Consider the evolution of the humble banjo. It morphed from a hollow gourd, strummed by African slaves, into an elegant toy for Victorian society ladies. Later, it grew into one of the mainstays of bluegrass music.
Despite slow overall sales throughout the holiday season, the week leading up to Christmas saw a retail burst led by a trio of R&B/hip-hop artists that shifted more than 1.75 million copies to lead The Billboard 200. Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" (Geffen) emerges as the No. 1 title, followed by Jamie Foxx's "Unpredictable" (J) and the late Notorious B.I.G.'s star-filled "Duets: The Final Chapter" (Bad Boy) to fill the chart's top three slots.
1998 - Busta Rhymes - a.k.a. Trevor Smith - is arrested and charged with criminal possession after police find a loaded unregistered pistol in his car. Police originally pull Rhymes over for changing lanes three times without signaling.
A new generation of music fans will get hip to one of new wave's most iconic acts through Devo 2.0. The Disney Sound CD/DVD project finds the band re-recording such hits as 1980's "Whip It" with kid voices and animated videos.
The Alarm's Mike Peters has begun chemotherapy treatments for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. "The good news is that although my illness is not curable, it is treatable," he says, relaying his doctor's optimistic prediction: "It is a disease I will probably die with, rather than of."