David Coverdale, 72.
David Coverdale is an English singer who is best known as the lead vocalist of Whitesnake, a hard rock band he founded in 1978. Before Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976, after which he established his solo career. A collaboration with ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page resulted in a Coverdale–Page studio album in 1993 that was subsequently certified platinum.
In 2016, Coverdale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple, giving one of the band's induction speeches. Coverdale is known in particular for his powerful, blues-tinged voice.
Nick Cave, 66.
Nicholas Edward Cave is an Australian musician, writer and actor. Known for his baritone voice and for fronting the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Cave's music is characterised by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences and lyrical obsessions with death, religion, love and violence.
Born and raised in rural Victoria, Cave studied art in Melbourne before fronting the Birthday Party, one of the city's leading post-punk bands, in the late 1970s. In 1980 they evolved towards a darker and more challenging sound that helped inspire gothic rock, and acquired a reputation as "the most violent live band in the world". Cave became recognised for his confrontational performances, his shock of black hair and pale, emaciated look. The band broke up soon after moving to Berlin in 1982, and Cave formed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds the year after, later described as one of rock's "most redoubtable, enduring" bands. Much of their early material is set in a mythic American Deep South, drawing on spirituals and Delta blues, while Cave's preoccupation with Old Testament notions of good versus evil culminated in what has been called his signature song, "The Mercy Seat" (1988), and in his debut novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel (1989). In 1988, he appeared in Ghosts... of the Civil Dead, an Australian prison film which he both co-wrote and scored.
The 1990s saw Cave move between São Paulo and England, and find inspiration in the New Testament. He went on to achieve mainstream success with quieter, piano-driven ballads, notably the Kylie Minogue duet "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (1996), and "Into My Arms" (1997). Turning increasingly to film in the 2000s, Cave wrote the Australian Western The Proposition (2005), also composing its soundtrack with frequent collaborator Warren Ellis. The pair's film score credits include The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The Road (2009) and Hell or High Water (2016). Their garage rock side project Grinderman has released two albums since 2006. In 2009, he released his second novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, and starred in the semi-fictional "day in the life" film 20,000 Days on Earth (2014). His more recent musical work features ambient and electronic elements, as well as increasingly abstract lyrics, informed in part by grief over his son Arthur's 2015 death, which is explored in the documentary One More Time with Feeling (2016) and the Bad Seeds' 17th and latest album, Ghosteen (2019).
Cave maintains The Red Hand Files, a newsletter he uses to respond to questions from fans. He has collaborated with the likes of Shane MacGowan and ex-partner PJ Harvey, and his songs have been covered by a wide range of artists, including Johnny Cash ("The Mercy Seat"), Metallica ("Loverman") and Snoop Dogg ("Red Right Hand"). He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007, and named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2017.
Joan Jett, 65.
Joan Jett is an American rock singer, guitarist, songwriter, record producer and actress. She is best known for her work as the frontwoman of her band Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and for earlier founding and performing with the Runaways, which recorded and released the hit song "Cherry Bomb". With the Blackhearts, Jett is known for her rendition of the song "I Love Rock 'n Roll" which was number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1982. Jett's other notable songs include "Bad Reputation", "Light of Day", "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and her covers of "Crimson and Clover", "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" and "Dirty Deeds".
Jett has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. She has three albums that have been certified platinum or gold. She has been described as "the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll". Joan Jett & the Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
Andrea Bocelli, 65.
Andrea Bocelli is an Italian tenor. He was born visually impaired, with congenital glaucoma, and at the age of 12, Bocelli became completely blind, following a brain hemorrhage resulting from a football accident. After performing evenings in piano bars and competing in local singing contests, Bocelli signed his first recording contract with the Sugar Music label. He rose to fame in 1994, winning the newcomer’s section of the 44th Sanremo Music Festival performing "Il mare calmo della sera".
Since 1994, Bocelli has recorded 15 solo studio albums of both pop and classical music, three greatest hits albums, and nine complete operas, selling over 75 million records worldwide. He has had success as a crossover performer, bringing classical music to the top of international pop charts. His album Romanza is one of the best-selling albums of all time, while Sacred Arias is the biggest selling classical album by any solo artist in history. My Christmas was the best-selling holiday album of 2009 and one of the best-selling holiday albums in the United States. The 2019 album Sì debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and US Billboard 200, becoming Bocelli's first number-one album in both countries. His song "Con te partiro", included on his second album Bocelli, is one of the best-selling singles of all time. The track was licensed to feature in a series of television commercials for TIM in the late 1990s, which eventually became very popular in Italy.
In 1998, Bocelli was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. He duetted with Celine Dion on the song "The Prayer" for the animated film Quest for Camelot, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 1999, he was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards. He captured a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records with the release of his classical album Sacred Arias, as he simultaneously held the top three positions on the US Classical Albums charts.
On this day today:
1967 - The Beatles appear (as an abstract drawing) on the cover of Time magazine.
1974 - The Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman boxing match (the "Rumble In The Jungle") in Zaire is postponed, but a concert festival promoting the event goes on anyway, with Bill Withers, The Spinners and Celia Cruz performing along with the African artist Tabu Ley Rochereau.
1978 - Tom Waits makes his film debut in Paradise Alley, written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, playing a bar-dwelling piano player named Mumbles.
1979 - Joe Walsh announces his bid for the US presidency (he obviously doesn't win).
1980 - Geffen Records is formed.
1989 - Composer/lyricist Irving Berlin dies at age 101 in New York City.
1990 - The N.W.A. EP 100 Miles and Runnin' (their first release without Ice Cube, who left the group several months earlier to pursue a successful solo career) debuts at #27 on the Billboard 200 chart.
1990 - After parting with original drummer Chad Channing, Nirvana plays their one and only show with Dan Peters of Mudhoney on drums (at the Motor Sports International Garage in Seattle). He is replaced by Dave Grohl, who mans the kit henceforth.
1992 - Vice President Dan Quayle says that Tupac Shakur's 2Pacalypse Now album "has no place in our society" and calls on record stores to stop selling it. Quayle has beef with Tupac's lyrics about "dropping a cop," as heard in the track "Soulja's Story." Many of the rapper's songs deal with police racism and brutality.
1992 - Bruce Springsteen records a concert for MTV Unplugged, but plugs in after the first song and does the rest of the set electric. When the episode airs on November 11, it's billed as "MTV Plugged."
1994 - Friends debuts on NBC, accompanied by a catchy theme song by The Rembrandts that becomes an unexpected hit.
1998 - "Iris" hitmakers The Goo Goo Dolls release their smash album Dizzy Up The Girl, a 4-million seller that includes the ubiquitous City Of Angels ballad as well as the Top 20 singles "Slide," "Black Balloon" and "Broadway."
1998 - The first Family Values Tour, created by Korn and featuring Limp Bizkit, Ice Cube and Rammstein, launches with a show in Rochester, New York.
1999 - Diana Ross is held in police custody at London's Heathrow Airport for several hours following an incident involving a member of the airport's security staff. Ross is arrested then cautioned and released following an allegation of assault on a female security officer during routine security checks prior to boarding a plane.
2002 - Sting receives an Emmy for his A&E documentary Sting in Tuscany: All This Time. He dedicates his award to his "dear late friend Timothy White."
2011 - The world's most prolific songwriter, Paul McCartney, adds another string to his bow when his ballet Ocean's Kingdom is performed in New York.
2012 - Taylor Swift's single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" notches its third week at #1 on the Hot 100. Swift is still considered a country artist (the song also hits #1 on the Country chart), which puts her in company with Kenny Rogers in terms of crossover appeal; the last country song to spend at least three weeks at #1 was Rogers' "Lady" back in 1980.
2015 - The "Happy Birthday" copyright is ruled invalid, putting the song into the public domain.
2018 - Paul McCartney's album Egypt Station hits #1 in America, his first chart-topper on that tally since Tug of War in 1982.