Billboard Artists of the Decade

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Phil Spector Guilty of Crazy Hair, Murder

Phil Spector's "wall of sound" was responsible for many '60s pop staples, but the legendary producer will be remembered by this generation as a convicted murdered with a crazy-ass afro. After two trials -- which grabbed media attention for the defendant's gravity-defying hairstyles alone -- Spector was found guilty of shooting cocktail waitress Lana Clarkson in 2003. The producer of "Unchained Medlody" is expected to spend the rest of his life shackled in a California state prison.
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Jay-Z & Nas Squash the Beef

Jay-Z and Nas weren't the first rappers to have beef, but theirs cooked longer and hotter than most. For four years, the two emcees battled it out on wax, creating one of the most high-profile rivalries in the history of hip-hop. But despite all of the ugly rhymes dropped by both sides, the feud ended peacefully and respectfully, with Nas appearing alongside and trading verses with Jay-Z at a concert in 2005. Now if Jigga could just make up with Beanie Sigel.
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Record Stores Crumble Across U.S.

For 40 years, the Tower Records brand was synonymous with music in the minds of many buyers. As CD sales dwindled in the wake of digital stores like iTunes, the once-powerful chain was forced to file for bankruptcy twice in the 2000s, eventually shutting its physical doors in October 2006. Virgin Records and hundreds of independent stores across the country soon followed, signaling that the one-stop music shop was fast becoming an antiquated idea.
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R.I.P. Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny Ramone

In their primes, the members of pioneering punk band the Ramones lives as hard and as fast as they rocked. But time finally caught up with three of the band's founding members, beginning with Joey (who died of lymphoma) in 2001, Dee Dee (who OD'ed on heroin) in 2002 and Johnny (who sucuumbed to prostate cancer) in 2004. The world's first Ramones museum opened its doors in Berlin, Germany on the same day as Johnny's death, helping to ensure the band's lagacy would live on for years to come.
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The Pixies Rise Again

Credited with influencing just about every alternative band of the '90s, the Pixies broke up in 1993, long before a majority of their growing fanbase could see them perform live. But alt-rock pipe dreams came true when the band played together for the first time in 11 years at the 2004 Coachella festival. Not only did the gig inspire the group to go on a full-fledged reunion tour, it left the door open for every defunct band of the '80s and '90s to get back on stage for the fans (and, of course, for the healthy paychecks).
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Chris Brown Beats Rihanna

On the outside, Rihanna and Chris Brown seemed like R&B's dream couple. But the lives of both young stars turned into a nightmare when Brown assaulted Rihanna after leaving a pre-Grammy party in Los Angeles. Photos of Rihanna's battered face quickly spread across the Internet, and the incident made both stars tabloid targets for several months. Rihanna soon became an unexpected voice for battered women, while Brown's tainted image continues to negatively impact his once-budding career.
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Dimebag Darrell Shot During Show

The metal world was stunned in the fall of 2004 when celebrated guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was shot and killed by while performing with his band Damageplan in Columbus, Ohio. Two band techs and an audience member were also killed before the gunman, Nathan Gale, was taken down by police. "Dimebag," who was also a founding member of the band Pantera, was fittingly buried in a Kiss casket, with a replica of Eddie van Halen's yellow and black Frankenstrat guitar by his side.
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Dangermouse Mashes Up, Pisses Off Beatles

Before he joined forced with Ceee-Lo in Gnarls Barkley, a largely unknown DJ/producer named Danger Mouse took isolated instrumental tracks from the Beatles "White Album" and paired them with vocal tracks from Jay-Z's "The Black Album." The fittingly titled "The Grey Album" caused a stir when the Beatles' EMI label threatened legal actions against the record's distributors, prompting several online protests amid discussion about fair use and statutory rights in sampling. Though the "Grey Album" remains available only as a bootleg, its success introduced mainstream America to the "mash-up" concept long before "Glee" hit the air.
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Amy Winehouse's Hot Mess Makes Headlines

Amy Winehouse should have said yes, yes, yes to rehab a lot sooner. As her stunning, retro-grade sophomore album "Back to Black" raced up the charts, the world watched the British diva's personal life spiral out of control with ferocious speed. Soon, tales of "Wino" snorting drugs onstage and smoking crack on video became more famous than her hit tunes. Even though she was denied a visa and was not allowed to attend the 2007 Grammys in person, Amy pulled her beehive together long enough to perform via satellite and nab five awards, including Best New Artist and Record of the Year -- news that was almost as shocking as some of her prior drug-fueled antics.
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Elliott Smith Ends Life With Steak Knife

In the same way grunge fans will never forget when they learned of Kurt Cobain' death, devoted indie rockers are haunted by the moment they heard of Elliott Smith's passing. The gentle singer-songwriter, who famously battled with drugs and depression, is said to have stabbed himself in the chest with a steak knife following an argument with his girlfriend (though some believe his death was a homicide). Sadly, Smith died at the height of his musical game, leaving despondent fans wondering how many precious songs will be remain unsung.
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