "Adam Lambert Day" after Lambert's performance of "Black Or White" and "Mad World" on American Idol.
2008Country singer Eddy Arnold dies in Nashville, Tennessee, a week before his 90th birthday.
2001Clint Black and his wife Lisa Hartman Black welcome their daughter Lily Pearl Black.
1999Jazz singer Leon Thomas dies of heart failure at age 62.
1995Rick Nelson receives a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1993The newly formed Backstreet Boys give their very first public performance, at SeaWorld Orlando.
1992Will Smith (AKA, the Fresh Prince) marries a songwriter named Sheree Zampino, who is pregnant with their son Trey. The couple will divorce in 1995.
1991Bohemian-born pianist Rudolf Serkin dies of cancer at age 88.
1982The orchestral instrumental "Chariots Of Fire - Titles," by the Greek composer Vangelis, goes to #1 in America.
1982Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart dies of cancer and lymphoma at age 39.
1978Donny Osmond gets married at the age of 21 to Debra Glenn. The couple will have 5 children.
1977Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa is born in New Hartford, New York, where he'll start playing the guitar at age 4.
1976John Sebastian's "Welcome Back," the theme song to the TV series Welcome Back, Kotter, hits #1 in America. The series was originally called Kotter, but after Sebastian wrote the song, the title was changed to accommodate (Sebastian tried writing a song called "Kotter," but could only rhyme that word with "otter."
1975Enrique Iglesias is born in Madrid, Spain, to Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and journalist Isabel Preysler.
1974British R&B musician Graham Bond dies in an apparent suicide at age 36 when he's hit by a train at Finsbury Park station in London, England.
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Rock Star Comes Out As Transgender

Tom Gabel, lead singer of the Florida punk band Against Me!, comes out as transgender and announces he will undergo gender reassignment surgery, becoming Laura Jane Grace.
The punk rocker Jayne County became the first high-profile musician to change gender, going through three phases of operations from 1979-1982. A generation later, Gabel makes his transition, garnering widespread support from fans and peers.

Gabel makes the announcement in Rolling Stone, where he defines gender dysphoria: "It's a feeling of detachment from your body and from yourself. And it's s--tty, man." A missive from a transgender fan helped convince him to go public. "If she had the courage to come out as trans – then why the f--k didn't I?"

Gabel's announcement draws attention to the plight of trans individuals and helps clear up many misconceptions. The next Against Me! album is released in 2014 and titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Much of it deals with the struggles Grace faced along her journey; the song "True Trans Soul Rebel" is about the first time she went out in public dressed as a woman.

Grace helps demystify transgenderism and becomes a leader in the fight for transgender rights. The movement is galvanized in 2015 when Olympic hero and reality TV star Bruce Jenner announces that he will transition, becoming Caitlyn Jenner. Like Grace, Jenner receives a great deal of support. Musicians in particular stick their necks out to help the cause - when North Carolina passes a law in 2016 demanding people use the bathrooms that match the gender they were born with, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam protest by canceling concerts in the state.

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