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A little-known and deeply troubled Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh, shoots himself in the chest with a revolver in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, Europe. He will die, aged 37, two days later. Don McLean's 1970 song Vincent refers to several Van Gogh paintings, including The Starry Night, but the song, with lines such as "You took your life as lovers often do," is more generally inspired by Van Gogh's life, his tragic existence and his suicide.
Lillian Glinn is born in Hillsboro, Texas, USA. She will find success as a pioneering female blues and country blues singer and songwriter.
Popular English singer Isabel Jay gives birth to her second daughter, Pamela Stephanie.
Eartha Kitt is born in the town of North, South Carolina, USA. She will grow up to become a acclaimed, world-renowned singer, actress and fighter for the Civil Rights movement. She will, however, not learn her date of birth until she is 71 years old and, even then, will not be able to discover the name of her father. Several real events from her extraordinary life inspired the song Monotonous, which she sang in the 1952 Broadway Revue, New Faces Of 1952.
Popular actress Marie Prevost dies of acute alcoholism in Los Angeles, California, USA, at the age of 38. Her body will not be discovered until January 23, after neighbors complain about her dog's incessant barking. In her room, police will find several empty liquor bottles and a promissory note to Joan Crawford for $110. Nick Lowe will be inspired to chronicle Prevost's life and death in his song Marie Provost in 1978.
Jimmy Yancey records Cryin' In My Sleep, Death Letter Blues, Yancey's Bugle Call and 35th And Dearborn for Victor Records in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Henry Franklin is born in Los Angeles, California, USA. Nicknamed The Skipper, he will find success as a jazz double-bass player, working with Hugh Masekela, Count Basie, Stevie Wonder and many others.
Frank Sinatra records The Birth Of The Blues, Azure-Te (Paris Blues), Luna Rossa, Tennessee Newsboy and Bim Bam Baby for Columbia Records in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Ricky Valance's death disc, Tell Laura I Love Her, reaches No1 in the UK pop singles chart, making Valance the first Welsh male vocalist to reach No1 in the UK. The song is a cover version of an American hit by Ray Peterson.
Folk musician Pete Seeger, under indictment for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, states to a press conference in New York City, USA, that he will continue to refuse "to answer questions as to my associations, my philosophy or religious beliefs, or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs."
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Lee De Forest who, in 1915, invented an electronic instrument called The Audion Piano, the first musical instrument to use a vacuum tube, dies in Hollywood, California, USA. At the time of his death, De Forest has just $1,250 in his bank account.
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Death disc Johnny Remember Me by John Leyton is awarded a Silver Disc in the UK.
Nina Simone, Odetta, Lionel Hampton, Brock Peters, local Atilogu dancers and Natalie Hinderas perform at the American Society of African Culture (AMSAC) Festival in the King George V Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa. This is the first AMSAC event to be held on African soil.
The Case Of The Lover's Leap, an episode of the tv detective series Perry Mason, airs for the first time in the USA. The show centres on a murderer who fakes his own suicide in order to escape justice and, years later, it will inspire Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy to write the song Suicide.
The morning after a disastrous performance at The O'Keefe Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Johnny Cash's manager Saul Holiff finds the singer overdosed and close to death in his Winnebago.
The Beach Boys release their classic album Pet Sounds on Capitol Records in the USA.
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Otis Redding and four of The Bar-Kays are killed when their plane crashes into Lake Monoma in Wisconsin, USA. The song I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know by Blood, Sweat And Tears will be inspired by their leader Al Kooper hearing about Redding's death.
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At the 14th Annual Grammy Awards in The Felt Forum, New York City, USA, Carole King wins Record Of The Year for It’s Too Late, Song Of The Year for You’ve Got A Friend, Album of The Year for Tapestry, plus Best Female Vocal Performance. Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers is Best R’n’B Song. James Taylor scoops the Best Pop Vocal Grammy. The Beatles are given a NARAS Trustee Award in recognition of their ‘outstanding talent, originality and music creativity’.
In the wake of the failure of their most recent album, Mardi Gras, Creedence Clearwater Revival split up.
Pioneering British r'n'b bandleader Graham Bond dies aged 36 under the wheels of a Piccadilly line train at Finsbury Park station, London, England, UK, Europe. Most sources list Bond's death as a suicide.
Aspiring rock star Mike Peters plays his first gig at his sister Susan's 21st Birthday Party. Peters will go on to found and lead The Alarm.
Jackson Browne begins recording sessions for his fourth album, The Pretender, with producer Jon Landau. The sessions will, however, be abandoned on the 25th when Browne's wife Phyllis Major commits suicide.
Phyllis Major, the wife of Jackson Browne, commits suicide with an overdose of barbiturates in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. At least two of Browne's subsequent songs, Sleep's Dark And Silent Gate and The Shape Of A Heart, will be inspired by Major. Also, an earlier song, Ready Or Not, was written about how Browne and Major first got together after meeting in The Troubadour club in Los Angeles.
West German punk rock band Die Toten Hosen play a secret gig in Erlöserkirche, East Berlin, East Germany, Europe. The gig is organised by Mark Reeder, formerly of Manchester band The Frantic Elevators, who had moved to West Berlin in 1979.
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Reverend Clarence LaVaughn Franklin (Aretha Franklin's father) dies aged 69, five years after being shot during a robbery attempt at his home in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The incident left him in a coma until his death.
Wells Kelly, best-known to rock music fans as the drummer in pop rock group Orleans, collapses and dies on the front step of a London, England, UK, Europe, apartment, apparently from asphyxiation - caused by swallowing his own vomit. Kelly was on tour with Meatloaf and his death followed a night of partying with friends.
Mike Nolan of Buck's Fizz is seriously injured when the band's tour bus collides with a lorry on the Great North Road near Newcastle, England, UK, Europe, shortly after the band plays a gig in The City Hall. All four members are injured, but Nolan falls into a coma, seeming so close to death that at one point he is given the last rites.
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The Superior Court of Los Angeles County dismisses the case brought against Ozzy Osbourne by the parents of 19-year old John McCollum, who had shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber handgun while listening to Osbourne's song Suicide Solution. The case will, however, go to appeal.
European singing star Dalida, plagued by depression and a chaotic love life, commits suicide in Paris, France, Europe, with an overdose of barbiturates, leaving a note which reads, "Forgive me, life has become unbearable for me...".
65,000 fans make the annual pilgrimage to the three-day-long Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset, England, UK, where a £28 ticket gives them the opportunity to savour the delights of The Wonderstuff, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Pixies and Suzanne Vega (who appears despite a death threat). Those wanting a programme pay a further £2.
Guitarist Alan Murphy of Level 42 dies in Westminster City Hospital, London, England, UK, Europe, of pneumonia - aggravated by AIDS.
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Suicide Blonde by INXS enters the ARIA Singles Chat in Australia at No6. It will peak at No2. The blues harp intro to the song is a sample from a Charlie Musselwhite track.
Conor Clapton, the four-year-old son of guitarist and singer Eric Clapton, falls to his death from a 53rd-story window in Galleria Condominiums, an apartment block in Manhattan, New York City, USA. The boy was staying in the apartment block with his mother, the actress Lori Del Santo. Clapton will write the song Tears In Heaven, in memory of Conor.
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Christopher George Latore Wallace, best known as rapper The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, is shot dead in a drive-by killing in Los Angeles, California, USA. His death will inspire Puff Daddy to write the song I'll Be Missing You, which draws much of its musical inspiration from Every Breath You Take by The Police.
Rapper Nelly and country performer Tim McGraw make music chart history when Nelly's new single, Over And Over, featuring McGraw, hits No1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 Chart and debuts at Number 67 on the Hot RAndB/Hip-Hop Singles And Tracks Chart. No country artist had previously appeared on the Hot RAndB/Hip-Hop Singles And Track chart, and no country artist had ever previously been part of a chart-topping Mainstream Top 40 hit.
Cuban tv announces the death at 79 of Jorge Serguera, the former Cuban TV and radio boss who banned The Beatles' music from the country's airwaves, fearing the band's music could threaten the communist revolution.
Thirty-seven year old Leon Desmond Barrett is charged in Detroit, Michigan, USA, with mailing threatening communications, including death threats, to celebrities including Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Polly Samson, wife of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, helps police to rescue a man attempting to commit suicide in freezing water near her beach-side home in Hove, East Sussex, UK. The man - who resisted being rescued - is then taken to the Royal Sussex Country Hospital, where he is arrested and sectioned.
Country singer Mindy McCready gives birth to her second son, Zayne, in the USA.
An individual going by the name of @Gunn2urhead begins sending death threats via Twitter to Shirley Manson, the singer with Garbage. On this day alone, over 200 threats are sent.
Having spent three and a half years in prison on death row, rapper Boosie Badazz is released early from his eight year sentence, having now been found not guilty of the murder by shooting of 35-year-old Terry Boyd in 2010.
Jack Bruce, songwriter, singer and bassist, best-known for his work with prog-blues supergroup Cream in the 1960s, dies aged 71 of liver disease at his home in Suffolk, UK.
Just days after the death of David Bowie, his 1972 single Starman re-enters the Official UK Singles Chart at No1. Also, his latest album, Blackstar, debuts at No1 with combined sales approaching 150,000, giving him his tenth chart-topping record and the fastest-selling album of the year so far.
Daniel Dion, the 59-year-old brother of Celine Dion, dies of brain, tongue and throat cancer in hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Daniel's death follows just two days after Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil also died from cancer.
Influental r'n'b/dance singer Colonel Abrams dies aged 67 in New York City, USA. In the year before his death, Abrams was reportedly homeless and suffering from diabetes. A crowd-funding effort by fans and friends was launched to get him back on his feet but did not succeed.
Walter Morrison, aka Junie, dies aged 62 in London, England, UK, Europe. No cause of death is reported. Junie first found success as keyboard player, vocalist, producer and songwriter for the Ohio Players during the early '70s, but later went on to work with Parliament-Funkadelic.
At least 22 people are killed and over 50 injured when a bomb is exploded at a concert by Ariane Grande in Manchester Arena, Manchester, England, UK, Europe.
During the changeover period between the performances of Alt-J and Green Day at The Mad Cool Festival in Madrid, Spain, Europe, acrobat Pedro Aunion Monroy falls to his death from 30m above the stage.
Walter Becker, guitarist, bassist and co-founder of Steely Dan, dies at the age of 67. No cause of death is given.
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Popular Turkish Uyghur singer and musician, Abdurehim Heyit, dies aged 55 in detention, in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) of nothrthwest China, Asia, after enduring two years of brutal torture. He had been detained and held without formal charge by Chinese government for singing the song Atilar (Forefathers), which was deemed to be critical of the government.