On this day in 1972, Danny Whitten died of a drug overdose at the age of 29. He was a member of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse and writer of “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It”, which was covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge, and Everything But The Girl. The Neil Young song “The Needle and the Damage Done” was written about Whitten’s heroin use (before his death).
1983: R.E.M. made their first appearance outside the US when they appeared on Channel 4 UK TV show The Tube. The following night they made their live UK debut when they played at Dingwalls, London.
2003: More than 500 Britney Spears fans camped overnight outside the Virgin Records Megastore in New York’s Times Square waiting to get the star to sign copies of her new album In The Zone. Also on this day Britney was in the news saying that her first lover, Justin Timberlake, was a huge disappointment in the pants department. Talking during an MTV show, Spears said, “Forget trouser snake, it’s more like trouser worm,” when referring to her ex-boyfriend.
2003: Following allegations of sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy, police raided Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch. Jackson denied the allegations. The search came on the day that his latest greatest hits album, Number Ones, was released in the US.
2005: A Belgian songwriter won a plagiarism case against Madonna over her 1998 hit single “Frozen.” Salvatore Acquaviva claimed that the song copied one of his recordings. The judge agreed that Madonna’s single used four bars of his song “Ma Vie Fout L’camp”, which roughly translates as “My Life’s Getting Nowhere.”
2007: US celebrity publicist Paul Wasserman died aged 73 of respiratory failure. His clients included the Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, and James Taylor. His career ended in 2000, when he was jailed for six months for swindling some of his friends by falsely claiming to be selling shares in investment schemes that he said were backed by stars like U2.
2007: Twenty-two-year-old X Factor winner Leona Lewis set a British record for the fastest-selling debut album with Spirit. The singer sold more than 375,000 copies in seven days, 12,000 more than the Arctic Monkeys’ 2006 release Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Oasis still had the overall record for the fastest selling British album, selling 813,000 copies in 1997.
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