Over the next week, I'll run down the biggest events that rocked the world of music in 2021. Here are the first two months of the year:
- Alto Reed, Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band’s longtime saxophonist, passed away due to complications from colon cancer. He was 72.
- Iman declared in an interview with “Harper’s Bazaar UK” that she’ll “never” marry again after David Bowie, calling the late music legend her “true love.”
- Lindsey Buckingham sold 100-percent of his publishing rights to Hipgnosis, along with 50-percent of his unreleased material.
- The Recording Academy announced that the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, were being postponed due to the coronavirus, with the show moving to March.
- Neil Young sold the rights to half his songbook to Hipgnosis Songs Fund.
- David Bowie was honored by his friends, collaborators and colleagues with a special livestream. Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Duran Duran and more performed the virtual concert held on what would have been the late music legend’s 74th birthday.
- Michael Fonfara, longtime keyboardist for Lou Reed, passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 74.
- Vanilla Fudge bassist, vocalist and co-founding member Tim Bogert passed away from cancer at the age of 76.
- Sylvain Sylvain, guitarist of the 70s punk rock band the New York Dolls, died following a more than two-year battle with cancer. He was 69.
- Mick Fleetwood sold the rights to over 300 recordings to BMG, becoming the third member of Fleetwood Mac to sell his catalog after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
- Legendary music producer Phil Spector died at the age of 81. Spector, known for his legendary Wall of Sound, was serving time in prison for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson at the time of his death.
- Pearl Jam sent a cease and desist letter to the UK cover band Pearl Jamm, insisting they were “damaging the Pearl Jam brand and causing confusion.” The cover band later announced they were changing their name to ‘LEGAL JAM.'
- The annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced it was moving from its usual spring schedule to the fall. The 2021 edition was originally scheduled for April 22nd to May 2nd, but was pushed to October 8th to 17th before being canceled altogether.
- Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters were among the artists who performed on “Celebrating America,” a prime time TV special celebrating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ inauguration.
- More than 100 British musicians including Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Ed Sheeran, Sting and Bob Geldof, signed a letter complaining about how hard it is going to be to tour the European Union thanks to Brexit.
- Claudia Levy, the widow of songwriter and theatre director Jacques Levy, who co-wrote seven songs on Bob Dylan’s 1976 album “Desire,” filed a lawsuit against Dylan and UMG, claiming they failed to pay her for Levy’s rightful portion of the proceeds following Dylan’s sale of his catalog to Universal Music Group. A judge eventually ruled against her.
- Guitar Center unveiled a new mural of late guitar legend Eddie Van Halen on the wall outside its Hollywood store on the infamous Sunset Strip.
- Coachella Music Festival had its April dates canceled by an order by the Riverside County Public Health Office due to COVID health concerns. The fest was moved to 2022.
- Founding guitarist of The Animals' Hilton Valentine passed away at the age of 77.
- John Mellencamp split from celebrity skin expert Nurse Jamie, whose clients included Jessica Alba and the Kardashian sisters.
- Bruce Springsteen appeared in his first Super Bowl commercial for Jeep. The ad, “The Middle,” was shot over five days in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska, and had Bruce waxing poetic about Americans coming together again and finding common ground.
- Billy Idol and Joan Jett joined Miley Cyrus at a special TikTok Tailgate party ahead of Super Bowl LV, which was watched by not only a virtual audience but in person by 7,500 "health care heroes" who had already been vaccinated for COVID-19.
- It was revealed that Bruce Springsteen was busted for DWI In New Jersey back in November. After hearing the news Jeep immediately pulled his Super Bowl ad. The rocker pled guilty to consuming alcohol in a national park, and DWI and reckless driving charges were thrown out. He received no jail time.
- Bruce Springsteen teamed former President Barack Obama for a new podcast “Renegades: Born in the USA.”
- Clive Davis postponed his GRAMMY parties after he was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, which causes sudden weakness in facial muscles.
photo: Getty Images