Thursday, June 15, 2017


In Music History

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2017Jay-Z becomes the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
2014American Top 40 host (and voice of Shaggy on Scooby Doo) Casey Kasem dies at age 82.
2013Roger LaVern (keyboardist for The Tornados) dies at age 75.
2012The conservative radio and TV personality Glenn Beck announces plans for launching a competitor to the popular TV series Glee, which revolves around a high school glee club with many musical numbers. Beck, incensed at the show's liberal portrayal of issues such as homosexuality and bullying, tells a Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington that the left "won't know what hit them" when he launches his own conservative version of the show. The show never materializes.
2008Lionel Richie is given a TV Land Icon Award by the cable network.
2007Ferlin Huskey undergoes leg surgery in a Springfield, Missouri, hospital to improve his circulation.
1997Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson appear on VH1's Storytellers.
1996The Beastie Boys host the first Tibetan Freedom Concert, with performers that include Sonic YouthSmashing Pumpkins and John Lee Hooker. About 100,000 attend the two shows, raising money for the Milarepa Fund.
1996Aurora is born Aurora Aksnes in Bergen, Norway. 
1996Ella Fitzgerald dies of complications from diabetes at age 79.
1991MC Hammer kicks off his Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em world tour in Louisville, Kentucky. About 70 people, who perform various duties on stage, are in the entourage. Rolling Stone reports that Hammer is a taskmaster, fining dancers for missing steps and insisting that everyone go directly to their hotel rooms after shows.
1991Paula Abdul hits #1 in America with the ballad "Rush, Rush," her fifth chart-topper. A young Keanu Reeves is in the video.
1989The Offspring's self-titled debut album is released only on vinyl. A CD and cassette reissue would eventually be released in 1995.
1988"If You Wanna Be Happy" singer Jimmy Soul dies of a heart attack at age 45 after years of drug use takes its toll.
1986At Giants Stadium in New Jersey, The Police headline the last concert on the Conspiracy of Hope tour, which benefits Amnesty International. They have plans to record an album, but scrap them after drummer Stewart Copeland is injured in a polo match. The trio does not tour again until 2007.
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The Lion King Hits Theaters

The Disney film The Lion King hits theaters. A runaway hit, the movie takes in over $300 million in 1994, second only to Forrest Gump. The soundtrack goes Diamond, meaning over 10 million copies sold - a record for the soundtrack to an animated film.
The key songs in the film - "Circle of Life," "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" - are written by Elton John without his usual songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin. Taking on the lyrics is Tim Rice, whose CV includes music from EvitaJesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This collaboration has enough knights to fill one side of a chessboard, as both Elton John and Tim Rice had earned knighthood in England.

When the Academy Awards rolls around, three of the five slots in the Song of the Year category are taken up by Lion King tunes, with "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" winning (Elton performs the song at the ceremony; "Hakuna Matata" and "Circle of Life" are the other nominees). Elton takes a shine to "Circle of Life," considering it the best of the bunch and including it in many of his setlists.

The film has a huge impact on Elton John, who expands his fanbase to a younger generation and delves into work on musicals, taking gigs working on Billy Elliot and Aida. The film becomes the biggest traditionally animated movie of all time and gives rise to a lavish musical production in 1997 that would become a Broadway staple.

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