December 8th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for December 8 throughout music history

John Lennon

The World Mourns John Lennon

On this day in music, December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed outside of the Dakota building in New York City, where he lived with his wife, Yoko Ono, and youngest son, Sean. His 25-year-old killer, Mark David Chapman, initially approached the former Beatle for an autograph. At the time of his death, the 40-year-old musician was in the middle of a highly successful solo career, while he and Ono had released their fifth studio album, Double Fantasy, weeks earlier. The following day, the newly-widowed Ono publicly declared, “John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him.”

In 2019, superstar MC and emo-rap pioneer, Juice WRLD, died tragically at just 21 years old. The Chicago-born artist was a vital part of the wildly influential SoundCloud movement, parlaying his internet celebrity into a record deal with Grade A Productions and Interscope Records in 2017. In 2020, his third studio album, Legends Never Die, debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, becoming one of the most successful posthumous albums of all time.

In 1976, the Eagles released Hotel California, their fifth studio album and first full-length with guitarist Joe Walsh. Hotel California produced two No.1 singles (the title track and “New Kid in Town”) and topped the Billboard 200 for eight non-consecutive weeks, eventually becoming the band’s best-selling release, and one of the highest-selling albums of all time.

In 1961, The Beach Boys’ first single, “Surfin’,” was released on Candix Records. In interviews, Brian Wilson has recalled that he came up with the idea for “Surfin’” on the piano, while repeatedly singing the title, and Mike Love contributed the hook, which he borrowed from Jan and Dean’s 1959 smash, “Baby Talk.”

In 1968, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Graham Nash left The Hollies to work with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. Together, the trio formed the seminal folk-rock group, Crosby, Stills & Nash (and later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young with Neil Young).

In 1979, prog-rockers Styx scored their first and only No.1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Babe.” The song was a No.6 hit in the UK.

In 1973, Roxy Music earned their first UK No.1 album with Stranded. In the US, it peaked at No.186.

In 2013, Metallica became the first band to play on all seven continents when they performed a show inside a dome at the Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini.

In 2004, 38-year-old metal icon Dimebag Darrell, best known as the guitarist in Pantera and Damageplan, was shot and killed while on stage at a show in Columbus, Ohio.

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Keep scrolling for all of the headlines for December 8.


1925: Sammy Davis Jr.
1939: Jerry Butler (The Impressions)
1942: Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals)
1943: Jim Morrison (The Doors)
1947: Gregg Allman (The Allman Brothers Band)
1957: Phil Collen (Def Leppard)
1962: Marty Friedman (Megadeth)
1966: Sinead O’Connor
1973: Corey Taylor (Slipknot)
1974: Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

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December 8th

On this day in music
8 Dec 2023
Pollstar reported that Taylor Swift's concert tour brought in about $1.04bn (£829m) in gross sales across its first 60 shows. Overall, the top 100 global tours brought in more than $9bn (£7.17bn) in 2023 in gross sales, up 46% from 2022, which had itself seen record-spending. Singer Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen rounded out the top three concerts of the year.
8 Dec 2021
Gil Bridges, the last surviving member of the original line-up from American band Rare Earth died aged 80, of complications arising from COVID-19. Rare Earth was the first big hit-making act signed by Motown that consisted only of white members.
8 Dec 2021
American bass guitarist and record producer Robbie Shakespeare died age 68. He is best known as one half of the reggae rhythm section and production duo Sly and Robbie, with drummer Sly Dunbar. Regarded as one of the most influential reggae bassists, Shakespeare's work extended beyond the reggae genre, covering various pop and rock artists such as Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Joe Cocker, Yoko Ono, Serge Gainsbourg, and Grace Jones.
8 Dec 2021
Ralph Tavares died two days before his 80th birthday. He was a member of American R&B, funk and soul music group Tavares best known for their 1976 hit ‘Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel’.
8 Dec 2019
In 2019, superstar MC and emo-rap pioneer, Juice WRLD, died tragically at just 21-years-old. The Chicago-born artist was a vital part of the wildly influential SoundCloud movement, parlaying his internet celebrity into a record deal with Grade A Productions and Interscope Records in 2017. In 2020, his third studio album, Legends Never Die, debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, becoming one of the most successful posthumous albums of all time.
8 Dec 2016
Sir Mick Jagger became a father again at the age of 73, after his 29-year-old girlfriend, American ballerina Melanie Hamrick, gave birth to a boy in New York City. The singer already had seven children, whose ages range from 17 to 45 and he became a great-grandfather in 2014.
8 Dec 2013
Metallica played a gig inside a dome at the Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini, thus becoming the first band ever to play on all seven continents. During the concert audio was transmitted to an audience made up of competition winning fans from Latin America through headphones. Staged in conjunction with Coca Cola Zero, it was only the second ever gig to take place on the continent, following a performance in 2007 from a group of musical scientists, called Nunatak, at British Antarctic Survey's Rothera Research Station as part of the Live Earth climate change awareness concerts.
8 Dec 2004
Former Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was one of five people killed after a man stormed the stage during a Damageplan show at the Alrosa Villa Club in Columbus. Nathan Gale, aged 25, began firing at the band and crowd, was then shot and killed by a police officer who arrived shortly after the first shots were fired.
8 Dec 2003
BPI figures showed that the UK sales of seven-inch singles had increased by 84% on the previous year. The report claimed that bands such as The Darkness, The Strokes and The White Stripes had boosted sales by releasing special limited edition seven-inch records.
8 Dec 2000
A plaque to commemorate the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death was unveiled outside his childhood home in Liverpool.
8 Dec 1999
1960s singer Heinz was given a formal caution by magistrates in Southampton for playing music to loud in his flat. The singer who scored 4 Top 40 singles in the 60s is now wheelchair bound.
8 Dec 1995
Courtney Love appeared on the ABC TV show '10 Most Fascinating People', telling the presenter that she wished she had done 'eight thousand million things differently' to have prevented the death of her husband Kurt Cobain.
8 Dec 1984
Frankie Goes To Hollywood were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'The Power Of Love'. The group's third No.1 of the year and final UK No.1. This made them the first group since Gerry And The Pacemakers to have a UK No.1 with their first three singles.
8 Dec 1984
Vince Neil from Motley Crue was involved in a car accident in Redondo Beach, California, which killed Nick Dingley from Hanoi Rocks and injured two other passengers. Neil was later sentenced to 30 days in jail, five years probation, and had to pay $2.6 million in restitution to the victims of the crash. Neil got out of jail after 15 days for good behavior.
8 Dec 1982
American country singer, songwriter Marty Robbins died aged 57 of complications following cardiac surgery. Had the first No.1 of the 60s in the US with 'El Paso', (winning him a Grammy Award). Robbins later portrayed a musician in the 1982 Clint Eastwood film Honkytonk Man.
8 Dec 1980
John Lennon was shot five times by 25 year old Mark Chapman outside the Dakota building in New York City where John and Yoko lived. Chapman had been waiting for Lennon outside the Dakota apartments since mid-morning and had asked for an autograph earlier in the day. Lennon was pronounced dead from a massive loss of blood at 11.30pm. Chapman has since said he shot the former Beatle because he wanted to "steal" his fame — stating that now he was a bigger nobody than he was before. He also revealed he planned the killing for three months and considered murdering other celebrities who he thought were "phonies."
8 Dec 1979
Styx went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Babe', the group's only US No.1, a No.6 hit in the UK.
8 Dec 1977
Four people were arrested after a riot broke out when Blondie didn't arrive for a gig in Brisbane. Over 1,000 Australian fans had waited over an hour for the group to appear on stage, but the gig was cancelled due to singer Debbie Harry being unwell.
8 Dec 1976
The Eagles released their fifth studio album Hotel California, their first album with guitarist Joe Walsh, who had replaced founding member Bernie Leadon. The album topped the US chart for eight weeks (non-consecutively) and at the 20th Grammy Awards, the Eagles won a Grammy Award for 'Hotel California', which won Record of the Year. Worldwide sales now stand at over 32 million.
8 Dec 1973
Roxy Music had their first UK No.1 album when 'Stranded' went to the top for one week. The sleeve featured Playboy's Playmate of The Year, model Marilyn Cole, (who was the magazines's first full-frontal nude centerfold).
8 Dec 1969
On trial in Canada on drug possession charges, Jimi Hendrix told a Toronto court that he had only smoked pot four times in his life, snorted cocaine twice and took LSD no more than five times. Telling the jury that he had now 'outgrown' drugs. They found the guitarist not guilty.
8 Dec 1968
Singer and guitarist Graham Nash left The Hollies and started work with David Crosby and Stephen Stills who went on to form Crosby Stills & Nash.
8 Dec 1966
Working at Abbey Road in London, Paul McCartney overdubbed his lead vocal for ‘When I'm Sixty-Four’. Then The Beatles set about remaking a new John Lennon song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’
8 Dec 1963
Frank Sinatra Jr was kidnapped at gunpoint from a hotel in Lake Tahoe. He was released two days later after his father paid out the $240,000 ransom demanded by the kidnappers, who were later captured, and sentenced to long prison terms. In order to communicate with the kidnappers via a payphone the senior Sinatra carried a roll of dimes with him throughout this ordeal, which became a lifetime habit, he is said to have been buried with a roll of dimes.
8 Dec 1961
The Beach Boys first single 'Surfin' was released on Candix Records, a small label based in Los Angeles. On the strength of the song’s performance in the Southern California market, Capitol Records signed the group. Other surfing songs would follow: 'Surfin’ Safari,' 'Surfin’ U.S.A.,'and 'Surfer Girl.'
Born on this day in music
8 Dec 1982
Chrisette Michele, American R&B and soul singer, songwriter, 2009 US No.1 album 'Epiphany'.
8 Dec 1982
Nicki Minaj, Trinidadian-American rapper, singer, songwriter. Cited as one of the most influential female rap artists of all time, Minaj has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the world's best selling music artists.
8 Dec 1974
American guitarist Nick Zinner from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Their second album Show Your Bones, released in 2006 was named the second-best album of the year by NME. Zinner is also an accomplished photographer.
8 Dec 1973
Judith Pronk, Alice Deejay, 1999 UK No. 2 single ‘Better Off Alone’.
8 Dec 1973
Corey Taylor, lead singer with American heavy metal band Slipknot, (sometimes known by the number 8). Their 2008 fourth album All Hope Is Gone gave them their first US No.1. The band's early performances included extreme acts such as stage dives from high balconies and band members setting each other on fire. Taylor is also a founding member of Stone Sour.
8 Dec 1966
Irish singer, songwriter and activist Sinead O’Connor. She was best known for her single 'Nothing Compares 2 U', released in 1990, which reached No.1 and brought her worldwide fame. O'Connor, who was outspoken in her social and political views, released 10 studio albums between 1987 and 2014. In 1991, she was was named artist of the year by Rolling Stone magazine and took home the Brit Award for international female solo artist. Her second studio album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (1990), received glowing reviews upon release and became her biggest success, selling over seven million copies worldwide. She died on 26 July 2023 age 56.
8 Dec 1962
Marty Friedman, Megadeth, (1990 UK No.13 single 'No More Mr Nice Guy').
8 Dec 1959
Paul Rutherford, vocals with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the British band who formed in Liverpool and had the 1984 UK No.1 & US No.10 single 'Relax'. The single eventually sold 2 million copies in the UK alone, making it the seventh best-selling single in the UK Singles Chart's history. Their debut album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, reached No.1 in the UK in 1984 with advanced sales of over one million.
8 Dec 1957
Phil Collen, guitar, Def Leppard, (1987 UK No.6 single 'Animal' and 1987 worldwide No.1 album Hysteria 1988 US No.1 single 'Love Bites').
8 Dec 1956
Warren Cuccurullo, guitarist. Worked with Frank Zappa, Duran Duran and Missing Persons. After posing naked with an erection in Brazilian gay magazine, G, in 2000, the guitarist marketed an eight-inch dildo modeled on his own penis, called the Rock Rod. In the early 1990s, Cuccurullo collaborated with Duran bandmate Nick Rhodes, calling themselves TV Mania.
8 Dec 1955
Kasim Sulton, American bass guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist. Best known for his work with Utopia, Sulton sang lead on 1980's 'Set Me Free,' Utopia's only top 40 hit in the United States. Sulton sang background vocals on Meat Loaf's album Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell.
8 Dec 1955
American jazz, R&B and rock bass player and vocalist Nathan East. He has recorded, performed and co-written songs with Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Joe Satriani, George Harrison, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Toto, Kenny Loggins, Daft Punk, and Herbie Hancock.
8 Dec 1953
Colin Routh, Black Lace, (1984 UK No.2 single 'Agadoo').
8 Dec 1951
Dan Hartman, multi- instrumentalist, producer, worked with Edgar Winter. Had the 1978 UK No.8 & US No.29 solo single 'Instant Replay'). He died on 22nd March 1994. Wrote ‘Relight My Fire’ a UK No.1 for Take That and Lulu, collaborated with Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Holly Johnson and Steve Winwood. Hartman died on March 22, 1994 at his Westport, Connecticut, home of an AIDS-related brain tumor.
8 Dec 1950
American guitarist and session musician Wah Wah Watson, (Melvin Ragin) famed for his skills with a wah-wah pedal. He became a member of the Motown Records studio band, The Funk Brothers, where he recorded with The Temptations (his guitar work on 'Papa Was A Rollin' Stone'), The Jackson 5, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes. He also appeared on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall album. He died on 24 October 2018.
8 Dec 1949
British musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer Ray Shulman who was a member of Simon Dupree And The Big Sound, who had the 1967 UK No.9 single 'Kites'. With his brothers Derek and Phil, he co-founded the progressive rock band Gentle Giant. Shulman also worked as a record producer in the late 1980s and early 1990s for alternative rock artists such as The Sundays and The Sugarcubes. He died in London on 30 March 2023, at the age of 73.
8 Dec 1947
Gregg Allman, keyboards, guitar, vocals, The Allman Brothers Band who released the classic album Eat a Peach in 1972 and had the 1973 US No.12 single 'Ramblin Man'. Allman was referred to as a Southern rock pioneer and received numerous awards, including several Grammys. Following a series of health problems, including hepatitis C and a 2010 liver transplant, Allman died at his home in Richmond Hill, Georgia, on 27 May 2017, due to complications of liver cancer.
8 Dec 1947
Geoff Daking, from American rock group The Blue Magoos, who scored the 1967 US No.5 single, 'We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet'. They were at the forefront of the psychedelic music trend, beginning in 1966.
8 Dec 1946
Graham Knight, bassist from Scottish pop rock band Marmalade, (originally formed in 1961 as The Gaylords). They scored the 1969 UK No.1 single with their version of The Beatles song 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da'.
8 Dec 1944
Mike Botts, drums, Bread, (1970 US No.1 & UK No.5 single 'Make It With You').
8 Dec 1943
Jim Morrison singer and lyricist with The Doors who had the 1967 US No.1 single 'Light My Fire' and 1971 single 'Riders On The Storm'. Due to his wild personality and performances, he is regarded by some people as one of the most iconic, charismatic and pioneering frontmen in rock music history. Morrison died of heart failure in a bathtub in a Paris hotel room on 3rd July 1971. The events surrounding his death continue to be the subject of controversy, as no autopsy was performed on his body after death, and the exact cause of his death is disputed by many to this day.
8 Dec 1942
Jamaican singer and songwriter Toots Hibbert who was the lead vocalist for the reggae and ska band Toots and the Maytals. Hibbert's 1968 song 'Do the Reggay' is widely credited as the genesis of the genre name reggae. He died age 77 on 11 September 2020 due to complications from COVID-19.
8 Dec 1942
Bobby Elliott, drummer with British pop/rock group The Hollies who have scored over 30 top 40 hits, including 'Just One Look', 'Bus Stop', 'Carrie Anne', and later 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' and 'The Air That I Breathe'.
8 Dec 1939
James Galway, Irish musician, (1978 UK No.3 single 'Annie's Song',)
8 Dec 1939
Jerry Butler, vocals, The Impressions, (1965 US No.7 single 'Lilies Of The Field', solo 1969 US No.4 single 'Only The Strong Survive').
8 Dec 1925
Sammy Davis Jr, singer, actor, (1972 US No.1 single 'The Candy Man'). Died of throat cancer on 16th May 1990.
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