The world said goodbye to Michael Jackson on this day in 2009

A heavy day in rock history.

Today in rock history: on this date in 2009, Michael Jackson, appropriately named the “King of Pop,” passed away at the age of 50. Heart failure was listed as the cause of death for the artist, songwriter, performer and entertainer who’d spent most of his life onstage and making music. Emerging in the late 1960s as the effervescent, dynamic lead singer of the family act The Jackson 5, Michael quickly drew accolades and plenty of attention as the charming, young focal point of the band that comprised of his real life older brothers. The creator of the best-selling album of all time, 1982’s blockbuster Thriller, Jackson was one of the most recognizable and adored artists all over the world and his death came as a shock for many of his fans around the globe.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1984, Prince released his sixth studio album, the wildly successful Purple Rain which also doubled as the soundtrack to the artist’s major motion picture of the same title. A massive success upon its release, the album’s first two single releases, “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” were both No. 1 singles on Billboard’s pop charts, which helped propel the album to a lengthy stay on album sales charts that lasted well into 1985. The album has sold over 25 million copies worldwide making it one of the top three best-selling soundtrack albums of all time. Other singles from this enormously successful album included “Take Me With U,” “I Would Die 4 U” and, of course, the epic title track. Purple Rain escalated the fame and the profile of the young musical genius from Minnesota to new heights and helped establish him as one of the best-selling musical artists of the 1980s.

Remembering George Michael: He grew up, and left us, right before our eyes

Today in rock history: on this date in 1963, Georgios Panayiotou, soon to be known to the music world as George Michael, was born in London, England. Born of Greek descent, the young singer/songwriter got his start as part of the teenage singing duo, Wham!, which he formed with childhood friend Andrew Ridgeley. Scoring a long line of worldwide hits like “Careless Whisper” and “I’m Your Man,” Michael was destined to become a solo superstar thanks to his good looks, his strong, soulful voice and his onstage charisma. Emerging as a gifted songwriter from an early age, George would soon become a solo act after Wham!’s demise and the level of his massive success rose to enormous heights. With Faith, a huge debut solo album released in 1987, Michael became an international superstar. The album featured a whopping seven hit singles and sold in record-breaking numbers all around the world. Michael’s solo career continued to prove his worth as a bona fide superstar, despite some ups and downs, until his untimely death in 2016 at the age of 53.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1945, singer/songwriter Carly Simon was born in New York, New York. Singing from an early age, Carly began her career as part of a sister act called The Simon Sisters with her sibling Lucy, but Carly emerged in the early 1970s as a solo artist and her success took off from the very beginning. Huge pop radio hits like “Anticipation” and “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” established Simon as one of the premier female artists of the era and lead to her being awarded a Grammy Award in the category of Best New Artist in 1971. But it was her provocative 1972 hit, “You’re So Vain” that made her a worldwide success. Continuing to score hits into the 1980s including one of the most intriguing James Bond movie themes of all time, 1977’s “Nobody Does it Better” from the film The Spy Who Loved Me continued to keep Carly on radio airwaves and sales charts. The one-time spouse of another successful singer/songwriter, James Taylor, Carly has continued to stay musically active and release new albums throughout her career with her most recent being a 2015 career retrospective that coincided with the release of her published autobiography entitled “Boys In the Trees: A Memoir."

About The Author

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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