On this day

1980 | R.E.M. played their first ever gig when they appeared at St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia.

1984 | Marvin Gaye’s funeral took place at The Forest Lawn Cemetery, Los Angeles; Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and other Motown singers, writers and producers, attended the service.

1994 | Kurt Cobain committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at his home in Seattle. Cobain’s body wasn’t discovered until April 8, by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system, who initially believed that Cobain was asleep, until he saw the shotgun pointing at his chin.

2002 | American singer Layne Staley of Alice in Chains was found dead from a mixture of heroin and cocaine in his home.

2008 | Apple’s iTunes overtook supermarket group Wal-Mart to become the largest music retailer in the US.

2011 | A statue in tribute to Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain was unveiled in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, The unveiling marked the 17th anniversary of Cobain’s death, which occurred on April 5, 1994.

2012 | Jim Marshall, who made rock ’n’ roll rawer and noisier by inventing the Marshall amplifier died at a hospice in London, aged 88.

Born on this day

1929 | Joe Meek, English record producer, sound engineer and songwriter who pioneered space age and experimental pop music.

1950 | Swedish musician, singer, songwriter Agnetha Faltskog from ABBA.

1973 | Pharrell Williams, American singer, producer. Williams has produced numerous No.1 hits for Mystikal, Jay-Z, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Ed Sheeran, and Nelly.