Here’s what happened today in music history:
Music Legend Billie Holiday is born
Eleanora Fagan, otherwise known as her stage name Billie Holiday, was born on April 7, 1915 in Baltimore, Maryland. After a troubled childhood, she began her career at the age of 14. She became an innovator of jazz music as she revolutionized the way the style is meant to be, and her vocal techniques became a standard for American pop, and what it has become today. She also became recognized for bringing a new, fresh unique style of jazz and blues, and the intensity and raw prowess of her natural singing voice. Despite her fame, she led a troubled personal life, and such themes would often be reflected in the songs she would sing; have a listen to “Strange Fruit”, which is considered to be one of the first anti-racism songs. Due to a heavy addiction to alcohol and drugs, Billie passed away due to lung disease in July 17 1959 at the age of 44. She is considered a music pioneer and legend, and is a Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.
Gareth Gates reaches the top of the UK Charts
Gareth Gates, the runner up of the 2003 season of the UK’s Pop Idol sang “Unchained Melody” during the show’s finale. After signing with Simon Cowell, he used his rendition as a lead single. “Unchained Melody” is a pop song from 1955 sung by Alex North and has been covered numerous times, and is considered to be one of the most recorded songs of the twentieth century. Gareth Gates’ version reached number one on UK radios, and stayed there for four weeks. The single reached double platinum, sold over three million singles, and is one of the bestselling singles of the 2000s. After his second album failed to reach the major successes of his debut effort, Gates went on to have a successful career in musical theater.
The Jackson 5 score a #1 Hit with “ABC”
Before Michael Jackson was the “King of Pop”, he was in a pop music group with his elder brothers; The Jackson Five. Even as a young boy, Michael exhibited the charisma and vocal ability that would eventually lead him to the legendary status he has to this day. On February 24 1970, “ABC” was released as the lead single of their second album of the same name. By April 7, the song reached the top of the American charts. It is one of the band’s most recognizable songs, the song helped the album sell over five million albums worldwide.