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100 iconic moments from music history

  • Amy Winehouse dies of alcohol poisoning

    Soul musician Amy Winehouse, who often sang about substance abuse issues, died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, at 27. Four years later, British filmmakers would chronicle her life and career in the documentary, “Amy.”

  • Tupac Shakur is revived in hologram form

    In 2012, Coachella hosted a performance from the late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur in hologram form. It cost between $100,000 and $400,000 to create the special effect, which would become a model for other hologram tours, according to Amy X. Wang of Rolling Stone.

  • Jimi Hendrix gets commemorative stamp

    The U.S. Postal Service paid tribute to Jimi Hendrix with a postage stamp in 2014. The stamp featured a portrait of the late rocker by artist Rudy Gutierrez.

  • U2 gets blowback after sending its album to iTunes customers

    The Irish band partnered with Apple to send its 2014 album “Songs of Innocence” to a half a billion iTunes users for free as part of its release. The unsolicited download was widely viewed as spam and Apple quickly published instructions to help customers delete the songs, according to Amy X. Wang of Rolling Stone.

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  • Mariah Carey helps James Corden launch Carpool Karaoke

    The singer agreed to be the first guest on a new segment of “The Late Late Show With James Corden” called “Carpool Karaoke” in March 2015. It was a smash hit and Apple Music immediately got an “exclusive first-window licensing agreement” for the music-themed series, according to Amy X. Wang of Rolling Stone.

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  • Taylor Swift gets Apple to pay artists

    The singer wrote a letter to Apple Music in 2015 encouraging it to change its policy of not paying musicians whose songs were streamed during a customer’s three-month free trial. The company announced the next day that it would pay artists after all.

  • Beyoncé’s Lemonade debuts at number one

    The singer dropped “Lemonade” with no advance notice as both an HBO film and an album in April 2016. The record sold 485,000 copies in its first week and it debuted at the top of the charts. It would make her the first artist to ever have “six consecutive studio albums debut at #1,” according to Jon Bream of the Star Tribune.

  • Ed Sheeran has highest-grossing tour of all time

    Ed Sheeran’s 2017-2019 “÷ Tour” took him across six continents for 255 shows. It would become the most lucrative tour ever, grossing $776.2 million, and selling nearly 9 million tickets, according to Eli Ellison of Work+Money.

  • Fyre Festival is exposed as a fraud

    Promoted by celebrities and influencers as a luxury music festival in The Bahamas, Fyre Festival did not go as planned in 2017. Musicians bailed at the last minute after finding out the festival was not well-prepared, and fans found themselves with packaged sandwiches for meals and FEMA tents to sleep in. Teams of filmmakers released two documentaries about the festival in 2019, exposing a high degree of fraud.

  • Kendrick Lamar wins Pulitzer Prize in music

    Rapper Kendrick Lamar became the first winner of the Pulitzer Prize in music who wasn’t a classical or jazz musician in 2018. The award was in recognition of his album “Damn.”

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