2016Mary J. Blige debuts her Apple Music talk show, The 411, and welcomes Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton as her first guest. Halfway through the intimate conversation, Blige bursts into a rendition of Bruce Springsteen's protest anthem "American Skin (41 Shots)" in a bid to address the rash of police brutality against African Americans. The attempt falls flat with viewers, who heckle the singer on social media.More
1998On The Drew Carey Show episode "In Ramada Da Vida," Slash, Lisa Loeb, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, Dave Mustaine, Jonny Lang, Joey Ramone, Joe Walsh and Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen audition for Drew's band, which has a gig at the Ramada Inn. Walsh gets the job.
1995Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" becomes just the second single to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (the first was Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone"). It stays at the top spot for eight weeks.
1993George Harrison and David Crosby play their animated selves on the Season 5 premiere of The Simpsons, "Homer's Barbershop Quartet."
1989Bette Midler is awarded $400,000 in her lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company, which had her former backing singer Ula Hedwig sing Midler's hit "Do You Want To Dance" in a 1985 commercial for the Mercury Sable. The verdict means that companies can't purposely imitate the vocals of a famous singer in advertisements without consent.
2011Marv Tarplin (of The Miracles) dies in Las Vegas, Nevada, at age 70.
2010After 10 years, the first ever John Lennon museum closes. Located outside of Tokyo, it shuts down because Yoko Ono wants Lennon's spirit to remain in motion, saying, "If the Museum which houses his spirit never moved, it would be a grave, not a Museum."
2008Hot on the heels of the mega-successful Evolution of Robin Thicke, Robin Thicke's third solo album, Something Else, debuts at #3 on the Billboard 200. The album moves 140,000 copies in the first week.
2008Disney releases Nightmare Revisited, a cover album of songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The new album commemorates the fifteenth anniversary of the film's original 1993 release and features new arrangements by KoRn, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Marilyn Manson.
2006Shine On, Jet's sophomore album, is released to mixed reviews. Most notably the indie music website Pitchfork's review is nothing but a video of a chimpanzee urinating into its own mouth. The title track and third single from the record, "Shine On," is a tribute to Nic and Chris Chester's dad, who died from cancer in 2004.
2003Rockabilly performer Ronnie Dawson dies of throat cancer in Dallas, Texas, at age 64.
2002Faith Hill releases "Cry," the title track from her latest country pop album. It's another crossover success for the country singer, landing at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and giving her a second win for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (the first being for "Breathe").
2002Pianist Ellis Larkins dies of pneumonia at age 79.
2002Pat Boone guests on the TV series Seventh Heaven.
James Dean is killed in a car accident at age 24. Dean dies around the same time rock and roll comes alive (the #1 song the day he dies: Pat Boone's cover of "Ain't That A Shame" - clearly America is at a crossroads).
Over the next 10 years, songs about cars, teenagers and tragedy became commonplace, with Dean the template for the romantic lead. You can make a pretty good case for Dean giving rise to rock and roll, as his death adds an authenticity to the form.
In the '70s, rock matures and Dean is viewed though the lens of nostalgia. While Buddy Holly is the impetus for Don McLean's "American Pie," Dean of course gets a mention:
The jester sang for the king and queen In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
The Eagles even include a song called "James Dean" on their 1974 album On The Border:
James Dean, you said it all so clean And I know my life would look all right If I could see it on the silver screen
And while Dean did live life in the fast lane, evidence indicates that he was not driving in a reckless manner when his Porsche Spyder 550 crashes into an oncoming car on a highway in California. Prior to the accident, Dean made an appeal for safety when he appeared on the TV show Warner Brothers Presents to promote his upcoming film Giant. At the end of the video, Dean says, "Take it easy driving, the life you might save might be mine."