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Rage Against Censorship, Chester Bennington, and More: This Week in Music History

July 17: Endless Love, Endless Soundtrack

It happens sometimes that the tracks for a movie goes down in history along the movie itself, and both find their place in cinematic and music history. This happened with Dirty Dancing and its “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life,” or Top Gun and “Take My Breath Away.”

The same happened with 1981 Universal Pictures’ romantic drama Endless Love, starring Brooke Shields. Do you remember this title? It would be understandable if you didn’t, because the movie was quickly forgotten by the general public. What went down in history, on the other hand, is its theme song, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’ duet of the same name. The song spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Moreover, it earns Richie an Academy Award nomination for Best Song.

July 18: Raging Against Music Censorship

On this day in 1993, Rage Against The Machine – quite literally – took a stand and protested music censorship. Their way of protesting? By appearing completely naked at their Lollapalooza set in Philadelphia – except for duct tape over their mouths. Moreover, the letters PMRC written on their chests, recalling the Parents Music Resource Center. The group refused to perform and stood still for 25 minutes.

July 19: The Legend of Billie Jean

On July, 19, 1985 The Legend of Billie Jean debuts in theatres. Together with the musical, theme song “Invincible” by Pat Benatar gained fame and became one of the most famous hits in musical history. The musical starred Helen Slater and Christian Slater as teen brother and sister from Texas. The siblings accidentally become outlaws after being mistakenly involved in and held responsible for an armed robbery. The duo therefore starts an escape that leads them to becoming popular heroes.

July 20: Remembering Chester Bennington

Six years have already passed since Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life. The artist, who’d been dealing with depression and addiction for his entire life, was found dead at the age of 41 in his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

The singer’s death occurred on what would have been his close friend Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Cornell had passed away in the same year a few months prior, leaving an open scar in Bennington’s life.

July 21: Caught in The Act

Today marks the day that German pop and dance music project Milli Vanilli, with frontmen Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, was debuted. The group was formed by Frank Farian in 1988. Morvan and Pilatus couldn’t sing nor play any instrument. The day the public would’ve discovered this didn’t take long. It was 1989, less than one year after their creation. While the duo was performing on the Club MTV tour at a stop in Bristol, Connecticut, the track they were playing started skipping, and while they tried to lip-sync to the song “Girl You Know It’s True,” the line “girl you know it’s…” started repeating over and over. That was the moment when the duo panicked, and immediately left the stage.

July 22: Little Richard Wisdom

Today in 1979, Little Richard made his famous statement, “If God can save an old homosexual like me, he can save anybody.”

The singer arrived on the scene in the ’50s and since then broke barriers, stereotypes, and social limits. His flamboyance, charm, and never-seen-before charisma immediately made him an icon and an inspiration for many. However, the artist was going through a huge internal struggle, trying to bring his being gay and his religious faith together. Even going as far as condemning homosexuality, in a 1982 interview with David Letterman he mentioned that he had been gay all his life but that God had told him that “He made Adam be with Eve, not Steve.”

It took years for the artist to finally come to terms with his homosexuality. Richard’s history is well narrated in Lisa Cortés’ documentary on the artist’s life, Little Richard: I Am Everything

July 23: Fiona Apple’s Tidal

On this day in 1996, New York singer and pianist Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart dropped her debut album Tidal at the young age of 18. The release included singles “Shadowboxer” and “Criminal,” and presented the singer in her characteristic forceful and rock sound. Tidal sold over 3 million copies in America, and started the music phenomenon of Fiona Apple.

Discover more about your favourite artists and stay updated on all the latest and hottest music news here.

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