On this day

1954 | Johnny Ace shot himself dead backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas. The R&B singer was playing with a revolver during a break between sets, someone in the room said “Be careful with that thing’’ and he said ‘It’s OK the gun’s not loaded, see’’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face.

1968 | Led Zeppelin arrived in the United States for the very first time in preparation of their debut North American tour. The group were paid an average of $1,500 for each show.

1978 | John Lydon’s new group Public Image Ltd played their first live gig at the Rainbow Theatre, London.

1995 | American singer, actor and TV host Dean Martin died.

2006 | James Brown the ‘Godfather of Soul’, died at the age of 73 after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia.

2009 | American singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt died from an overdose of muscle relaxants that had left him in a coma in an Athens hospital.

2016 | George Michael died at his home aged 53.

Born on this day

1940 | Pete Brown, lyricist, poet, singer, producer, Cream.

1954 | Annie Lennox, singer, The Tourists, (1979 UK No.4 single ‘I Only Want To Be With You’). Eurythmics, (1983 US No.1 single ‘Sweet Dreams’, 1985 UK No.1 single ‘There Must Be An Angel’). Solo, (1995 UK No.2 single ‘No More I Love You’s’).

1957 | Shane MacGowan, singer from Irish-British Celtic punk band The Pogues who scored the 1987 UK No.8 single ‘The Irish Rover’ and the 1987 UK No.2 single with Kirsty MaCcoll, ‘Fairytale Of New York’.

1971 | Dido, singer, songwriter.

1972 | American session drummer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter Josh Freese.