December 30th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for December 30 throughout music history

Joe Strummer

London (and the World) Mourns Joe Strummer

On this day in music, December 30, 2002, a funeral for singer, guitarist, and co-founder of The Clash, Joe Strummer, took place in London. With the seminal punk band, Strummer scored three Top Ten albums in the UK, including 1978’s Give ’Em Enough Rope, 1979’s London Calling, and 1982’s Combat Rock, which peaked at No.2. Additionally, when their 1982 hit “Should I Stay or Should I Go” was re-released in 1991, the song reached the top of the UK singles chart. Strummer was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside his band members, in 2003.

In 2009, singer-songwriter Neil Young was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s second-highest civilian honor. His fellow honorees included director Ivan Reitman, hockey player Mario Lemieux, and musician Burton Cummings.

In 1967, The Beatles scored their 15th No.1 hit in the US with “Hello Goodbye.” The song also topped the charts in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia, among other territories.

In 1999, George Harrison and his wife, Olivia, were attacked by a knife-wielding intruder in their home. Police deemed the terrifying event as a clear attack on the former Beatle, rather than a botched robbery.

In 1999, during the Queen’s Millennium Honours list, former Slade singer Noddy Holder was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) and guitarist Mark Knopfler was awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire).

In 1969, Peter Tork quit The Monkees, citing exhaustion from the band’s rigorous schedule, as well as creative differences.

In 1968, during their first North American tour, supporting Vanilla Fudge, Led Zeppelin (advertised as Len Zefflin) appeared at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.

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Keep scrolling for all of the headlines for December 30.


1928: Bo Diddley
1937: Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary)
1942: Mike Nesmith (The Monkees)
1945: Davy Jones (The Monkees)
1946: Patti Smith
1947: Jeff Lynne (ELO)
1969: Jay Kay (Jamaroquai)
1978: Tyrese
1982: Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers)
1986: Ellie Goulding
1995: V (Kim Tae-hyung) (BTS)
1995: Jimin (Park Ji-min) (BTS)

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Keep scrolling for all of our December 30 birthdays.

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December 30th

On this day in music
30 Dec 2020
American saxophonist Alto Reed died of colon cancer age 72. He is best known as a long-time member of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and also worked with many artists including Grand Funk Railroad, Little Feat, Otis Rush, Spencer Davis, The Blues Brothers, The Ventures and George Thorogood.
30 Dec 2016
A member of rap group Run-DMC filed a $50m (£40.7m) lawsuit accusing retailers of unlawfully using the group's name on items of clothing. Darryl "DMC" McDaniels said that products sold by Amazon, Walmart and other stores violated federal trademark and New York competition laws.
30 Dec 2016
Allan Williams the first manager of The Beatles died at the age of 86. Williams worked with The Beatles from 1960 to 1961, getting the band gigs in Britain, and in Hamburg. Williams personally drove the van to take the Beatles to Hamburg in 1960, which didn't have seats; The Beatles had to sit on their amplifiers in the back of the van.
30 Dec 2014
The woman who inspired Pulp's hit song 'Disco 2000' died shortly after being appointed an MBE. Deborah Bone, from Hertfordshire was a childhood friend of lead singer Jarvis Cocker in Sheffield. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. The 1995 Britpop hit contains the lyric: "Your name is Deborah. Deborah. It never suited ya."
30 Dec 2012
Brian May was named animal welfare charity PETA UK's Person of the Year for his efforts to help stop the culling of badgers. The guitarist's group Save Me formed Team Badger alongside PETA and various other animal welfare groups. PETA's Mimi Bekhechi said of May:
30 Dec 2012
A rare copy of a Beatles LP signed by all four members sold - for the sum rejected at auction in Sussex a few weeks earlier. Chris Collins, from Eastbourne, and his sister, Liz Chambers, from Worthing, initially turned down a £12,000 bid for a copy of the album, Please Please Me. They had hoped to get £15,000 for the LP, which was given to their late father during a drinking session. But the siblings later accepted £12,000 from private buyers. The album was signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr after they used it as a drinks coaster during a card game in 1963.
30 Dec 2009
Singer, songwriter Neil Young was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Other Canadian musicians who have been given the award include Bryan Adams, Leonard Cohen and the members of Rush.
30 Dec 2009
Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter Rowland S. Howard died age 50. He was best known for his work with the post-punk group The Birthday Party and his subsequent solo career. Howard wrote ‘Shivers’ at the age of 16 while in the band The Young Charlatans and later gained acclaim after joining Melbourne-based band The Boys Next Door, when the song was released as a single. The band changed their name to The Birthday Party and Howard's discordant guitar remained a major factor in their sound.
30 Dec 2006
R&B singer Brandy was involved in a four-car crash that left one woman dead, after the singer failed to slow down and hit the back of another car. Brandy was alone in her car and no alcohol or drugs were involved.
30 Dec 2003
Cris Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets was arrested and accused of hitting a federal post office security guard in the head with a baton that the musician took from the guard during a struggle, the guard then shot Kirkwood in the back. The incident began over a dispute about parking with another customer at a Phoenix post office.
30 Dec 2002
The funeral of former Clash singer and guitarist Joe Strummer took place in London. Strummer had died of a suspected heart attack on 22nd Dec 2002 aged 50.
30 Dec 2002
Diana Ross was arrested for drunk driving by the Arizona highway patrol after a motorist called to report a swerving vehicle in the western state of Arizona. When asked to walk in a straight line she fell over, could not count to 30 or balance on one foot. Police said the singer was twice over the drink drive limit with a blood-alcohol of 0.20, the legal limit is 0.08.
30 Dec 1999
George Harrison and his wife Olivia were attacked when an intruder broke into their home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Olivia beat off the attacker with a poker and heavy lamp. Harrison who was stabbed in the chest was admitted to hospital and treated for a collapsed lung and various minor stab wounds. His wife, Olivia, was treated for cuts and bruises she had suffered in the struggle with the intruder. Police later arrested Michael Abram from Liverpool who had nursed an irrational obsession with The Beatles.
30 Dec 1999
In the Queen's Millennium Honours list, former Slade singer Noddy Holder was awarded an MBE and guitarist Mark Knopfler was awarded an OBE.
30 Dec 1998
American rhythm and blues singer Johnny Moore who was lead singer for The Drifters on their 1960s hit 'Under The Boardwalk', died at the age of 64. Moore began as lead singer of the Cleveland based group the Hornets, before being discovered by the Drifters. He joined the group as lead vocalist in New York in 1955, at age 21. Moore also sang lead on the hits ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’, ‘Come On Over To My Place’ and ‘Up In The Streets Of Harlem’.
30 Dec 1995
American saxophonist and guitarist Clarence Satchell from The Ohio Players died aged 55. The band formed in Dayton, Ohio in 1959 as the Ohio Untouchables and were later best known as a backing group for The Falcons. The Ohio Players scored the 1974 US No.1 single 'Fire' and had hits with ‘Skin Tight’, ‘I Want To Be Free’ and ‘Love Roller Coaster.’
30 Dec 1969
Peter Tork quit The Monkees buying himself out of his contract which left him broke. He went on to form a group called Release and played banjo on George Harrison's soundtrack to the film Wonderwall.
30 Dec 1968
Led Zeppelin (who were advertised as Len Zefflin), appeared at Gonzaga University Gymnasium, Spokane on their first North American tour supporting Vanilla Fudge.
30 Dec 1967
The Beatles scored their 15th US No.1 with ‘Hello Goodbye’, Gladys Knight and the Pips were at No.2 with 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' and The Monkees at No.3 with 'Daydream Believer'
30 Dec 1966
Pink Floyd and Soft Machine appeared at the UFO presents Night Tripper at the Blarney Club, London, England.
30 Dec 1965
The Kinks, The Who, Manfred Mann, The Hollies and Gerry and the Pacemakers all appeared on tonight's episode of US TV show, 'Shindig!'
30 Dec 1963
The Rolling Stones performed at Studio 51 in Soho, London, on the same bill as Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions, who featured a young Rod Stewart. The Stones played a regular Sunday afternoon gig at the club from 4pm until 6.30pm and were billed as Rhythm and Blues with The Rolling Stones.
Born on this day in music
30 Dec 1995
Jimin (Park Ji-min), South Korean singer, songwriter, with the boy band BTS. They became the first Korean act to top the US Billboard chart with their studio album Love Yourself: Tear (2018). BTS also became the fastest group since The Beatles to earn four US No.1 albums, doing so in less than two years. They became the first Asian act to chart a No.1 song in the US since Kyu Sakamoto with ‘Sukiyaki’ (1963).
30 Dec 1995
V (Kim Tae-hyung), South Korean singer, songwriter, with the boy band BTS. They became the first Korean act to top the US Billboard chart with their studio album Love Yourself: Tear (2018). BTS also became the fastest group since The Beatles to earn four US No.1 albums, doing so in less than two years. They became the first Asian act to chart a No.1 song in the US since Kyu Sakamoto with ‘Sukiyaki’ (1963).
30 Dec 1988
Leon Jackson, Scottish singer who won the fourth series of the UK TV talent show The X Factor in 2007. His UK No.1 debut single, a cover of the Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey duet 'When You Believe' became the fastest selling UK single of 2007. It also made Jackson the first Scottish artist to achieve a UK Christmas number one.
30 Dec 1986
Ellie Goulding, UK singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her debut studio album, 'Lights', debuted at No.1 on the UK Albums Chart in 2010. Goulding also scored the 2013 No.1 single with her song, 'Burn'.
30 Dec 1982
Wesley Schultz guitarist and lead vocalist for the American folk rock band The Lumineers. Their second album, Cleopatra, released in 2016 debuted at No.1 on the US chart and also on the Canadian and UK album charts.
30 Dec 1978
American actor and singer Tyrese, (Tyrese Darnell Gibson). His self-titled debut album, released in 1998, featured the single 'Sweet Lady', his 2002 single 'How You Gonna Act Like That' peaked at No.7 on the US Billboard Hot 100. He later gained widespread recognition as Roman Pearce in the Fast & Furious franchise.
30 Dec 1973
American drummer, Jon Theodore, former member of The Mars Volta who later joined Queens of the Stone Age. He has also worked with Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zack de la Rocha.
30 Dec 1973
Martin Slattery, English multi-instrumentalist and composer. Slattery was a member of Joe Strummer's backing band The Mescaleros, The Hours and has worked with Liam Gallagher.
30 Dec 1970
Sister Bliss (Ayalah Bentovim), producer, DJ, from British electronica band Faithless who had the 1996 UK No.3 album Insomnia.
30 Dec 1969
Jay Kay, English singer, songwriter with Jamiroquai who had the 1993 UK No.1 album Emergency on Planet Earth and the 1998 UK No.1 single 'Deeper Underground'. Jamiroquai have sold more than 26 million albums worldwide and won a Grammy Award in 1998.
30 Dec 1959
British-American actress, comedian, and singer Tracy Ullman. She had the 1983 UK No.2 single 'They Don't Know' as well as other hits including a recording of Doris Day's 'Move Over Darling' and a version of Madness', 'My Girl', which she changed to 'My Guy'. Ullman emigrated from the United Kingdom to the United States. She would go on to star in her own network television comedy series, The Tracey Ullman Show from 1987 until 1990, which also featured the first appearances of the long-running animated media franchise The Simpsons.
30 Dec 1947
English songwriter, singer, record producer Jeff Lynne, who was a member of Idle Race, then The Move who had the 1969 UK No.1 single 'Blackberry Way'. He co-founded ELO who had the 1979 hit 'Don't Bring Me Down'. From 1972 to 1986 ELO accumulated 27 Top 40 songs on the UK Singles Chart, and fifteen Top 20 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. With the Traveling Wilburys he had the 1988 UK hit 'Handle With Care'. As a producer Lynne has worked with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Joe Walsh and others.
30 Dec 1946
British rock drummer Clive Bunker, the original drummer in the British band Jethro Tull between 1967 and 1971.
30 Dec 1946
American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist Patti Smith, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement. Smith had the 1976 album Horses, and the 1978 UK No.5 and US No.13 single 'Because The Night', co-written with Bruce Springsteen. In November 2010, Smith won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids.
30 Dec 1945
English singer-songwriter, musician and actor Davy Jones. With The Monkees he had the 1967 UK & US No.1 single 'I'm A Believer' plus 10 US & 8 UK Top 40 singles. His television acting debut was on the British television soap opera Coronation Street when he portrayed Colin Lomax, Ena Sharples' grandson. In addition to his career as an entertainer, Jones' other great love was horses. Having trained as a jockey in his teens in the UK, he had at first intended to pursue a career as a professional race jockey. Jones died on 29 February 2012 of a severe heart attack due to atherosclerosis.
30 Dec 1942
American singer Dean Parrish. Best known for the song, ‘I'm on My Way’, which became noted for being the penultimate record that was played at the last Northern soul all-nighter at the Wigan Casino, he also worked as a session musician with Jimi Hendrix and Santana in 1970, and played guitar with Bob Marley in 1972. He died on 8 June 2021 age 78.
30 Dec 1942
Mike Nesmith, vocals, guitar, The Monkees (1967 UK & US No.1 single 'I'm A Believer' plus 10 US & 8 UK Top 40 singles). He wrote 'Different Drum' (sung by Linda Ronstadt with the Stone Poneys), and was the executive producer of the cult film Repo Man (1984). He died from heart failure on 10 December 2021 at his home in Carmel Valley, California age 78.
30 Dec 1942
American guitarist Robert Quine from Richard Hell and the Voidoids, who had the 1977 album Blank Generation. He also worked with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Lloyd Cole, They Might Be Giants, Matthew Sweet and Tom Waits. Quine died by suicide due to a heroin overdose in his New York home on 31 May 2004 age 61.
30 Dec 1940
English pop singer, songwriter, producer and session musician Perry Ford. He teamed up with the songwriting and singing duo of John Carter and Ken Lewis to form vocal harmony group the Ivy League. Initially working as backing singers, they featured on several chart hits in the mid-1960s, including Sandie Shaw's 'Always Something There to Remind Me', Tom Jones' 'It's Not Unusual', and the Who's 'I Can't Explain'. The Ivy League also had the 1965 UK No.3 single 'Tossing and Turning'. He died on 29 April 1999 aged 65.
30 Dec 1940
Kenny Penifallo, from the Jersey Shore group Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes who had the 1978 album Hearts Of Stone and have released over ten other albums.
30 Dec 1939
American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bass guitarist Felix Pappalardi. He produced Disraeli Gears for Cream and The Youngbloods' first album. He was a founding member of the American hard rock band/heavy metal forerunner Mountain. Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife, Gail, on April 17, 1983, in their East Side Manhattan apartment. Gail Pappalardi was subsequently charged with second-degree murder.
30 Dec 1937
Paul Stookey, singer-songwriter from American folk group Peter Paul and Mary, who had the 1969 US No.1 & 1970 UK No.2 single 'Leaving On A Jet Plane'. The Bob Dylan song 'Blowin' in the Wind' was one of their biggest hit singles. They also sang other Dylan songs, such as 'The Times They Are a-Changin'' and 'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'.
30 Dec 1934
American rock and roll and country musician and singer-songwriter Del Shannon (Charles Weedon Westover), best known for his 1961 UK and US No.1 single 'Runaway'. In late 1964, Shannon produced a demo recording session for a young fellow Michigander named Bob Seger, who would go on to stardom much later. He recorded with Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra, and there were rumours he would join the Traveling Wilburys after the death of Roy Orbison. Suffering from depression, Shannon took his own life on 8 February 1990 by shooting himself with a .22 calibre rifle at his home in Santa Clarita, California.
30 Dec 1930
Red Rhodes American session pedal steel guitarist. Rhodes played pedal steel on many country rock, and pop albums with The Monkees, James Taylor, The Beach Boys, The Byrds and The Carpenters. He died on 20 August 1995 age 64.
30 Dec 1928
American guitarist and singer Bo Diddley. He played a key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll, his use of African rhythms and a signature beat, a simple five-accent hambone rhythm, is a cornerstone of hip hop, rock, and pop music. He had the R&B hits, 'Bo Diddley', and 'You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover'. He also released numerous albums, including Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger and Have Guitar, Will Travel. When The Beatles first went to the US, John Lennon was asked what he would like to see; he replied Bo Diddley. He died from heart failure in Archer, Florida aged 79 on 2 June 2008.
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