2004 – Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan and one of the most eccentric personalities in hip-hop, dies of a drug overdose in New York. He would have turned 36 two days later. The rapper, whose real name was Russell Tyrone. Jones, was having difficulty breathing and complained of chest pains earlier in the day, according to his spokesperson. Later autopsies show a fatal mixture of cocaine and the prescription drug Tramadol, a synthetic opiate that is usually prescribed to treat severe pain.
2002 – Trumpeter and big-band leader William “Bill” Berry dies in Los Angeles after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. He is 72.
2000 – Trisha Yearwood donates a Starlight Fun Center to Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital. The mobile entertainment center includes a TV monitor, VCR and Nintendo 64 game unit, and can be rolled up next to a child’s bed.
2000 – Alejandro Sanz caps a triumphant week when he wins awards for Spanish male artist and Spanish album at the Premios Amigo. The week before Sanz won identical awards at the 47th Premios Ondas.
2000 – The Beatles sanction their first official Web site, www.thebeatles.com. The site launches in conjunction with the U.K. release of “1,” a compilation of 27 British and U.S. No. 1 tracks.
1999 – Donald Mills, the last surviving member of legendary family vocal group the Mills Brothers, dies in Los Angeles due to complications from pneumonia. He is 84.
1998 – Pianist Kenny Kirkland, 43, dies in New York of a heart attack. Kirkland was in the jazz bands of Wynton and Branford Marsalis. In 1985, he joined Sting’s band, and in the ’90s was in the “Tonight Show” band.
1997 – Things get ugly for the Spice Girls in Barcelona at the 44th Premios Ondas Awards. The industry crowd boos throughout the cheeky quintet’s lip-synched performance of “Spice Up Your Life,” after it is announced that the Girls would not perform while photographers were present.
1997 – Celine Dion, best known for singing in English and French, releases her first single in Japanese. The single, “Be The Man,” is released in Japan only and is the theme to the Japanese TV drama “Eve.”
1997 – Ray Charles conducts his first-ever online chat at www.rhino.com. The pop music legend fields questions about his recently released, five-CD boxed set, “Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection.”
1995 – Rapper M.C. Hammer plays a benefit in Moscow for Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin’s political party, Our Home Is Russia.
1987 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Tiffany. Tiffany Darwish was born Oct. 2, 1971, making her the first artist with a No. 1 hit to be born in the 1970s.
1974 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Whatever Gets You Through the Night,” John Lennon. Elton John plays piano and organ and sings backing vocals on the song.
1963 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Deep Purple,” Nino Tempo & April Stevens. The duo is a brother-sister team.
1921 – Composer Joonas Kokkonen is born.