18 May, 2024

May 18 in Music History

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May 18 in Music History

On this day today:

1912 - Perry Como is born Pierino Ronald Como in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
1944 - Singer-songwriter Albert Hammond is born in London.
1949 - Keyboard player Rick Wakeman is born in London. He initially gains recognition as a talented session musician before joining the progressive rock band Yes in 1971, where he becomes renowned for his virtuosic keyboard skills and elaborate stage performances.

1950 - Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo is born in Akron, Ohio.

1952 - Country singer George Strait is born in Poteet, Texas.
1957 - German musician, composer and record producer Michael Cretu is born in Bucharest, Romania. Cretu began a music career in 1976 as a solo artist and released numerous studio albums as well as writing and producing albums for his then-wife, German pop singer Sandra. He also worked with artists through the 1980s, including Peter Cornelius, Hubert Kah, and Mike Oldfield. Cretu scored an unexpected worldwide commercial hit with the debut Enigma album MCMXC a.D. (1990), helped by its lead single, "Sadeness (Part I)". Cretu continues to produce Enigma albums and singles.

1963 - "If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife..." Jimmy Soul's marriage advice anthem, "If You Wanna Be Happy," climbs to the top spot on the charts in America, capturing the hearts of listeners with its catchy melody and humorous lyrics.

1964 - The Animals record the folk song "House Of The Rising Sun" in just a few minutes at a London studio. A few months later, it becomes a massive hit, reaching #1 on both the UK and US charts, cementing the band's place in rock history.

1966 - The Hollies record "Bus Stop."

1969 - Martika, known for her 1989 US #1 hit "Toy Soldiers," is born Marta Marrero to Cuban parents in Whittier, California. Her success with "Toy Soldiers" marks her as a significant pop artist of the late 1980s.

1980 - Battling epilepsy and depression, Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis hangs himself at his home in England.

1980 - Drummer Peter Criss leaves Kiss.
1981 - After nearly 20 years with Motown Records, Diana Ross leaves the label and signs a record $20 million contract with RCA. Despite her departure, her hit duet "Endless Love" with Lionel Richie is released on Motown in August, becoming one of her most successful singles.
1985 - After repeated attempts to break through in America, Simple Minds achieve a #1 hit with "Don't You (Forget About Me)," a song featured prominently in the movie The Breakfast Club. The track becomes their signature song and a defining anthem of the 1980s.

1991 - Bananarama release Pop Life, their first album following the departure of bandmate Siobhan Fahey, who left in 1988 due to creative differences regarding the group's pop direction. This album represents a new era for Bananarama as they forge ahead as a duo, continuing to evolve their sound and maintain their place in the pop music scene.

1993 - Janet Jackson releases her album Janet., making a significant impact with first-week sales of 350,000 copies, the highest for a female artist at that time. This achievement solidifies Jackson's status as a powerhouse in the music industry and underscores her influence as a groundbreaking artist.

1996 - Soundgarden perform for the first (and only) time on Saturday Night Live.
1999 - Backstreet Boys release their third album, Millennium, with the hits "I Want It That Way" and "Larger than Life."

2001 - The movie Shrek is released, bringing new life to classic songs "Hallelujah" (sung on the soundtrack by Rufus Wainwright) and "I'm a Believer" (performed by Smash Mouth in the film's lively finale). These tracks become integral to the film's charm and help introduce them to a new generation.

2012 - Rihanna makes her big-screen acting debut as a naval weapons specialist in the action/sci-fi movie Battleship. Despite the high-profile role, her performance earns her a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress.
2017 - American musician, singer, and songwriter Chris Cornell tragically passed away suddenly in Detroit after performing at a show with Soundgarden.
2019 - A sweater worn by Kurt Cobain during the singer’s last photo shoot with Nirvana fetches an impressive $75,000 at a New York auction.

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