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Born on this day: June 16, 1942 - R&B vocal legend Eddie Levert (born Edward Levert in Bessemer, AL) of The O'Jays. Happy 72nd Birthday, Eddie! We love you!
Born on this day: June 16, 1971 - Rap music icon and actor 2Pac (born Tupac Amaru Shakur in East Harlem, NY). Happy Birthday to Tupac on what would have been his 43rd Birthday.
On this day in music history: June 16, 1979 - “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for five weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for two weeks on June 30, 1979. Written and produced by Frederick Knight, it is the biggest hit for the former school teacher turned singer from Memphis, TN. The song is originally written and intended for the then 13-year-old singer Stacy Lattisaw. When Lattisaw does not end up signing with Knight’s production company (signing with Atlantic Records instead), Knight will re-write the lyrics, originally about kids talking on the telephone, to something more suited for an adult singer. Anita Ward, a 22-year-old former school teacher will be given the song for her debut album. The track is cut at Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS and released on Knight’s Juana Records (distributed by Miami-based TK Records). The record will be remixed by famed New York club DJ Richie Rivera, which will turn it into a worldwide hit. “Ring My Bell” will sell over 2.5 million copies in the US alone.
On this day in music history: June 16, 1986 - The Queen Is Dead, the third studio album by The Smiths, is released. Produced by Morrissey and Johnny Marr, it is recorded at Jacobs Studios in Farnham, Surrey, UK; RAK Studios in London; and Clear Recordings in Manchester between July and December 1985. Morrissey and Marr will write the majority of the songs for their third album during and between tours of Great Britain in 1985. Recording begins in the Summer with the song "Bigmouth Strikes Again" at Johnny Marr's home studio. Originally intended to be just a demo, the band will like the original version so much that it is released as single in advance of the album in May of 1986. The rest of the album will be completed later in the year in London and Surrey. When it debuts in the late Spring of 1986, it will receive universal praise from the press and fans alike upon its release, and will be regarded by many as The Smiths best album. The Queen Is Dead will peak at number two on the UK album chart, number 70 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 16, 1990 - "Quincy Jones and featuring Tevin Campbell hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #75 on the Hot 100 on the same date. Written by George Johnson, Louis Johnson, and Siedah Garrett, it is the fourth R&B chart-topper for the legendary producer, composer, and arranger born Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. The song was originally composed as an instrumental and included on The Brothers Johnson's 1976 debut album Look Out For #1. During the recording of Back on the Block, Jones will discover a 12-year-old singer from Waxahatchie, TX named Tevin Campbell. Impressed with the young singer's vocal prowess, he will look for a song for him to record on the album. Jones will ask singer/songwriter Siedah Garrett (also one of his proteges) to write lyrics for the previously instrumental " " The song also features jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright performing the sax solo. Issued as the third single from producer/arranger Quincy Jones' album Back On The Block, in March of 1990, " (A Better You, Better Me)" will be the third consecutive R&B chart topper from Back On The Block.
On this day in music history: June 16, 1995 - HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, the ninth studio album by Michael Jackson, is released. Produced by Michael Jackson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, David Foster, Bill Bottrell, and R Kelly, it is recorded at The Hit Factory Studios and Sony Music Sudios in New York; Record One, Ocean Way Studios, Larrabee Sound Studios, Westlake Audio, Soundcastle Studios, Todd A.O. Scoring Stage, and Warner Brothers Scoring Stage in Los Angeles; Flyte Tyme Studios in Minneapolis, MN; and Chicago Recording Company in Chicago from September 1994 – March 1995. The 30 song 2-CD set (also issued as a 3-LP vinyl box set) features one disc of 15 Michael Jackson classics and a second disc with 15 new songs. The album was originally intended to be a greatest hits compilation titled Decade, which was to include a couple of new songs. Jackson will continue working on the project until he has acquired more than a dozen new songs, many of which will reflect his often tumultuous relationship with the media. The album will be backed by an unprecedented marketing and media campaign. The first single "Screa," a duet with his sister Janet Jackson, will be supported by a cutting edge video (directed by Mark Romanek) at a cost of over $7 million. The clip will win a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 1996. It will also spin off a number one single with the follow up "You Are Not Alone" (written and produced by R. Kelly). HIStory will spin off several singles and will sell over twenty million copies worldwide. However, Sony Music US will prematurely pull the plug on the album's promotional efforts, which will affect how the album is received. Though it will immediately sell more than two million copies domestically, it will be looked upon as a commercial disappointment at the time. HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I will debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200, spending two weeks at the top of the Top 200 and R&B album charts, and is certified 7x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 16, 1997 - OK Computer, the third studio album by Radiohead is released. Produced by Radiohead and Nigel Godrich, it is recorded at Canned Applause in Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK, and St. Catherine's Court in Bath, UK. Following their highly-acclaimed sophomore release The Bends, the band will shift musical directions yet again, producing a much more experimental, layered piano-based sound than their first two albums. Initially, Radiohead's US record label Capitol has low expectations for the album's commercial potential as it strays far from the band's trademark "Britpop" rock sound. The album is launched in the US with an unusual promotional campaign. 1,000 cassette review copies will be sent to the press and music industry tastemakers with the tape permanently glued inside the player. It will receive universal acclaim upon its release, frequently drawing comparisons to Pink Floyd's classic The Dark Side Of The Moon, though the band themselves will disagree with the assessment. OK Computer will become Radiohead's best selling album worldwide, spinning off three singles including "Paranoid Android" (#3 UK) and "Karma Police" (#8 UK, #14 US Modern Rock). The album will be nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1998 including Album Of The Year. They will win for Best Alternative Music Performance. OK Computer will hit number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.