30 Mar, 2024

March 30 in Music History

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March 30 in Music History

Today's birthdays:

Eric Clapton, 79.

Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is regarded as one of the most successful and influential guitarists in rock music. He ranked second in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". In 2023, Rolling Stone named Clapton the 35th best guitarist of all time. He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.

After playing in a number of different local bands, Clapton joined the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965, and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers from 1965 to 1966. After leaving Mayall, he formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and "arty, blues-based psychedelic pop". After four successful albums, Cream broke up in November 1968. Clapton then formed the blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech, recording one album and performing on one tour before they broke up. Clapton then toured with Delaney & Bonnie and recorded his first solo album in 1970, before forming Derek and the Dominos with Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Like Blind Faith, the band only lasted one album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, which includes "Layla", one of Clapton's signature songs.

Clapton continued to record a number of successful solo albums and songs over the next several decades, including a 1974 cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" (which helped reggae reach a mass market), the country-infused Slowhand album (1977) and the pop rock of 1986's August. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton's grief was expressed in the song "Tears in Heaven", which appeared on his Unplugged album. In 1996 he had another top-40 hit with the R&B crossover "Change the World". In 1998, he released the Grammy award-winning "My Father's Eyes". Since 1999, he has recorded a number of traditional blues and blues rock albums and hosted the periodic Crossroads Guitar Festival. His most recent studio album is Happy Xmas (2018).

Clapton has received 18 Grammy Awards as well as the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004, he was awarded a CBE for services to music. He has received four Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. In his solo career, he has sold more than 280 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for those recovering from substance abuse.

Celine Dion, 56.

Celine Marie Claudette Dion is a Canadian singer. Referred to as the "Queen of Power Ballads", she is noted for her powerful and technically skilled vocals. Her music has incorporated genres such as pop, rock, R&B, gospel, and classical music. Her recordings have been mainly in English and French, although she has also sung in Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese, and Chinese.

Born into a large family in Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion was discovered by her future manager and husband Rene Angelil, and emerged as a teen star in her home country with a series of French-language albums during the 1980s. She gained international recognition by winning the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, where she represented Switzerland with "Ne partez pas sans moi". Her debut English-language album, Unison (1990), established her as a viable pop artist primarily in North America and several English-speaking markets, while The Colour of My Love (1993) gave her global superstardom. Dion continued her success throughout the 1990s with several of the bestselling English-language albums in history, such as Falling into You (1996) and Let's Talk About Love (1997), which were certified diamond in the US with more than 30 million sales worldwide each. She also released a series of international number-one hits, including "The Power of Love", "Think Twice", "Because You Loved Me", "It's All Coming Back to Me Now", "I'm Your Angel", "That's the Way It Is", "I'm Alive" and her signature song "My Heart Will Go On", the theme for the 1997 film Titanic, which solidified her popularity.

Dion continued releasing French-language albums between each English record; D'eux (1995) became the best-selling French-language album of all time, while S'il suffisait d'aimer (1998), Sans attendre (2012), and Encore un soir (2016), were all certified diamond in France. During the 2000s, she built her reputation as a successful live performer with A New Day... on the Las Vegas Strip (2003–07), the highest-grossing concert residency of all time, and the Taking Chances World Tour (2008–09), one of the highest-grossing concert tours of the 2000s. In 2009, she was named by the Los Angeles Times as the top-earning artist of the decade, with combined album sales and concert revenue exceeding $747 million.

With 200 million records sold worldwide, Dion is the best-selling Canadian recording artist and the best-selling French-language artist in music history and one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. She is the sixth most successful female artist in the history of US Billboard 200 and received recognition from the IFPI for selling over 50 million albums in Europe. Seven of her albums have sold at least 10 million copies worldwide, the second most among women in history. She was ranked as the fourth most outstanding pop vocalist by Cover Magazine and the ninth greatest voice in music by MTV. One of the highest-grossing touring artists in history, she is the second woman to accumulate US$1 billion in concert revenue. Forbes has named her the annual top-earning female musician four times across two decades (1990s–2000s). Dion has also received two honorary doctorates in music degree from Berklee College of Music and Universite Laval.

Norah Jones, 45.

Norah Jones is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She has won several awards for her music and, as of 2023, had sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000s decade. She has won nine Grammy Awards and was ranked 60th on Billboard magazine's artists of the 2000s decade chart.

In 2002, Jones launched her solo music career with the release of Come Away with Me, which was a fusion of jazz with country, blues, folk and pop. It was certified diamond, selling over 27 million copies. The record earned Jones five Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist, making her the first person of South Asian descent to win that many Grammy awards. Her subsequent studio albums Feels Like Home (2004), Not Too Late (2007), and The Fall (2009), all gained platinum status, selling over a million copies each. They were also generally well received by critics. Jones made her feature film debut as an actress in My Blueberry Nights, which was released in 2007 and was directed by Wong Kar-Wai.

Jones is the daughter of Indian sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar, and is the half-sister of fellow Indian musicians Anoushka Shankar and Shubhendra Shankar.

Tracy Chapman, 60.

Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, widely known for her hit singles "Fast Car" (1988) and "Give Me One Reason" (1995).

She was signed to Elektra Records by Bob Krasnow in 1987. The following year she released her debut album, Tracy Chapman, which became a commercial success, boosted by her appearance at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert, and was certified 6× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album received six Grammy Award nominations, including one for Album of the Year, three of which she won: Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her single "Fast Car", and Best Contemporary Folk Album. In 1989 she released her second album, Crossroads, which earned her an additional Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Her third album, Matters of the Heart, followed in 1992.

Her fourth album, New Beginning, was released in 1995 and became another worldwide success. It was certified 5× platinum by the RIAA and yielded the hit single "Give Me One Reason", which earned her the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. Five years would pass before the release of her fifth album, Telling Stories (2000). Let It Rain and Where You Live followed in 2002 and 2005, respectively. Her most recent studio album, Our Bright Future, was released in 2008. The remastered compilation album Greatest Hits, which she curated, was released in 2015.

In 2023, Chapman became the first Black person to score a country number one with a solo composition, and to win the Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year, when Luke Combs covered her song "Fast Car".

On this day today:

1941 - Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues is born in Staffordshire, England.

1943 - Love bass player Ken Forssi is born in Cleveland.

1962 - MC Hammer is born in Oakland, California. His birth name is Stanley Burrell, but he is dubbed "Hammer" when he becomes a batboy for the Oakland A's, since he looks like hall-of-famer "Hammerin'" Hank Aaron.

1963 - Lesley Gore records "It's My Party" at Bell Studios in New York. That night, her producer Quincy Jones finds out that Phil Spector has recorded the song with his group The Crystals, so Jones rush-releases it to get Gore's version to radio stations first.

1967 - The Beatles shoot the cover of their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album at Chelsea Manor Studios in London.
1985 - Phil Collins scores his second #1 hit as a solo artist: "One More Night."

1987 - Prince releases his ninth album, Sign o' the Times.

1992 - PJ Harvey, a British alt rock trio consisting of vocalist Polly Jean Harvey, drummer Rob Ellis, and bassist Steve Vaughan, releases its debut album, Dry, a jagged collection of blues-infused punk-rock songs, including the sexually charged "Sheela-Na-Gig."
1994 - In Miami, Pink Floyd begin their last world tour, the Division Bell tour.

1995 - Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard takes an MTV news crew along for a ride in a stretch limo, where he stops to pick up food stamps, proving that the ID card on the cover of his solo album is real.
1996 - The Prodigy started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Firestarter', the first single from the album The Fat of the Land. The wah-wah guitar riff in 'Firestarter' was sampled from The Breeders' track 'S.O.S.'

2000 - Rolling Stone Mick Jagger made a nostalgic visit to his old school. He opened the new arts centre that had been named after him at Dartford Grammar. The singer said he had spent the worst years of his life at the school.
2001 - The Detroit Free Press breaks the news that Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes are not siblings as they claim, but former husband and wife. Court records show they were married in 1996 and divorced in 2000. Rolling Stone and the New York Times are among the publications previously reporting them as brother and sister, a believable claim because they look alike.
2002 - Ashanti dominates the American Top 10, with her Ja Rule collaboration "Always On Time" at #4, her Fat Joe duet "What's Luv?" at #5, and her solo track "Foolish" at #9. The #1 song, "Ain't It Funny" by Jennifer Lopez, contains some lyrics written by Ashanti.

2013 - Producer Phil Ramone dies of complications after surgery for an aortic aneurysm at age 79. Ramone produced most of Billy Joel's material. "If I hadn't met Phil when I did, I probably wouldn't have had a career," Joel says.
2017 - Ed Sheeran was at No.1 on the US and UK album chart with his third studio album ÷ (pronounced ‘divide’). The album also topped the charts in 14 other countries. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
2020 - American soul singer Bill Withers died from heart complications aged 81. His hits include 'Just The Two Of Us', 'Lovely Day' and 'Use Me'. On 'Lovely Day', he set the record for the longest sustained note on a US chart hit, holding a high E for 18 seconds. His ballad 'Ain't No Sunshine', earned him his first Grammy award.

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