On This Day, May 21 In Music History

EVENTS THAT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY MAY 21 IN MUSIC HISTORY

On this day May 21 in 1955 – Chuck Berry recorded ‘Maybellene’ at Universal Recording studio in Chicago. It was released as a single in July and it topped the US Billboard R&B chart while on the Pop chart it peaked at No.5. This was Berry’s first hit and is considered by many a pioneering rock and roll song.

1963 – Thirteen-year-old ‘Little’ Stevie Wonder released ‘Fingertips Part 1 and Part 2′. The B-side topped both the Billboard Pop and R&B Singles charts. The song features Marvin Gaye on drums and it was Motown’s second No.1 pop hit.

1964 – Rock and roll group The Four Pennies reached number one on the UK Singles chart with ‘Juliet’ on this day May 21 in music history.

1966 – With their debut studio album ‘If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears’The Mamas & the Papas hit No.1 on the US Billboard 200 chart.

1971 – Marvin Gaye released his eleventh studio album ‘What’s Going On’ through Tamla Records on this day May 21. The album was a commercial success and it topped the Billboard Soul LP chart while on the Pop chart it peaked at No.6.

1977 – With his rendition of the songs ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ / ‘The First Cut Is the Deepest’Rod Stewart hit No.1 on the UK Singles chart for the first of four consecutive weeks.

1977 Fleetwood Mac returned for an eight-week stint at No.1 on the US Billboard 200 with their eleventh studio album ‘Rumours’ on this day May 21.

1977 – With ‘Sir Duke’, a tribute song to the late Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder scored his second No.1 single of the year in the US. He previously topped the Billboard Hot 100 on January 22 with ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’.

1979 – Elton John became the first mainstream western act to tour behind the “Iron Curtain”. He played 8 concerts in the USSR with the first show being at Bolshoi Oktybarsky Concert Hall in Leningrad on this day May 21 in music history.

1983 – The “King of Pop” – Michael Jackson reached number one on the UK Albums chart for the first of five weeks straight with his sixth studio release ‘Thriller’ which is also the best-selling album of all time with over 70 million units sold worldwide.

1983 – With ‘Let’s Dance’David Bowie topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart on this day May 21. The song features guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and it became Bowie’s highest selling single of his career. It reached No.1 in twelve countries worldwide.

1988 – Prince took the top spot on the UK Albums chart with his tenth studio album ‘Lovesexy’. It was his first chart-topper in Britain.

1988 – Soft rock band Wet Wet Wet started a four-week run at No.1 in the UK with their rendition of the Beatles‘ songs ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ / ‘She’s Leaving Home’ on this day May 21.

1994 – With his second studio album ‘Not a Moment Too Soon’, country music singer-songwriter Tim McGraw went to number one on the US Billboard 200.

1994 – The Manchester United Football Club Squad topped the UK Singles chart with ‘Come on You Reds’ on this day May 21 in music history. The song was written and produced by the band Status Quo.

1994 – Vocal group All-4-One started an eleven-week run at No.1 in the US with their version of ‘I Swear’. The song was also a big international hit and reached No.1 in a dozen other countries.

1996 – Soundgarden released their fifth studio album ‘Down On The Upside’ through A&M Records on this day May 21. The record debuted and peaked at No.2 in the US and was a chart-topper in Australia and New Zealand.

15 Facts About Chris Cornell You May Have Not Known

2001 – English keyboardist, record producer, arranger and session musician Tommy Eyre died at the age of 51 from cancer.

2005 – With their fourth studio album ‘With Teeth’, industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails reached number one in the US on this day May 21.

2011 – Singer and songwriter Adele started a seven-week stint at No.1 in the United States with her first chart-topper ‘Rolling In The Deep’. The song was a worldwide hit and also reached No.1 in twelve other countries.

2011 – With ‘The Lazy Song’, singer-songwriter Bruno Mars scored his third consecutive number one single in the UK on this day May 21 in music history.

Bruno Mars – Lazy Song

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2015 – American bassist Louis Johnson died on this day at the age of 60. Best remembered for his work with the funk and R&B band The Johnson Brothers.

2016 – The number one single in the United States on this day May 21 was ‘One Dance’ by rapper Drake ft. singers Wizkid and Kyla. Drake also started a nine-week stint at No.1 on the Billboard 200 on this day with his fourth studio album ‘Views’.

2016 – American drummer Nicholas ‘Nick’ Menza died at the age of 51 from a heart attack. Best known for his work with the thrash metal band Megadeth.

2020 – With ‘Rockstar’, American rappers DaBaby and Roddy Ricch topped the UK Singles chart on this day May 21.

2022 – Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny reached the top spot on the US Billboard 200 chart for the first of thirteen non-consecutive weeks with his fourth solo studio album ‘Un Verano Sin Ti’.

BORN ON THIS DAY MAY 21 IN MUSIC HISTORY

1904 – American jazz vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was born in New York City on this day May 21 in music history.

1921 – Record producer, songwriter, arranger, trumpeter and executive Henry Bernard Glover was born on this day in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

1927 – Composer, bandleader, orchestrator, saxophonist, and songwriter Willis “Bill” Holman was born on this day May 21 in Olive, California.

1934 – American guitarist Elbert “Sonny” Forriest was born in Pendleton, North Carolina. Best known for his work with the blues/rock and roll group The Coasters.

1941 – Lead singer of the family music group The Isley BrothersRonald Isley also known as Mr Biggs was born on this day May 21 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1943 – Guitarist and founding member of the rock band The AnimalsHilton Valentine was born on this day in North Shields, England.

1943 – English bass guitarist John Dalton was born in London on this day May 21 in music history. Best known as a member of the rock band The Kinks from 1966 until 1976.

1943 – Keyboardist Vincent Crane was born Vincent Rodney Cheesman in Reading, England. Best known for his work with the bands The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster.

1947 – Singer, instrumentalist, arranger and record producer William ‘Bill’ Champlin was born on this day May 21 in Oakland, California. Best known for forming the band Sons of Champlin and for working with the rock band Chicago.

1948 – Singer and songwriter Gerard Hugh “Leo” Sayer  was born on this day in Shoreham-by-Sea, England. Best known for hit songs such as ‘Thunder in My Heart Again’, ‘More Than I Can Say’, ‘When I Need You’, ‘Moonlight’ and others.

1955 – American multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and record producer Stanley ‘Stan’ Lynch was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on this day May 21. He rose to fame as a founding member and drummer for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

1972 – American rapper Christopher Wallace better known as The Notorious B.I.G or Biggie Smalls was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1975 – Welsh guitarist Lee Gaze was born in Pontypridd, Wales on this day May 21 in music history. Best known as a founding member of the rock bands Lostprophets and No Devotion.

1978 – Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist Adam Gontier was born in Peterborough, Ontario. Best known as a member of the rock bands Three Days Grace and Saint Asonia.

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