History as you’ve never seen it: albums, artists’ births, rumors, and more: discover with us what happened this week in the history of music.
August 28: “Formation” Wins Video of the Year
On this day in 2016, at the MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé made history with a political, supportive, black people’s rights music video: “Formation.” Taken from the 2016 concept album Lemonade, the artist created a highly impactful music video that brought awareness to the hot topic that was the Black Lives Matter movement. Honoring the music video and American black people, the artist brought four mothers of shooting victims with her on the red carpet. By the end of the event, Lemonade and its singles brought Beyoncé, as well as the production designer, choreographer, director, cinematographer, and editor, six awards.
August 29: A New Guinness World Record for Biggest Flash Mob
Two months after the world-breaking news of Michael Jackson’s death, on the day that would have been his 51st birthday, 13,597 people gathered in Mexico City to honor the music icon. The group performed the iconic “Thriller” dance. This established a new Guinness World Record for the biggest flash mob to ever take place.
August 30: Taylor Swift and Kanye West Make Up
Another day, another memorable moment in music history, once again from the MTV Video Music Awards. In 2015, six years after the unforgettable time Kanye West jumped onstage, interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, the two artists made peace. The truce seemed definitive when Swift presented him with the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs. However, little did we know the fight was only about to start: in February 2016, West came back at her with the “Famous” line “I made that b*tch famous,” referring to the singer. Swift would later repeatedly reference and shade him through her own songs, including her Reputation single “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”
August 31: Aaliyah’s Funeral
On this day in 2001, Aaliyah’s funeral was held at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan, New York. The funeral took place six days after the 22-year-old R&B singer’s death in a plane crash in The Bahamas. Thousands of fans showed up to pay tribute to the artist, marching alongside the singer’s casket. The casket was carried by a horse-drawn carriage to a private service. Celebrities took part in the ceremony as well. Lil’ Kim, Sean Combs, Timbaland, and Missy Elliott all made appearances. After the service, 22 doves were released in her memory.
September 1: What to Do After the Fifth Beatles’ Death?
In 1967, the man who was generally and unanimously considered to be the fifth Beatles, band manager Brian Epstein, passed away. On this day, the members met to decide what to do next. The Fab Four met up at Paul McCartney’s house in London. The musicians decided to be their own managers, and McCartney took the lead on most business decisions. The situation, however, only grew worse from there. This signified the beginning of the band’s downfall, leading to their final breakup in 1970.
In future years, multiple artists, fans, and journalists unofficially agreed that Epstein’s death marked the end of the Beatles.
September 2: Lily Allen is the Protagonist of 2008’s GQ “Men of the Year” Awards
On the chaotic side of music history, on this day in 2008, Lily Allen offered to us a somewhat turbulent, iconic memory. 15 years ago, the artist attended the GQ “Men of the Year” Awards. During the night, many of her incredible colleagues were celebrated. However, she soon made herself some space to shine, probably after drinking a bit too much. The artist went on to insult her co-host Sir Elton John, and leaked news of her brother’s recent engagement in London.
September 3: In Memory of Taylor Hawkins
On this day last year, a series of artists joined the Foo Fighters on stage in a tribute concert for the band’s drummer, Taylor Hawkins. The artist had passed away on March 25th of the same year. Among the artists on stage were Paul McCartney, Kesha, and Nile Rodgers.