ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: FEBRUARY 26

#1 Song 1983:   “Baby, Come to Me,” Patti Austin and James Ingram

 

Born:   Fats Domino (Antoine Domino, Jr.), 1928; Erykah Badu (Erica Abi Wright), 1971

 

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1983   Michael Jackson’s Thriller album reached #1 and stayed there for thirty-seven weeks, selling more than 40 million copies. It was #1 in every western nation.

 

1985   Tina Turner won Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Vocal Performance, all with the million-seller, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” at the twenty-seventh annual Grammys.

 

1985   “Chuck Berry is one of the most influential and creative innovators in the history of American popular music, a composer and performer whose talents inspired the elevation of rock ‘n’ roll to one of music’s major art forms.” Such was the tribute as Chuck was honored by the twenty-seventh annual Grammy Awards NARAS committee when they bestowed upon him a Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, that night, Jimmy Cliff became the first Jamaican artist to win a Grammy as the Best Reggae recording category was instituted. He won for the song, “Reggae Night.”

 

1990   Cornel Gunter of the Coasters was shot and killed while in his car in Las Vegas. He was scheduled to perform at the Lucky Lady Hotel that night.

 

1992   Aretha Franklin received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Bobby “Blue” Bland was honored at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s third annual Pioneer Awards in New York.

 

1994   Toni Braxton’s self-titled album reached #1 pop almost eight months after its first release. She was influenced by Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, and Quincy Jones.

 

1997   Soul divas Whitney Houston, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and CeCe Winans sang a medley from Waiting To Exhale at the thirty-ninth annual Grammy Awards, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

 

1998   The Five Satins were honored as pioneers at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards in New York City. Gladys Knight & the Pips received a Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by Stevie Wonder) and the O’Jays received a Pioneer Award as presented by Gerald Levert, son of the group’s lead singer, Eddie Levert.

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