August 29th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for August 29 throughout music history


Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Premieres On Boston Airwaves

On August 29, 1991, Boston rock station WFNX premiered Nirvana’s sophomore album, Nevermind, playing the soon-to-be classic from start to finish. Featuring the grunge-era anthem “Smells Like Teen Sprit,” plus “Come as You Are,” “Lithium,” and “In Bloom,” the album served as the Seattle band’s commercial breakthrough and would transform the era’s musical landscape. Eight years after its release, it was certified Diamond by the RIAA, while in 2004, it was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

On this day in 1966, The Beatles played their final concert before a paying audience at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were aware that the show would be their last and brought cameras on stage to commemorate the night.

In 1994, Oasis released their debut album, Definitely Maybe, which soon became the fastest-selling debut album of all time in the UK. Featuring hits like “Live Forever,” “Supersonic,” and “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” the album spent 177 weeks on the UK chart and sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.

In 1964, Roy Orbison released his No.1 hit, “Oh, Pretty Woman.” The enduring track would be certified Gold by the RIAA in October, and was later named the fourth biggest song of the year. More than 25 years later, it inspired the title of the 1990 film, Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, as well as the subsequent Broadway musical.

In 1987, Los Lobos’ version of the Mexican folk song, “La Bamba,” began a three-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track was recorded for the film La Bamba, a biopic about the life of Ritchie Valens, who made the song a US hit in 1958.

That same year, Rick Astley’s debut single, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” landed at the top of the UK singles chart, where it remained for five weeks. The R&B-inspired track (which would later inspire the “Rick-Roll”) was named the best-selling single of 1987 and topped the charts in 25 countries. It was later recognized as the Best British Single at the 1988 Brit Awards.

In 1976, The Clash, The Buzzcocks, and the Sex Pistols appeared at a showcase event at London’s The Screen On The Green. It was the earliest-known recorded performance of The Sex Pistols with Glen Matlock, aside from the Manchester Free Trade Hall concert from April 1976.

In 2021, Jamaican producer and singer Lee “Scratch” Perry died at age 85. Known for his innovative studio techniques and unique production style, he helped revolutionize the 1970s development of dub music by integrating remixed and studio effects into existing reggae tracks. During his career, he worked with numerous acts, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Beastie Boys, and The Clash.

In 2003, The MTV Video Music Awards were held at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, with host Chris Rock. Beyoncé, Coldplay, and Justin Timberlake each left with three awards each, while Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera opened the show with a performance of “Like A Virgin” (and shared a much-talked-about kiss).

Looking for more things that happened on this day in music?
Keep scrolling for all of the headlines for August 29.


1924: Dinah Washington
1943: Dick Halligan (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
1958: Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins)
1958: Michael Jackson
1975: Kyle Cook (Matchbox Twenty)
1993: Liam Payne (One Direction)

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August 29th

On this day in music
29 Aug 2021
American drummer Ron Bushy died following a battle with cancer, at the age of 79. He was a member of the rock band Iron Butterfly and as the drum soloist on the band's iconic song In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida released in 1968. He was the only member of the group to appear on all six of its studio albums.
29 Aug 2021
Jamaican record producer and singer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry died from an unspecified illness, aged 85. He was noted for his innovative studio techniques and production style and was a pioneer in the 1970s development of dub music with his early adoption of remixing and studio effects to create new instrumental or vocal versions of existing reggae tracks. He worked with and produced for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Junior Murvin, Beastie Boys, Ari Up, The Clash, The Orb, and many others.
29 Aug 2019
Noel Gallagher said he wanted to start a petition to break the Foo Fighters up. It followed Dave Grohl and co’s headline performance at the UK Reading Festival, at which the frontman and Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins told the crowd they wanted to start a petition to get Oasis to reunite.
29 Aug 2018
Ariana Grande was at No.1 on the UK album chart with her fourth studio album Sweetener. The album which features guest appearances from Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott also topped the US charts and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album marking Grande's first career Grammy win.
29 Aug 2009
The Los Angeles coroner confirmed Michael Jackson's death was homicide, primarily caused by the powerful anaesthetic Propofol. The singer suffered a cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home in June, aged 50. The report said Propofol and the sedative Lorazepam were the "primary drugs responsible for Jackson's death", but four further drugs were also found.
29 Aug 2008
US rapper DMX pleaded guilty to trying to buy cocaine and cannabis in Miami. The 37-year-old singer, real name Earl Simmons, entered the plea in a Florida court and was sentenced to time served. Simmons was still in custody awaiting extradition to the state of Arizona on outstanding drug and animal cruelty charges.
29 Aug 2008
Organisers of a French music concert threatened legal action after Amy Winehouse pulled out of her performance. Winehouse failed to travel to the three-day Rock En Seine festival in Paris where the line-up included the Raconteurs, The Streets and Kate Nash. The 24-year-old singer was said to have been taken ill at her London home. Organisers said they were given just two hours notice that Winehouse, who was headlining the concert, would not be appearing.
29 Aug 2006
The Beatles' ‘Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was voted the best No.1 album of all time by the British public. The album released in 1967, topped the poll to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UK album chart. The Beatles had a total of four albums in the top 10, with  Revolver  at six, Abbey Road at eight and The Beatles The White Album at 10.
29 Aug 2005
77-year-old Fats Domino was rescued from the flooding in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. He had earlier told his agent that he planned to remain in his home despite the order to evacuate.
29 Aug 2003
Winners at this years MTV Video Music awards held in New York included, Missy Elliot, Video of the year for 'Work It', Viewers Choice award, 'Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous' Good Charlotte, Rap Video went to 50 Cent for 'In Da Club', Pop Video, Justin Timberlake, 'Cry Me A River.' Madonna stunned a packed Radio City Hall audience by passionately kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during a racy version of 'Like A Virgin.'
29 Aug 2000
Slipknot caused chaos at this years Kerrang! Awards, after smashing glasses, setting fire to their table, throwing a monitor off the stage and destroying a microphone. The band picked up 3 awards including best single and best live act.
29 Aug 1999
Lou Bega went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Mambo No 5', originally recorded and composed by Perez Prado in 1949.
29 Aug 1996
Liam Gallagher was reunited with the rest of Oasis in Chicago after a week of speculation on their future of the group, after he had walked out on the band a few days earlier.
29 Aug 1994
Oasis released their debut album Definitely Maybe which went on to spend 177 weeks on the UK chart. It also became the fastest selling debut album of all time in the UK and the album went on to sell over eight million copies worldwide.
29 Aug 1992
U2 became only the second act ever (Billy Joel was the first) to play at The Yankee Stadium in New York City, during their sold out Zoo TV tour.
29 Aug 1991
Boston rock station WFNX premiered Nirvana’s sophomore album, 'Nevermind', playing the soon-to-be classic from start to finish. Featuring the grunge-era anthem 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'.
29 Aug 1990
Elton John checked into a rehab center in Chicago to receive treatment for bulimia, alcoholism and drugs.
29 Aug 1987
Def Leppard scored their first UK No.1 album with Hysteria which also became No.1 on the US chart in July the following year after spending forty-nine weeks working its way to the top.
29 Aug 1987
Los Lobos started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'La Bamba', also a No.1 hit in the UK. Taken from the film about the life of Ritchie Valens.
29 Aug 1987
Rick Astley's debut hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up', started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart. It became the biggest selling single of 1987 and the song won Best British Single at the 1988 Brit Awards.
29 Aug 1984
U2 kicked off their Unforgettable Fire World Tour at Christchurch Town Hall in New Zealand, the first of 19 shows in Australia and New Zealand.
29 Aug 1981
Aneka was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Japanese Boy', the Scottish folk singer Mary Sandeman's only Top 40 hit sold over 5 million copies around the world.
29 Aug 1981
The two day Rock on the Tyne festival began in Gateshead, England, featuring Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, U2, Rory Gallagher, Doll By Doll, Wang Chung, Becket, Dr Feelgood, The Gingers Nutters (featuring Ginger Baker), Trimmer and Jenkins and Lindisfarne.
29 Aug 1977
Three people were arrested in Memphis after trying to steal Elvis' body. As a result, his remains would be later moved to Graceland.
29 Aug 1976
Jimmy Reed died in San Francisco following an epileptic seizure just before his 51st birthday. Reed was a major influence on The Rolling Stones and Reed had the 1957 hit ‘Honest I Do’ in 1957 and ‘Baby What You Want Me To Do’ in 1960.
29 Aug 1976
The Clash Buzzcocks and the Sex Pistols all appeared at a showcase event at The Screen On The Green, Islington, London. Organised by Malcolm Maclaren, this was notable for many reasons including, it was only The Clash's third gig and the first ever to be recorded, and is the earliest known (after the Manchester Free Trade Hall concert from April 1976) recorded performance and a rare recording of The Sex Pistols with Glen Matlock. The cinema is referenced throughout Adam and the Ants' song 'Fall in' - released as the b side to "Ant Music" in 1980.
29 Aug 1970
Edwin Starr started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'War', his only No.1a No.3 in the UK.
29 Aug 1966
The Beatles played their last concert before a paying audience, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California to a sold-out crowd of 25,000. John and Paul, knowing what the fans do not (that this will be the last concert ever) bring cameras on stage and take pictures between songs. During this tour, The Beatles have not played a single song from their latest album.
29 Aug 1965
During a US tour The Beatles appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California. Tickets cost $3.00. The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl became a live album released in May 1977, compiled from two live performances at the Hollywood Bowl during August 1964 and August 1965.
29 Aug 1964
Roy Orbison's 'Oh, Pretty Woman' was released in the US. It went on to reach No.1 four weeks later. The title was inspired by Orbison's wife Claudette interrupting a conversation to announce she was going out; when Orbison asked if she was okay for cash, his co-writer Bill Dees interjected "A pretty woman never needs any money."
29 Aug 1959
The Quarry Men (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ken Brown) performed at the Casbah Coffee Club, Hayman's Green, West Derby, Liverpool. This is the opening night of a new teen club in a large Victorian house that is owned by Mrs. Mona Best and the first of seven straight Saturdays that The Quarry Men play here. The band shared one microphone connected to the house P.A.
Born on this day in music
29 Aug 1993
Liam Payne from English-Irish pop boy band One Direction who formed after finishing third in the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010. Scored the 2011 UK No.1 single 'What Makes You Beautiful' and the 2013 No.1 'One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)'.
29 Aug 1975
Kyle Cook, guitarist, Matchbox Twenty who rose to international fame with their debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You (1996), which was certified 12× Platinum in the United States and multi-platinum in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
29 Aug 1971
Alex Griffin, Neds Atomic Dustbin, (1991 UK No.16 single 'Happy').
29 Aug 1967
Chris Gorman, drums, Belly, (1993 UK No.32 single 'Feed The Tree').
29 Aug 1963
Jerry Fehily, from Irish rock group Hothouse Flowers who scored the 1988 UK No.11 single 'Don't Go'. Their first album, People, released in 1988 became the most successful debut album in Irish history. It reached the No.1 slot in Ireland within a week and eventually reached No.2 in the UK Albums Chart.
29 Aug 1959
Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader from folk and soft rock band, Fairground Attraction who had the 1988 UK No.1 single 'Perfect'. She scored the 1994 solo UK hit single 'Patience of Angels'. In 2003 she showcased the works of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns.
29 Aug 1958
Scottish singer, songwriter and musician Elizabeth Fraser from Cocteau Twins. The group released the album Heaven or Las Vegas in late 1990 which became the most commercially successful of their many recordings.
29 Aug 1958
Michael Jackson singer, songwriter, Jackson 5, The Jacksons, and solo. Jackson is recognised as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. The music videos for 'Beat It', 'Billie Jean', and 'Thriller' are credited with breaking down racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. His 1982 album Thriller, is the best-selling studio album of all time. Jackson died on 25th June 2009 at the age of 50, after suffering heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills.
29 Aug 1953
Rick Downey, from American hard rock band Blue Oyster Cult who scored the 1976 US No.12 & 1978 UK No.16 single '(Don't Fear) The Reaper'. Blue Oyster Cult have sold over 24 million records worldwide.
29 Aug 1945
Chris Copping, from Procol Harum, who had the 1967 UK No.1 & US No.5 single 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale', (one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies) and scored the hits 'Homburg', 'Conquistador'.
29 Aug 1943
American musician and composer Dick Halligan from jazz-rock American music group Blood Sweat & Tears. They scored the 1969 US No.2 single 'Spinning Wheel', and the 1969 US No.12 single 'You've Made Me So Very Happy'. They had a US No.1 with their second album Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1968. In the 1970s and 1980s Halligan composed and arranged music for a number of motion pictures. He died from natural causes in Rome on 18 January 2022, at the age of 78.
29 Aug 1924
American singer and pianist Dinah Washington who had the 1959 US No.8 single 'What A Diff'rence A Day Makes', and two successful duets in 1960 with Brook Benton, ‘Baby (You've Got What It Takes)’ and ‘A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love). She died on 14 December 1963 at the age of 39.
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