1978 - Sandy Denny, best known as the lead singer of British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, died. Arguably the pre-eminent British folk-rock singer/songwriter of her time, Sandy Denny was a highly influential solo performer, as well as an integral force behind the work of pioneering groups like the Strawbs and Fairport Convention. And that's Sandy duetting with Robert Plant on Led Zep's "The Battle Of Evermore", the only guest vocalist on a Led Zeppelin album.
1982 - The Clash had to cancel a tour when Joe Strummer disappeared for three weeks. He was eventually found living on the streets in Paris. Egos and drugs were roiling the band, plus tickets to the upcoming Scottish tour were weak. The idea was that Joe would intentionally "go missing" (going to Texas was one plan) to drum up publicity. Strummer had other plans and went off to Paris without telling anyone.
“Well… it was something I wanted to prove to myself: that I was still alive,” he would later tell the NME. “It’s very much being like a robot, being in a band… rather than go barmy and go mad, I think it’s better to do what I did even for a month.
1992 - The Cure release Wish. Bandleader/songwriter Robert Smith had established a style that evoked childlike playfulness and wonderment on the Cure's earlier pop-leaning singles, and the happier, more energetic moments on Wish find that style coming into its own. "Friday I'm in Love" became one of the band's most popular songs and a definitive moment for early-'90s alternative pop on the whole.
2003 - Nina Simone died at age 70. Nina Simone was one of the most gifted vocalists of her generation, and also one of the most eclectic. Simone was a singer, pianist, and songwriter who bent genres to her will rather than allowing herself to be confined by their boundaries; her work swung back and forth between jazz, blues, soul, classical, R&B, pop, gospel, and world music, with passion, emotional honesty, and a strong grasp of technique as the constants of her musical career.
2016 - Prince was found dead at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57, after Police were summoned to his Paisley Park estate and found his body in a lift. Prince bridged rock and R&B to fuse a 'Minneapolis Sound' that helped define the music of the 1980s.
2016 - Lonnie Mack died of natural causes in hospital near his log-cabin home, seventy miles east of Nashville, Tennessee. In the early 1960s, he was a "pioneer" in virtuoso rock guitar soloing whose recordings were pivotal to the emergence of the electric guitar as a lead voice in rock music. For this, it has been said that he launched the era of "modern rock guitar".
Iggy Pop of The Stooges is 76. Often called the Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop created a Dionysian performance style and a variety of street-smart primitivism that made him one of rock's most influential figures when he co-founded the Stooges in 1967. There are few bands in punk (or any sort of left-of-center hard rock) that didn't draw influence from the three studio albums the Stooges released between 1969 and 1973 (especially 1970's Fun House and 1973's Raw Power).
Robert Smith, the lead singer of The Cure, is 64. Smith is known for his guitar-playing style, distinctive voice, and fashion sense, with the latter—a pale complexion, smeared red lipstick, black eye-liner, a disheveled nest of wiry black hair, and all-black clothes. He was also the lead guitarist for the band Siouxsie and the Banshees from 1982 to 1984. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Michael Franti is 57. Fusing themes of love, community, and social consciousness with a distinctive cocktail of R&B, hip-hop, soul, folk, rock, and reggae, singer/songwriter and poet Michael Franti established himself in the late '80s with ambitious projects like the Beatnigs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy before forming his longtime backing band, Spearhead, in the early '90s.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Far Out Magazine, Allmusic Song Facts and Wikipedia.