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Music History: Aug 21-28

History as you’ve never seen it: albums, artists’ births, rumours and more: discover with us what happened this week in the history of music.

August 21: Third time’s a charm

On this day in 1994, “Rocky Mountain High” and “Take Me Home, Country Road” singer John Denver crashed his 1963 Porsche into a tree near his home in Aspen, Colorado, after drinking heavily. The incident takes place exactly one year after a previous arrest for driving while impaired. The artist seemed to use alcohol as a way to drown the pain of his second marriage. The singer was even sentenced to 28 hours of community service. The soft-country singer wasn’t found drunk driving anymore following the two arrest and one incident. Third time’s a charm.

August 22: WAP hits #1

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion‘s single WAP made history when three years ago it hit #1 in America. The single, which is highly sexual and explicit, became the first on this kind to reach this position. The song, which became also a TikTok trend (how can we forget it?) stayed at the top for two weeks. Only K-Pop record breaking hit “Dynamite” by BTS could surpass it.

August 23: Two years full time

On August 23, 1970, Lou Reed and his The Velvet Underground played their last concert together as a group at the club Max’s Kansas City in New York. The members parted ways, and each of them had to search for a new occupation to occupy their time and maintain their wealth. You might think that with their established name and references they all went in the direction of a new music project. It is however surprising how singer Lou Reed found himself back to a 9 to 5 job with his family. In fact the father brought him home to Long Island and put him to work in his accounting firm. The singer worked there for two years before finally getting back on music. He then went on making himself a name as a solo artist.

August 24: Second thoughts and subpoenas

We all remember how two years ago Spencer Elden, the now grown child from Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album cover, sued the band and others associated with the photo shoot. The thirty-year-old cover, which shows the naked toddler grasping for a dollar bill in a pool, was praised as one of the most iconic album covers ever, and sold over 30 million copies. When Elden sued the group, claiming it caused him “extreme and permanent emotional distress,” he therefor received many critiques, accusing him of digging for gold.

In recent years he has sued the band, the record company and Cobain’s estate three times. The case was however finally closed on September 2022. Federal judge Fernando Olguin in fact explained that the legal terms for presenting a possible complaint of this type have a maximum duration of ten years. Spencer Elden, who is 31 today, should have started the lawsuit by the time he turned 28.

August 25: The consequences of being a diva

On August 25, 1987, Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil got involved in a mustard-related injury. The injury took place before a show in Rochester, New York. The artist, who wanted a Frenchie’s mustard, angrily broke a jar of Gulden’s, causing nerve and tendon damage in his hand. This lead to the cancelation of the show. Paramedics brought Neil to Baltimore and immediately got into surgery. The consequences of being a diva.

August 26: You won’t see me for probably 18 months

On this day in 2019, Ed Sheehan wraps up his ÷ (Divide) tour with his Chantry Park show in Ipswich, England. The location felt quite emotional, being close to his hometown, Framlingham. The tour, which had started over two years prior on March 16, 2017, set the record for highest-grossing tour, earning $775.6 million over 255 shows. The singer was understandably tired following the amount of performances he had to play, and when he got to Chantry Park he was definitely ready for a rest. “This is my last gig for probably 18 months,” he concluded. Sheeran resumed touring only in 2022, when he started his The +–=÷× Tour (pronounced The Mathematics Tour). The tour started on April 23, 2022 in Dublin, Ireland.

August 27: HUMBLing The Weeknd, Bruno Mars and more

In 2017 Kendrick Lamar wins Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards for “HUMBLE.” The song is the first single from his fourth studio album DAMN. The music video won the award against Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful,” DJ Khaled (featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller)’s “Wild Thoughts,” Bruno Mars’s “24K Magic” and The Weeknd’s “Reminder.” At the VMAs, Taylor Swift premiered Reputation’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” The video that the Swifties consider as one of the best in her career.

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