Today in Music

February, 16

  • 1999 Aretha Franklin issues a statement taking responsibility for a “handful of suits for a small fraction out of the 99.9% of people who (she has) paid responsibly and in a timely way.” She attacks as “malicious and vicious” a story in the Detroit Free Press saying that 30 lawsuits have been filed against her since 1988 by creditors seeking payment.
  • 1999 Written off by some quarters of the British music industry three years ago, Robbie Williams scoops up three trophies at the annual Brit Awards. The ex–Take That member picks up the coveted awards for best male British solo artist, best British single (“Angels”) and best British video (for the single “Millennium”).
  • 1999 Rap star Ol’ Dirty Bastard is arrested in Hollywood for allegedly wearing body armor – a forbidden garment because of his previous arrests. ODB is initially pulled over for driving erratically.
  • 1998 At the Brit Awards, Chumbawamba drummer Danbert Nobacon dumps a bucket of ice water on U.K. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
  • 1996 Walter (Brownie) McGhee, one of the most important figures in folk and blues revival, dies of stomach cancer. He was best known for his popular acoustic blues act of the 1950s and 1960s with harmonicist Sonny Terry.
  • 1984 Jerry Lee Lewis surrenders to federal authorities to answer charges of income tax evasion. He is later acquitted.
  • 1975 The music variety series “Cher” premieres on CBS–TV.
  • 1968 The Beatles fly to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
  • 1963 Teen idol Paul Anka marries Marie–Ann DeZogheb in Paris.
  • 1961 Andy Taylor, lead guitarist of Duran Duran and the Power Station, is born in Dolver–Hampton, England. His biggest solo hit is “Take It Easy,” a No. 24 single from the film “American Anthem.”
  • 1935 Sonny Bono (Salvatore Bono) is born in Detroit. He has five top 10 hits with his wife, Cher. The duo’s biggest hit is the million–selling song “I Got You Babe,” which tops Billboard’s Hot 100 for three weeks in 1965. He is later elected mayor of Palm Springs, Calif.