Leon Russell died in Nashville, he was 74. He led Joe Cockers band Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and appeared at George Harrisons 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. Many of his songs became hits for others, among them ‘Superstar’ (written with Bonnie Bramlett) for the Carpenters, ‘Delta Lady’ for Joe Cocker and ‘This Masquerade’ for George Benson. More than 100 acts have recorded ‘A Song for You,’ which Russell said he wrote in 10 minutes.
Mitch Mitchell, the British drummer with the
Jimi Hendrix Experience was found dead in his US hotel room aged 61. As a teenager, he starred in a children’s television programme, Jennings and Derbyshire, and starred in a leading role in the 1960 British film Bottoms Up with Jimmy Edwards. Mitchell had been working with Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames when in 1966 he was invited to audition for a new band being formed to back Jimi Hendrix. In December 1968, Mitchell played with the Dirty Mac, an all-star band assembled for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (with John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards).
A collection of dresses and outfits worn by
Madonna during her career in music and film helped a celebrity auction raise $3.2m (£2m). The highest lot was a jacket from Desperately Seeking Susan, which fetched $252,000, while a gown from her Material Girl video reached $73,125. Other lots which attracted the bidders were a pair of
John Lennon’s spectacles which sold for $25,000 (£15,751) and a ring worn by
Elvis Presley for $57,600 (£36,291).
Coldplay were declared the biggest-selling act of 2008 at the World Music Awards held in Monaco. The band picked up the prize along with the Rock Act Of The Year award after their current album ‘Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends’ topped charts around the globe. Other winners at the awards included Leona Lewis for Best Pop Female and Best New Artist, Amy Winehouse was the winner in the Female Pop/Rock award, while Alicia Keys was named best in the R&B category. Lil’ Wayne bagged the Hip-Hop/Rap Artist award, while Akon was declared the Biggest Internet Artist Of The Year.
Simon and Garfunkel record what would become their signature tune,
‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ with future member of Bread, Larry Knechtel on piano. Art wanted Paul to sing the song, but Paul insisted that Art’s voice was better suited for it. It was a decision that Paul would later say he regretted. The song won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971, including Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Former Smiths frontman Morrissey stopped a concert halfway through his second song after being hit by a beer bottle. The 50-year-old singer who was hit in the eye by a plastic bottle of beer, said goodnight to the 8,000 strong crowd in Liverpool, England before walking off.
Canadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen died at the age of 82 at his home in Los Angeles. Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960s, and did not launch a music career until 1967, at the age of 33. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), was followed by three more albums of folk music: Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974). “Hallelujah” is a song written by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions (1984). His song ‘Hallelujah’ found greater popular acclaim through a recording by John Cale, which inspired a recording by Jeff Buckley.
Taylor Swift’s latest album 1989 debuted at No.1 on America’s Billboard albums chart selling 1.287 million copies in its first week, the largest sales week for an album since Eminem’s The Eminem Show which was released 12 years ago. Swift was now the only act to earn three million-selling weeks with an album. Before 1989, Red sold 1.208 million in it’s first week, while Speak Now clocked up 1.047 million sales.
Guitarist Link Wray died aged 76. Wray was credited with inventing ‘fuzz’ guitar after punching a hole in a speaker giving him a distorted guitar sound. Famous for his 1958 US No.16 single ‘Rumble’ which was banned on several radio stations, on the grounds that it glorified juvenile delinquency. A rare feat for a song with no lyrics.