2004 – Scottish alternative rock act Franz Ferdinand wins the 2004 Nationwide Mercury Prize with its eponymous debut album. The annual music-industry award, recognizing the U.K. or Irish album of the year, is presented at the Grosvenor House hotel in Central London.
2003 – Singer/songwriter Warren Zevon dies in Los Angeles. He is 56. Zevon was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in August of the previous year. A spokesperson for the artist says that Zevon had been feeling well of late, and died peacefully in his home.
2002 – R&B artist Erma Franklin, who sang backup for her better-known sister Aretha, dies of cancer in Detroit. She is 64.
2002 – Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, 63, is rushed to the hospital with an undisclosed stomach illness, just hours before he is due to perform in his hometown of Gorilla, Ontario. Lightfoot undergoes surgery the following day.
2000 – Rage Against The Machine bassist Timothy Commerford pleads guilty to charges of assault and disorderly conduct in a Manhattan court, and is sentenced to time served, stemming from an incident during the MTV Video Music Awards the night before. During the show, Commerford climbed a large set piece as Limp Bizkit was accepting an award, was forcibly removed from the venue by N.Y. Police, and spent the rest of the night in jail.
2000 – ‘N Sync prove themselves the kings of pop when they take home three “Moon Man” trophies _ including best pop video and the viewers’ choice award _ during the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall. Hip-hop icon Eminem, who tied ‘N Sync with six nominations, takes home two “Moon Mean” Awards, including the prestigious video of the year nod.
1997 – Derek Taylor, press officer for the Beatles for much of their career, dies at his home in Suffolk, England, at the age of 65. He had been battling cancer for several years.
1996 – Composer Niccolo Castiglioni dies at the age of 64.
1995 – Hip-hop periodical Rappages Magazine presents a $10,000 check to the Minority AIDS Project in memory of Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, on what would have been the rapper’s 31st birthday.
1986 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Take My Breath Away,” Berlin. The song, which is featured in the film “Top Gun,” wins an Oscar as best original song.
1976 – Paul McCartney, who earlier purchased rights to Buddy Holly’s song catalog, commemorates Holly’s 40th birthday with the inauguration of “Buddy Holly Week” in the U.K.
1973 – Elton John performs at the Hollywood Bowl, where he’s introduced by porn star Linda Lovelace.
1949 – Singer Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”) is born in Newark, N.J.
1936 – Buddy Holly (Charles Hardin Holley) is born in Lubbock, Texas.