2004 – South African singer Brenda Fassie dies at the Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg. She is 39. She had been in a coma since April 26, after suffering an asthma attack. This led to cardio-respiratory arrest and subsequent brain damage.
2002 – Veteran Mexican singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel takes home four honors at the 13th annual Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami, including songwriter of the year, hot Latin track of the year, and Latin pop airplay track of the year for his hit song “Abrazame Muy Fuerte.”
2001 – Kenny Rogers receives a special Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Country Music during its 36th annual awards show, held at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. The award recognizes artists who have had career success in the past, then scored a “substantial comeback” as a performer.
2001 – James Myers, whose 2-minute, 8-second tune “Rock Around the Clock” is considered the granddaddy of all rock’n’roll songs, dies of leukemia. He is 81. Myers wrote the song with Max Freedman in 1953. Bill Haley & His Comets recorded it in 1954.
2001 – Michael Jackson releases a statement insisting he has no plans to sell the rights to the Beatles catalog. “I want to clarify a silly rumor,” the statement reads. “The Beatles Catalogue is not for sale; has not been for sale and will never be for sale.”
2000 – Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilera each took home two trophies at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, in Los Angeles. Backstreet Boys snag favorite pop group and favorite CD honors for “Millennium,” while Aguilera wins favorite new female artist and favorite single for “Genie In A Bottle.”
2000 – Rapper Jamal “Shyne” Barrow, a protègè of hop-hop impresario Sean “Puffy” Combs, is hit with a $6 million civil suit charging assault by a basketball rival. Robert Steinmentz alleges Barrow threw a basketball at his face from five feet away during a game at a New York sports club, and then began punching him.
1998 – Blues singer/harmonica player Lester Butler, 39, dies of a drug overdose in Los Angeles. Butler gained prominence as the front man for the Red Devils, who played a long residency at the King King in L.A. in the early ’90s.
1998 – Just a day short of six-weeks-old, young Emma McBride makes her first visit to the Grand Ole Opry with her mother, country singer Martina McBride. As mom sings “Valentine,” young Emma rests in the wings in Grandmother Jean Schiff’s arms.
1998 – Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page are musical guests on “Saturday Night Live.” The two perform their collaboration “Come To Me,” which borrows heavily from Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”
1964 – Chuck Berry starts his first U.K. tour in London, supported by the Animals, Carl Perkins and the Nashville Teens.
1949 – Billy Joel is born in Hicksville, Long Island, N.Y. He receives a Grammy Legends Award in 1990. His three No. 1 hits are “We Didn’t Start the Fire” in 1990, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” in 1980 and “Tell Her About It” in 1983.
1944 – Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield and Poco is born in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
1942 – Singer Tommy Roe is born in Atlanta. His No. 1 hits are “Dizzy” in 1969 and “Sheila” in 1962.
1937 – Dave Prater of Sam & Dave is born in Ocilla, Ga. The group’s biggest hit is the 1967 No. 2 song “Soul Man.” He dies in a car accident on April 9, 1988.
1914 – Grand Ole Opry member and Country Music Hall of Famer Hank Snow is born.