More About Music History On This Day

21 May 1980
Joe Strummer of The Clash was arrested at a much-troubled gig in Hamburg, Germany, after smashing his guitar over the head of a member of the audience; he was released after an alcohol test proved negative.

21 May 1982
The Hacienda Club was opened in Manchester, England. Madonna made her UK TV debut at the club when C4 music show The Tube was broadcast live. Home to many Manchester acts including Oasis, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Charlatans, James, M People who all played at the club, (The club closed in 1997).

21 May 1983
David Bowie went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Let's Dance', featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was Bowie's first single to reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic. The music video was made by David Mallet on location in Australia including a bar in Carinda in New South Wales, featured Bowie playing with his band while impassively watching an Aboriginal couple’s struggles against metaphors of Western cultural imperialism.

21 May 1988
Prince scored his first UK No.1 album with 'Lovesexy.' The cover (based on a photo by Jean Baptiste Mondino) caused some controversy upon release as it depicts Prince in the nude. Some record stores refused to stock it or wrapped the album in black.

21 May 1988
Wet Wet Wet and Billy Bragg were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'With A Little Help From My Friends' and 'She's Leaving Home.' The two Beatles songs had been recorded for the childLine charity, sales of the single, which spent four weeks at No.1 on the UK chart, were over £600,000, all of which was donated to ChildLine .
21 May 2001
Producer, arranger and keyboardist Tommy Eyre died of cancer aged 51. Worked with George Harrison, Wham! Dusty Springfield, and B.B. King. Played and arranged Joe Cocker's hit 'With A Little Help From My Friends' and Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street'.

21 May 2003
Mariah Carey hit back at Eminem's threats to sample the slushy voicemail messages she left on his mobile. Carey described the rapper as "a little girl" saying it's "like dealing with a girlfriend in 7th grade, and he shouldn't do it because it'll get him in a bit of trouble with her lawyers."

21 May 2006
Madonna played the first of three sold out nights at The Los Angeles Forum in California, the first dates on her Confessions Tour. The 60-date tour grossed over $260 million, becoming the highest grossing tour ever for a female artist.

21 May 2007
Former singer with Creed, Scott Stapp was arrested at his Florida home and charged with assault. The 33-year-old was held without bail following the charges, which related to a domestic assault.

21 May 2008
Lou Pearlman, the music mogul who created the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison over a decades-long scam that swindled thousands of investors out of their life savings. Many victims were Pearlman's relatives, friends and retirees in their 70s or 80s who lost everything.

21 May 2010
U2's lead singer Bono had emergency spinal surgery after suffering an injury while preparing for tour dates. The 50-year-old singer was treated at a specialist neurosurgery clinic in Munich and was expected to stay there for a number of days.

21 May 2011
Adele went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Rolling In The Deep', taken from her second studio album, 21. The video to the song was nominated for seven MTV Video Music Awards nominations, 'Rolling in the Deep' was also the Billboard Year End Hot 100 Number One Single of 2011. And on 12 February 2012, 'Rolling in the Deep' received three Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Short Form Music Video.

21 May 2011
Bob Dylan came out on top as both the most inspirational individual for poets and the dream collaborative partner, in a survey carried out by The Foyle Poetry Society. The extensive survey questioned poets asking which musician and which genre of music most inspired their writing. The young people, aged between 11 and 17, from countries throughout the world also voted for artists such as Regina Spektor, David Bowie, Florence and the Machine, Leonard Cohen, Morrissey and Pete Doherty.

21 May 2013
Trevor Bolder, the bassist in David Bowie's legendary 1970s backing band Spiders From Mars, died from cancer at the age of 62. Bolder appeared on the studio albums Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), and Pin Ups (1973). He joined Uriah Heep in 1976, replacing John Wetton.

21 May 2013
Chris Brown was charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a valid license following an accident in the San Fernando Valley, California. If convicted, the singer could face up to one year in jail with other recent incidents including an outburst at a valet, a parking lot brawl with Frank Ocean and a fight with Drake in a New York nightclub.

21 May 2015
American bass guitarist Louis Johnson died aged 60. He was a member of Brothers Johnson, (1980 US No.4 & UK No.6 single 'Stomp'). Johnson played on the Michael Jackson albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous, and hit songs 'Billie Jean' and 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough'.

21 May 2015
Black Sabbath received a lifetime achievement prize at the Ivor Novello songwriting awards. Guitarist Tony Iommi picked up the trophy, confirming the heavy metal band would embark on their "final tour" next year. Ed Sheeran was named songwriter of the year, and Annie Lennox was awarded the fellowship of the British Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca) - the society's highest honor.

21 May 2016
Nick Menza, a former drummer in heavy metal band Megadeth, died after suffering a "massive heart attack" on stage, while performing with his band, OHM, in Los Angeles.

21 May 2019
Scottish musician Jake Black (The Very Reverend D. Wayne Love), died age 59. He was a member of Alabama 3 who are best known for their track ‘Woke Up This Morning’ which was used for the opening credits of the TV series The Sopranos. In the United States, the band is known as A3, to avoid legal conflict with the country music band Alabama.

Date & Time

May 21, 2025

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