On This Day, September 26 in Music History


On this day September 26 in 1937 – American singer Bessie Smith nicknamed the ‘Empress of the Blues’ died in a car accident at the age of 43.

1958 – Connie Francis started a six-week stint at No.1 on the UK Singles chart with the double A-side ‘Carolina Moon/Stupid Cupid’.

1960 – Connie Francis scored her second number one single of the year in the US with ‘My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own’. She previously topped the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool’ in June.

1964 – Roy Orbison started a three-week run at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ on this day September 26 in music history. The song was an international hit and it topped the charts in 10 other countries.

1969 – The Beatles released their eleventh studio album ‘Abbey Road’ in the UK. The album became a chart-topper in a dozen countries worldwide, but the most impressive thing about it is the album cover that features the four bandmembers crossing a street outside their studio which became one of the most imitated images in music history.

1974 – John Lennon released his fifth solo studio album ‘Walls and Bridges’ which went on to top the charts the US and Canada.

1981 – Rock band Genesis went to number one in the UK with their eleventh studio album ‘Abacab’ on this day September 26. It was a chart-topper in France as well that year, and it became the band’s first Top 10 album in the US.

1987 – With his seventh studio album ‘Bad’Michael Jackson hit No.1 on the US Billboard 200 chart for the first of six consecutive weeks. The LP reached number one in 24 countries worldwide and it became one of the best-selling albums of all time over 30 million copies sold.

1987 – With ‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All’, Whitney Houston scored her fifth consecutive number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 on this day September 26.

1992 – American singer Belinda Carlisle topped the UK Albums chart with her greatest hits compilation ‘The Best of Belinda, Volume 1’.

1995 – Hard rock band AC/DC released thirteenth studio album ‘Ballbreaker’ on this day September 26 in music history. The album was a commercial success and it reached No.1 in Australia, Finland, and Sweden.

1998 – Melanie B featuring Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott went to number one in the UK with her first solo single ‘I Want You Back’.

1998 – Alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers started a three-week run at No.1 in the UK with their fifth studio album ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’. Also a chart-topper in Finland and Ireland that year.

2000 – American songwriter and lyricist Carl Sigman died on this day September 26 at the age of 91. Best remembered for penning the songs ‘It’s All in the Game’ and ‘Where Do I Begin’.

2003 – English singer-songwriter and record producer Robert Palmer died on this day, aged 54 of a heart attack. Best remembered for his hit singles ‘Addicted to Love’, ‘Simply Irresistible’, and ‘I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On’.

2009 – With their fifth studio album ‘The Resistance’, rock band Muse topped the UK Albums chart. The album reached No.1 in 19 countries and earned the band a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.

Muse – Resistance

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– Rapper Jay-Z reached number one in the US with his eleventh studio album ‘The Blueprint 3’ on this day September 26 in music history.

2009 – The number one single in the UK on this day was ‘Break Your Heart’ by singer-songwriter Taio Cruz. The song also reached No.1 in the US, Canada, and Switzerland.

2019 – With his debut studio album ‘Hypersonic Missiles’Sam Fender went to number one in the UK on this day September 26.

2020 – Rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again scored his second number one album of the year in the US with ‘Top’. He previously topped the Billboard 200 chart in May with ’38 Baby 2′.

2021 – English musician Alan Lancaster died at the age of 72. Best remembered as the co-founder and bassist of the rock band Status Quo.

2021 – Co-founder and leader of the rock band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet AirmenGeorge Frayne IV died on this day September 26, aged 77.


1898 – American composer and pianist George Gershwin was born on this day September 26 in Brooklyn, New York. Best known for his orchestral compositions ‘An American in Paris’ and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, and the songs ‘Summertime’ and ‘Swanee’.

1925 – Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and NASCAR racing driver, Marty Robbins was born in Glendale, Arizona.

1926 – American singer and actress Julie London was born in Santa Rosa, California on this day September 26 in music history.

1945 – British singer and songwriter Bryan Ferry was born on this day September 26 in Washington, England.

1947 – Country music singer and songwriter Lynn Anderson was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She’s regarded as one of the most influential country music artists with five number one singles on the Billboard charts.

1948 – Scottish drummer, singer, and songwriter Stuart Tosh was born in Aberdeen. Best known for his work with bands such as 10cc, The Alan Parsons Project, and Camel.

1948 – British singer and actress Olivia Newton-John was born on this day September 26 in Cambridge, England. She’s one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 100 million records sold worldwide.

1948 – American bassist and guitar player Tiran Porter was born in Los Angeles, California. He rose to fame as a member of The Doobie Brothers.

1954 – Mexican singer, songwriter, and guitarist Cesar Rosas was born in Hermosillo on this day September 26 in music history. Best known as a member of the band Los Lobos who had the worldwide hit single ‘La Bamba’.

1954 – Guitarist, songwriter, and composer Craig Chaquico was born on this day in Sacramento, California. He came to prominence as a member of Jefferson Starship.

1961 – Singer-songwriter and founding member of the group En VogueCynthia “Cindy” Herron was born in San Francisco, California.

1962 – British singer and guitar player Tracey Thorn was born on this day September 26 in Brookmans Park, England. Best known for her work with Marine Girls and Everything but the Girl.

1972 – Singer, songwriter and founding member of the vocal harmony group Boyz II MenShawn Stockman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1981 – Singer and actress Christina Milian was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on this day September 26 in music history.

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