Today In Music: A look back at pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Dec. 29, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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(Dec. 29)

Today's birthdays include Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues, who was born in 1941 (age 50); Marianne Faithfull in 1946 (age 55); Whitesnake's Cozy Powell in 1947 (age 54); Robert Parissi of Wild Cherry in 1950 (age 51); and Yvonne Elliman in 1951 (age 50).

Today's musical milestones:

In 1967, singer/guitarist Dave Mason quit Traffic for the first of three times.

In 1975, Grace Slick and Paul Kantner split up after living together for seven years. Slick took their daughter, China, and later married Jefferson Starship lighting man Skip Johnson.

In 1980, songwriter Tim Hardin died of a heroin overdose. He was 40.

In 1982, Jamaica issued a Bob Marley commemorative stamp. The reggae musician had died the previous year.

In 1985, a girl, Alexa Ray, was born to Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley.

In 1992, off-duty police officers picketed Ice-T's concert in Green Bay, Wis. Other cops had protested the rapper's show the night before in Chicago. Ice-T had sparked a controversy earlier in the year with the rap song "Cop Killer."

Also in 1992, B.B. King performed for inmates at the Gainesville, Fla., Drug Treatment Center. In the audience: his 36-year-old daughter.

In 1994, Boyz II Men's "II" album broke its own record for the year's top-selling R&B album.

Also in 1994, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC was sentenced to five years' probation after pleading guilty to burning down the Atlanta mansion of her football star boyfriend Andre Rison the previous June.

In 1995, rocker Patty Smith gave birth in New York City to a daughter fathered by tennis great John McEnroe.

In 1997, the Spice Girls; Bob Dylan and his son, Jakob; Sean "Puffy" Combs; and Elton John made Entertainment Weekly's list of the top entertainers of 1997.

Also in 1997, Yoko Ono told BBC Radio that John Lennon was the "visionary" and the reason "why the Beatles happened." She disputed Paul McCartney's claim that he was the Fab Four's creative leader, saying the only contribution McCartney made to the band's success was organizing Lennon's talent.

And in 1997, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee's wife, ex-"Baywatch" actress Pamela Anderson Lee, gave birth to the couple's second son. They named him Dylan Jagger Lee.

In 1999, Pollstar magazine reported that the Rolling Stones were the top concert money makers for the year, pulling in $64.7 million.

Also in 1999, country/pop singer Shania Twain topped's list of artists whose songs were downloaded the most in 1999 (in Twain's case, more than 56,000 times).

And in 1999, Stockton, Calif., gave hometown rocker Chris Isaak the key to the city.

Today's musical quiz:

This Hawaiian-born singer sang backing vocals on the Eric Clapton hit song "I Shot the Sheriff." Who? Answer: Yvonne Elliman.

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