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100 iconic moments from music history

  • Freddie Mercury reveals he has AIDS

    After hiding his HIV diagnosis, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury went public about his health on Nov. 23, 1991. A day later, he died of complications related to AIDS.

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  • Smells Like Teen Spirit marks the success of grunge

    Once an underground genre, grunge became mainstream when Nirvana released its second album, “Nevermind,” in 1991. The lead single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” was an unexpected success and helped the album reach the top of the charts.

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  • Ropin’ in Wind tops Billboard 200 and country chart

    Country musician Garth Brooks released his third studio album, “Ropin’ the Wind,” on Sept. 2, 1991. It was the first album to ever debut at the top spot on both the Top Country Albums chart and the Billboard 200 chart.

  • Whitney Houston sings I Will Always Love You

    The singer covered the Dolly Parton tune “I Will Always Love You” in 1992 for the movie “The Bodyguard.” The standout song would become one of the best love songs in history.

  • Snoop Dogg makes West Coast hip hop mainstream

    The rapper released “Doggystyle” in 1993. The album, which debuted in the top spot on the Billboard 200, would propel West Coast-style hip hop into a mainstream genre.

  • Puff Daddy launches Bad Boy Entertainment

    Sean Combs, performing then as Puffy or Puff Daddy, started his own record label—Bad Boy Entertainment—in 1993, a few years after getting fired from his role as vice president of Uptown Records. The label would kickstart the careers of huge names in hip hop and R&B, including the Notorious B.I.G., 112, and Craig Mack, according to Billboard.

  • Nirvana performs on MTV Unplugged

    The grunge heroes gave a memorable performance of the acoustic versions of their songs on “MTV Unplugged” in 1993. It was one of frontman Kurt Cobain’s last televised shows before he died in April 1994.

  • Mariah Carey changes Christmas music forever

    The singer released her Christmas song, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” in 1994. The critically-acclaimed song has been a long-standing international success and is one of the few modern holiday songs to become a Christmas standard.

    [Pictured: Mariah Carey awarded Guinness World Record for highest-charting holiday song by a solo artist at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.]

  • Selena is killed by her fan club president

    Award-winning Tejano music star Selena was shot dead by her fan club president outside a Days Inn motel in Texas on March 31, 1995. Her death was mourned by fans around the world. Two years later, her life story would play out on the big screen in the 1997 film “Selena,” starring Jennifer Lopez.

  • Spice Girls debut Wannabe

    “Wannabe” was released in 1996. By the end of that year, the Spice Girls debut single would top the charts in 20 countries. After being released in the United States the following January, it hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four straight weeks.

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