On This Day, December 25 In Music History


On this day December 25 in 1954 – R&B singer John Alexander also known as Johnny Ace died after accidentally shooting himself with a gun during a break between sets at a show in Houston, Texas.

1954 – Bing Crosby entered the US Singles chart for the first time with ‘White Christmas’. The record became the most commercially successful single of all time with over 50 million copies worldwide. The song was originally written by Irvin Berlin in 1942 for the musical Holiday Inn.

Watch Eric Clapton’s rendition of ‘White Christmas’

1965 – British band The Dave Clark Five also known as The DC5 went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 with their rendition of ‘Over and Over’ on this day December 25 in music history.. It was their first and only chart-topper in the country.

1965 – With their sixth studio album ‘Rubber Soul’The Beatles hit number one in the UK for the first of eighth consecutive weeks. The album became a chart-topper in the US, Australia, Finland, West Germany, and Canada as well.

1971 – Folk music singer Melanie Safka topped the US Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Brand New Key’ on this day December 25. Also a big hit worldwide and a chart-topper in multiple countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. In the UK it peaked at No.4.

1976 – American singer and songwriter Johnny Mathis hit number one on the UK Singles chart with his version of the popular Christmas song ‘When a Child Is Born’ for the first of three weeks straight. In the US, however, the song peaked at No.123.

1993 – With ‘Hero’Mariah Carey scored her second number one single of the year in the US on this day December 25. She previously topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks straight with ‘Dreamlover’. She also conquered the Billboard 200 on this day with her third studio album ‘Music Box’.

1995 – American singer and actor Dean Martin nicknamed The King of Cool died on this day at the age of 78. Best remembered for hit songs such as ‘Everybody Loves Somebody’‘Memories Are Made of This’‘Let it Snow’‘That’s Amore’, etc.

1998 – Founding member, singer-songwriter and guitarist for the rock band Love – Bryan MacLean died on this day December 25 in music history at the age of 52 from a heart attack.

1999 – Irish boy band Westlife went to number one in the UK with the double A-side single ‘I Have a Dream’ / ‘Seasons in the Sun’.

1999 – The posthumously released compilation album ‘Born Again’ by the rapper Notorious B.I.G reached number one on the US Billboard 200 on this day December 25.

The Notorious B.I.G. – Dead Wrong

YouTube player

2004 – Singer-songwriter Robbie Williams reached number one on the UK Albums chart with his compilation LP ‘Greatest Hits’. The album was an international hit and it also became a chart-topper in ten other countries.

2004 – With his fourth studio album ‘The Red Light District’, American rapper Ludacris went to number one in the US on this day December 25.

2005 – Rapper Eminem started a two-week run at No.1 in the US with his first greatest hits compilation album ‘Curtain Call: The Hits’

2006 – The Godfather of Soul – James Brown died on this day December 25 in music history, aged 73. He was among the first 10 artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is best remembered for hit songs such as ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ and ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’.

2010 – The winner of the seventh edition of The X Factor – Matt Cardle topped the UK Singles chart with his rendition of Biffy Clyro song ‘Many of Horror’.

2016 – English singer and songwriter George Michael died on this day December 25 at the age of 53. He rose to fame as one half of the musical duo Whambefore cementing his status as one of the biggest pop stars as a solo artist with songs such as ‘Careless Whisper’, ‘A Different Corner’, ‘Father Figure’, and ‘Freedom!90’ among many other hits.


1907 – Singer, songwriter, conductor, and bandleader Cabell “Cab” Calloway was born in Rochester, New York on this day December 25 in music history. Best remembered for the jazz standard ‘Minnie the Moocher’.

1929 – American R&B singer and songwriter Christophe “Chris” Kenner was born on this day in Kenner, Louisiana. Best known for the hit singles ‘I Like It Like That’ and ‘Land of 1000 Dances’.

1939 – Grammy Award-winning jazz keyboardist, composer, producer, and arranger Robert “Bob” James was born on this day December 25 in Marshall, Missouri.

1940 – Singer, songwriter, and performance poet Peter Brown was born in Ashtead, England. Best known for his work with the rock band Cream.

1941 – Jazz music pianist, organist, producer, arranger, composer, and bandleader Don Pullen was born on this day December 25 in Roanoke, Virginia.

1944 – American guitarist Henry Vestine nicknamed “The Sunflower” was born in Takoma Park, Maryland. He came to prominence as a member of the blues-rock band Canned Heat.

1945 – Rock musician David Noel Redding was born on this day December 25 in Folkestone, England. Best known as the bassist for the Jimmy Hendrix Experience and singer-guitarist for Fat Mattress.

1946 – American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and businessman James “Jimmy” Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

1948 – Country music singer and actress Barbara Ann Mandrell was born in Houston, Texas on this day December 25 in music history. Best known for chart-topping hits such as “Years’ and ‘Sleeping Single in a Double Bed’.

1948 – American soul and gospel music singer Merry Clayton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Best known for her work with The Rolling Stones and for singing with Mick Jagger on ‘Gimme Shelter’.

1954 – Singer-songwriter and one half of the pop duo Eurythmics, Annie “Ann” Lennox was born on this day December 25 in Aberdeen, Scotland.

1954 – Country music singer, songwriter and guitar player Steven “Steve” Wariner was born in Noblesville, Indiana.

1957 – Co-founder and frontman of the punk band The Pogues, Shane MacGowan was born on this day December 25 in Pembury, England.

1971 – Founding member, songwriter and lead guitarist of the rock band The Cranberries, Noel Hogan was born in Limerick, Ireland.

1971 – English singer and songwriter Florian Armstrong better known by her stage name Dido was born in London on this day December 25 in music history. She rose to fame with hit singles such as ‘Thank You’ and ‘Here with Me’ which helped her debut album ‘No Angel’ to sell over 21 million copies worldwide.

1976 – Dutch DJ, remixer and record producer Armin van Buuren was born on this day in Leiden, the Netherlands.

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