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100 iconic moments from music history

  • Tupac Shakur is killed in drive-by shooting

    Hip-hop sensation Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting on Sept. 7, 1996, in Las Vegas, at 25. After years of investigation, the gunman is still unknown.

  • Notorious B.I.G. is murdered in a drive-by shooting

    Like his rival Tupac Shakur, rapper Christopher Wallace, the Notorious B.I.G., was murdered in Los Angeles in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997. Wallace’s family alleged that corrupt Los Angeles police officers were to blame for his death, and filed a $400 million lawsuit against the LAPD.

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  • Elton John performs at Princess Diana’s funeral

    The musician captured the mourning of the masses when he performed a reworked version of “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s funeral. The performance was broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world, according to Reuters via Al Jazeera.

  • Britney Spears wears controversial schoolgirl outfit in video

    In the music video for her “…Baby One More Time” debut single, 16-year-old pop artist Britney Spears wore a midriff-revealing Catholic schoolgirl uniform, complete with a miniskirt. The ensemble proved controversial among parents, but made pigtails and pom-pom hair ties trendy among teens.

  • Woodstock ’99 fails miserably

    Meant to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original music festival, Woodstock ’99 turned out to be a massive failure. The notorious multi-day event had exorbitant ticket prices, $4 bottles of water, overcrowding, poor performances, multiple sexual assaults, and a number of other serious problems that left the crowds enraged, according to Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone.

  • Metallica sues Napster for copyright infringement

    The metal band took peer-to-peer file sharing service Napster to court in April 2000 over copyright violations. Napster lost and would go bankrupt soon after. The internet’s disruption of music distribution and record label profits would continue for decades, though.

    [Pictured: Lars Ulrich of Metallica, left, Roger McGuinn, founding member of 60s rock group The Byrds, center, and Napster Chief Executive Officer Hank Barry sit before the Senate Judiciary Committee.]

  • Mariah Carey shows up unannounced on TRL

    Wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word “loverboy,” Mariah Carey showed up on MTV’s “Total Request Live” in 2001 with no advance notice. Host Carson Daly was surprised and told the camera that the singer had “lost her mind,” according to Anjelica Oswald and Angélica Acevedo of Insider.

    [Pictured: Mariah Carey Arrives at MTV's "TRL" - June 18, 2001.]

  • Apple launches the first iPod

    Apple launched its first iPod on Oct. 23, 2001. It gave music fans the ability to store thousands of songs on a pocket-sized device.

  • American Idol debuts on TV

    Singing competition “American Idol” debuted on Fox in June 2002, giving American viewers the chance to vote for the musician most deserving of a record deal. Some of the show's contestants would go on to achieve major success, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson.

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  • Dixie Chicks slam President George W. Bush

    Dixie Chicks’ lead singer Natalie Maines publicly bashed former President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq at a concert in March 2003. The band received death threats and country music radio stations across the country refused to play their music.

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