On This Day, March 26 In Music History


On this day March 26 in 1827 – Influential German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven died at the age of 56. 

1955 – With ‘The Ballad of Davy Crockett’, actor and singer Bill Hayes started a five-week run at number one on the US Singles chart.

1964 – Singer-songwriter Chuck Berry recorded ‘No particular Place To Go’ at Chess Records studio. The single was released two months later in May and it became a Top 10 hit in the US, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK.

1969 – With his rendition of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’Marvin Gaye hit No.1 on the UK Singles chart for the first of three consecutive weeks.

1973 – English playwright, composer, singer, actor, and director Noel Coward died on this day March 26 in music history at the age of 73.

1976 – British blues singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anthony “Duster” Bennett died at the age of 29 in a car crash after a show in Burslem, Stoke on Trent.

1977 – Pop rock duo Hall & Oates scored their first number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Rich Girl.

1980 – Drummer and founding member of the pop band The BuckinghamsJohn Poulos died at the age of 32 from heart failure.

1983 – With their debut studio album ‘The Hurting’, new wave band Tears for Fears went to number one in the UK.

1983 – New wave band Duran Duran hit No.1 on the UK Singles chart for the first time with ‘Is There Something I Should Know’.

1985 – After Stevie Wonder dedicated his Oscar win to Nelson Mandela the night before, all South African radio stations banned his music.

1988 – Reggae group Aswad hit No.1 on the UK Singles chart with their rendition of ‘Don’t Turn Around’.

1988 – With ‘Man In The Mirror’Michael Jackson scored his tenth overall and second number one single of the year in the US. He previously topped the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ on January 23.

1988 – Singer and songwriter Morrissey went to number one in the UK with his debut solo studio album ‘Viva Hate’.

1994 – March 26 seems to be a great date for Morrissey as he scored another number one album in the UK on this day with ‘Vauxhall and I’.

1994 – Rock band Soundgarden topped the US Billboard 200 chart for the first and only time with their fourth studio album ‘Superunknown’.

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1995 – American rapper Eric Wright better known by his stage name Eazy- E died at the age of 31 from AIDS. Best remembered as a founding member of the hip hop group N.W.A.

2000 – At the 72nd annual Academy Awards held in Los Angeles, Phil Collins won an Oscar for Best Original song with ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ which featured in the Disney animated movie Tarzan.

2001 – Virtual band Gorillaz released their self-titled debut studio album through Parlophone and Virgin Records. The album was a commercial success and it became a hit worldwide.

2002 – American drummer and songwriter Randolpho “Randy” Castillo died on this day March 26, aged 51 from cancer. Best known for his work with Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue.

2005 – Australian multi-instrumentalist Paul Hester committed suicide at the age of 46. Best remembered as the drummer of the bands Split Enz and Crowded House.

2005 – Welsh alternative rock band Stereophonics reached the top spot on the UK Albums chart with ‘Language.Sex.Violence.Other?’.

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2005 – Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay started a seven-week stint at number one in the UK with a new version of his 1971 hit song ‘(Is This the Way to) Amarillo’.

2006 – Singer-songwriter and guitarist Adrian Nicholas Godfrey also known professionally as Nikki Sudden died on this day March 26, aged 49 from heart failure. Best remembered as the co-founder of the band Swell Maps.

2011 Nicole Scherzinger scored her first number one single as a solo artist in the United Kingdom with ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’.

2011 – With his third studio album ‘Lasers’, rapper Lupe Fiasco topped the US Billboard 200 chart.

2016 – The number one album in the United States on this day was Kendrick Lamar‘s greatest hits compilation ‘untitled unmastered’.

2020 – Irish singer Niall Horan scored his first number one album as a solo artist in the United Kingdom with ‘Heartbreak Weather’.

2020 – Guyanese-American rapper Saint Jhn hit number one on the UK Singles chart with ‘Roses’ for the first of two weeks straight.

2022 – Rapper Lil Durk went to number one in the United States with his seventh studio album ‘7220’.


1917 – American multi-genre singer-songwriter, dancer, and DJ Rufus Thomas was born in Cayce, Mississippi.

1925 – Jazz music saxophonist, flute player, and occasional vocalist James Moody was born in Savannah, Georgia.

1929 – American jazz music saxophonist Maurice James Simon was born on this day in Houston, Texas.

1944 – Singer and and actress Diana Ross was born in Detroit, Michigan. She rose to fame as the lead singer of The Supremes before establishing herself as a successful solo artist.

1948 – Keyboardist Richard Tandy was born in Birmingham, England. Best known for his work with the rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).

1948 – Co-founder and frontman of the rock band Aerosmith, Steven Tyler was born Steven Victor Tallarico on this day in Manhattan, New York City.

1949 – Bass guitarist Fran Sheehan was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Best known as a member of the rock band Boston.

1950 – American singer-songwriter and composer Theodore “Teddy” Pendergrass was born in Kingstree, South Carolina. He rose to fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes before establishing himself as a solo artist. 

1953 – Scottish vocalist, flautist, and keyboardist William “Billy” Lyall was born in Edinburgh. He rose to fame as the co-founder of the rock band Pilot.

1959 – British session drummer Chris Whitten was born on this day in Blackpool, England. Best known for his work with artists and bands such as Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, Dire Straits and others.

1968 – Guitarist and co-founder of the alternative rock band Smashing PumpinksJames Iha was born in Chicago, Illinois.

1968 – Country music singer, songwriter, and guitarist Kenny Chesney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is one of the best-selling country music artists with over 30 million records sold worldwide.

1975 – American rapper, songwriter, and actor Terius Gray also known professionally as Juvenile was born in New Orleans on this day March 26 in music history.

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