26 Mar, 2024

March 26 in Music History

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March 26 in Music History

Today's birthdays:

Diana Ross, 80.

Diana Ross is an American singer and actress. She was the lead singer of the vocal group The Supremes, who became Motown's most successful act during the 1960s and one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. They remain the best-charting female group in history, with a total of twelve number-one hit singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, including "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", and "Love Child".

Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross embarked on a successful solo music career with the release of her eponymous debut solo album and its singles, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" – her first solo U.S. number-one hit – and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)". Her second solo album, Everything Is Everything (1970), spawned her first UK number-one single "I'm Still Waiting". Ross continued her successful solo career by mounting elaborate record-setting worldwide concert tours, starring in highly watched primetime TV specials, and releasing hit albums, such as Touch Me in the Morning (1973), Mahogany (1975), Diana Ross (1976), and Diana (1980), as well as their number-one hit singles – "Touch Me in the Morning", "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)", "Love Hangover", and "Upside Down", respectively. "Endless Love", a 1981 duet with Lionel Richie, made her the female solo act with the most number-one songs in the United States at the time. Her commercial success continued throughout the '80s and '90s with global hits, including "I'm Coming Out", "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", "All of You", "Chain Reaction", "If We Hold on Together" and "When You Tell Me That You Love Me".

Ross has also achieved mainstream success and recognition as an actress. Her first role was her Golden Globe Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Billie Holiday in the film Lady Sings the Blues (1972), becoming the first African-American actress to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance; she also recorded its soundtrack, which became her only solo album to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. She also starred in two other feature films, Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978), and later appeared in the television films Out of Darkness (1994), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and Double Platinum (1999).

Ross was named the "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard in 1976. Since her solo career began in 1970, Ross has released 25 studio albums, numerous singles, and compilations that have sold more than 100 million records worldwide.She is the only woman artist to have had number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist, as the other half of a duet, as a member of a trio, and as an ensemble member. In 2021, Billboard ranked her the 30th greatest Hot 100 artist of all time. Her hits as a Supreme and a solo artist combined put Ross among the Top 5 artists on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart from 1955 to 2018. She had a top 10 UK hit in every one of the last five decades, and sang lead on a top 75 hit single at least once every year from 1964 to 1996 in the UK, a period of 33 consecutive years and a record for any performer. In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Supremes, and is one of the rare performers to have two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was the recipient of a Special Tony Award in 1977, the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and 2023 (becoming the first woman to win the award twice, the latter as a member of The Supremes), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Steven Tyler, 76.

Steven Victor Tallarico (born March 26, 1948), known professionally as Steven Tyler, is an American singer, best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the keyboards, harmonica and percussion. He has been called the "Demon of Screamin'" due to his high screams and his powerful wide vocal range. He is also known for his on-stage acrobatics. During his performances, Tyler usually dresses in colorful, sometimes androgynous outfits and makeup with his trademark scarves hanging from his microphone stand.

In the 1970s, Tyler rose to prominence as the lead singer of Aerosmith, which released such hard rock albums as Toys in the Attic and Rocks, along with a string of hit singles, including "Dream On", "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way". By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Tyler had a heavy drug and alcohol addiction and the band's popularity waned. In 1986, Tyler completed drug rehabilitation and Aerosmith rose to prominence again when Tyler and Joe Perry joined Run-DMC for a re-make of "Walk This Way", which became a Top 5 hit. Aerosmith subsequently launched a comeback with the multi-platinum albums Permanent Vacation, Pump, Get a Grip and Nine Lives, which produced a combined thirteen Top 40 singles and won the band numerous awards. During this time, the band embarked on their longest concert tours, promoted their singles with conceptual music videos, and made appearances in television, film and video games.

Since the late 1980s, Tyler has embarked on several solo endeavors, including guest appearances with musicians including Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe, Santana, Pink and Keith Anderson, film and TV work, authoring a book, and solo music, including the Top 40 single "(It) Feels So Good" in 2011. Tension with his Aerosmith bandmates arose in 2009 and 2010 after he fell off the stage at a concert, and had a relapse with prescription drugs, receiving treatment in 2009. He also signed on to American Idol without telling the other members of the band. Nonetheless, Tyler has continued to record music and perform with Aerosmith, after more than 50 years as a member of the group. In 2016, he released his debut solo album, We're All Somebody from Somewhere, a country rock album that included the single "Love Is Your Name". Tyler supported the album with the "Out on a Limb" tour. Tyler continues to perform both solo, with backing from the Loving Mary Band, and with Aerosmith.

Tyler is included in Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Singers. He was ranked third on Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Aerosmith and in 2013, Tyler and his songwriting partner Joe Perry received the ASCAP Founders Award and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

On this day today:

1827 - Ludwig van Beethoven dies at age 56.
1964 - Barbra Streisand opens on Broadway in Funny Girl, two months after landing her first Top 10 hit with the show's number "People."
1966 - The Strangeurs, featuring future Aerosmith frontman Steven Tallarico (later Steven Tyler), open for The Byrds at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York. The Strangeurs arrange for girls to sit in the front row and scream for them, but it's hardly necessary as the crowd goes nuts during their set, where they play six songs instead of their allotted two.
1971 - The Rolling Stones' lips and tongue logo appears for the first time when it is used on VIP passes for their show at the Marquee Club in London.
1971 - Emerson, Lake & Palmer play their adaptation of Mussorgsky's classical piece "Pictures At An Exhibition" at Newcastle City Hall in England. The performance is released as a live album later that year.
1975 - The movie version of Tommy premieres in London.

1976 - David Keuning (lead guitarist for The Killers) is born in Pella, Iowa.
1977 - "Rich Girl" hits #1 in America, giving Hall & Oates their first of six chart-toppers on the Hot 100.

1983 - Thanks to heavy rotation on MTV, Duran Duran have their first American hit when "Hungry Like The Wolf" hits #3 on the Hot 100.

1987 - Nike begins airing a commercial using the Beatles song "Revolution," marking the first time an original version of a Beatles song is used in an ad.
1988 - "Man In The Mirror" becomes the fourth of a record five #1 hits from Michael Jackson's Bad album.

1994 - Modern rock rules as Soundgarden's Superunknown is the #1 album in America, with Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral at #2. Those looking for something less intense can find it at #3, with the Ace of Base album The Sign.

1995 - Eazy-E (Eric Wright) dies of AIDS-related complications at age 31.
2001 - Gorillaz release their debut self-titled album, which becomes a surprise chart success in the US. Although the band's vocalist, Damon Albarn, is well known in Europe through his band Blur, he is virtually unknown in the States, leading to low expectations for the release. The album eventually sells over a million copies in America and peaks at #14.

2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven' as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and the Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.

2008 - The B-52's lose their apostrophe and become the B-52s with the release of their album Funplex. The apostrophe, which is grammatically incorrect because apostrophes show possession, was simply an error made by the friend that designed their logo.
2009 - Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy hosts the MTV Australia Awards. His band wins Best Rock Video for "I Don't Care," while Pink's "So What" takes Best Video.

2012 - Madonna's 12th studio album, MDNA, debuts, hitting #1 on the Billboard album charts and selling a hot 350,000 copies in two weeks.

2016 - Billy Joel's iconic hit, 'Piano Man', was selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for its 'cultural, historic, or artistic significance.' Even though the record only made it to No.25 on the Hot 100 in 1974, it had become Joel's signature song, and was ranked at No.421 in the 2004 list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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