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This Week In Music: February 3rd – 5th

February 3: Sinead O’Connor Against The Grammys

On February 3, 1991, Irish singer Sinead O’Connor announced that she wouldn’t accept any Grammy Awards or attend the ceremony. The reason? The artist was protesting against the “false and destructive materialistic values” of the show.

Sinead O’ Connor was awarded the prize for “Best Alternative Music Performance” for her album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. However, the singer decided not attend the Awards and turned down the win.

Explaining her decision, O’Connor published an open letter, in which she wrote as follows:

“As artists, I believe our function is to express the feelings of the human race–to always speak the truth and never keep it hidden even though we are operating in a world which does not like the sound of the truth. I believe that our purpose is to inspire and, in some way, guide and heal the human race, of which we are all equal members.

She added: “They acknowledge mostly the commercial side of art. They respect mostly material gain since that is the main reason for their existence. And they have created a great respect among artists for material gain — by honouring us and exalting us when we achieve it, ignoring, for the most part, those of us who have not.”

February, 4: Rumours

On February 4 of 1977, Fleetwood Mac released what would’ve become their biggest, most loved and most famous album, Rumours.

With the singles “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop,” “Dreams,” and “You Make Loving Fun,” the album jumped to the top of every chart, and to date it’s still one of the most selling ever – with its over 45 million copies sold. The public’s appreciation for the record didn’t shine only through the charts, but also from the awards. In fact, in 1978 the album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year

Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

February 5:

On February 5, 1998, the incredible duo made of Elton John and Stevie Wonder performed at the White House for US President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The artists, as multiple others before and after, were invited to the White House to entertain the President and their hosts. To introduce the two performers, an official note was released by the White House and reads what follows:

Sir Elton John has been in the music business for over thirty years. His first major hit was “Your Song” in 1970, and his most recent hit, “Candle in the Wind 1997” has become the biggest selling single of all time, having just surpassed the 33 million mark in worldwide sales. 

The past three decades have been highlighted with numerous other milestones and record-breaking accomplishments for Elton John. By 1972, he had dominated the pop charts with seven consecutive #1 albums. In 1979, he became the first Western pop star to perform in both Israel and the U.S.S.R.. Listed by Billboard as one of the most successful artists in the history of rock and roll, Elton John has sold more than 200 million records worldwide. 

Elton John has devoted himself to the fight against AIDS. In 1992, he established his own charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation. In January, because of his contributions to both music and charity, Elton John was knighted. 

Stevie Wonder has been making music and enriching lives for more than four decades. He began his musical career at the age of twelve. In the last three decades, he has released over 30 albums and sold over 100 million albums. He has won 21 Grammy awards and received an Oscar for “I Just Called to Say I Love You”. 

A songwriter, singer, producer, arranger, poet, musician, performer, and visionary, Stevie Wonder’s positive and uplifting power has brought joy, hope, and love to audiences around the world. 

Stevie Wonder’s social and political commitments have heightened comprehension of intolerable human conditions and attitudes – – from apartheid to famine relief; from AIDS awareness to the long overdue recognition of a Martin Luther King National Holiday.

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