May 11th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for May 11 throughout music history

Bob Marley

The World Mourns Reggae Icon Bob Marley

On this day in music, May 11, 1981, reggae pioneer Bob Marley died in Miami, following a lengthy battle with melanoma. The Jamaican singer-songwriter was instrumental in popularizing his country’s music with a global audience, thanks to his irresistible fusion of reggae, ska, and rocksteady. Just 36 at the time of his death, Marley left behind an impressive – and enduring – catalog of music, while his greatest hits album, Legend remains the best-selling reggae album of all time. Marley received numerous accolades before and after his death, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Jamaica’s Order of Merit, recognizing his contributions to the arts. Ever the poet, Marley’s last words to his son Ziggy were “money can’t buy life.”

In 1970, Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More, was released in the US. Featuring select performances from the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, the triple LP highlighted such acts as The Who, Santana, Crosby Stills & Nash, Canned Heat, and Richie Havens. Woodstock landed in the Top Ten in multiple countries, while it hit No.1 in the US, where it achieved a gold certification within two weeks of its release.

In 1963, The BeatlesPlease Please Me began a 30-week run at the top of the UK album charts. The band’s debut soon made history as the longest-running No.1 album ever – only to be replaced by The Beatles’ self-titled sophomore album in December. Featuring the hits “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me,” the album was primarily recorded in one session at London’s EMI Studios.

In 1974, Led Zeppelin attended Elvis Presley’s show at the Los Angeles Forum. After a shaky start, Elvis jokingly remarked to his band, “Wait a minute, if we can start together fellas, because we’ve got Led Zeppelin out there, let’s try to look like we know what we’re doing.” After the show, the British rockers met Elvis backstage, where they signed autographs for The King of Rock‘n’Roll’s daughter.

In 1967, The Bee Gees made their debut on British TV, appearing on Top Of The Pops. The Australian brothers, who had recently finished recording their first international album, Bee Gees’ 1st, performed “New York Mining Disaster.” They would go on to play the show nearly 90 times.

In 2001, “The Tour of Brotherly Love” kicked off in Las Vegas, featuring Oasis, The Black Crowes, and Spacehog. The tour was aptly titled to recognize the three pairs of brothers on the line-up: Noel and Liam Gallagher (Oasis), Chris and Rich Robinson (Black Crowes), and Royston and Antony Langdon (Spacehog).

Looking for more things that happened on this day in music?
Keep scrolling for all of the headlines for May 11.


1888: Irving Berlin (Composer)
1941: Eric Burdon (The Animals)
1943: Les Chadwick (Gerry and the Pacemakers)
1947: Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers Band)
1966: Christoph Schneider (Rammstein)
1983: Holly Valance
1986: Kieren Webster (The View)

Looking for more artists born on this day?
Keep scrolling for all of our May 11 birthdays.

What to find another day?

May 11th

On this day in music
11 May 2020
American singer-songwriter Moon Martin died age 74. Originally a rockabilly artist, he wrote the songs 'Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)', made famous by English singer Robert Palmer, and 'Cadillac Walk', a hit for Willy DeVille.
11 May 2014
American bass guitarist Ed Gagliardi best known as the original bass player with Foreigner died at age 62 after an eight-year battle with cancer. In 1981, Gagliardi formed the band Spys with former Foreigner keyboardist Al Greenwood.
11 May 2011
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall’s daughter Elizabeth appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine's June issue. Her six-page, eight photo spread showed the 27-year-old completely nude, wearing a pair of thigh-high boots and bunny ears, and seductively smoking a cigarette.
11 May 2011
One of the rarest rock t-shirts in the world sold for $10,000 (£6096.00), the largest sum ever paid for a vintage t-shirt. The record-setting sale of a 1979 Led Zeppelin t-shirt on eBay was sold by Kyle Ermatinger of Stormcrow Vintage. The recent completion of the transaction placed the purchase as the world's rarest and most expensive vintage t-shirt.
11 May 2006
George Michael was involved in his second minor car crash in a month after a tabloid photographer found Michael asleep in his parked car in central London. The singer crashed into a bollard after he woke up and was driving away.
11 May 2004
US songwriter John Whitehead was killed by a gunman. He co-wrote 'Back Stabbers' for the O'Jays and as McFadden & Whitehead wrote and sang 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now' which sold more than 8 million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
11 May 2003
Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding died at his home in Ireland aged 57. Redding played on the classic Hendrix albums 'Are You Experienced', 'Axis: Bold as Love' and 'Electric Ladyland,' Right up until his death, Redding had been taking legal action against the Hendrix estate for payment estimated at £3.26 million for his part in recordings and for ongoing royalties. Had also been a member of Fat Mattress and formed The Noel Redding Band.
11 May 2002
Over 500 Michael Jackson fans held a demonstration outside the Sony records building in Berlin complaining that the label hadn't promoted the singer's latest album 'Invincible'.
11 May 2001
Oasis, The Black Crowes and Spacehog kicked off 'The Tour of Brotherly Love', a North American tour at The Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Nevada. (The three bands featuring pairs of brothers, (Noel and Liam Gallagher, Chris and Rich Robinson, Royston and Antony Langdon, respectively).
11 May 1996
Bill Graham the Irish journalist credited with discovering U2 died of a heart attack aged 44. He was also the co-founder of the Irish music paper Hot Press. Members from Clannad, U2, Hothouse Flowers and Gavin Friday all attended his funeral.
11 May 1991
Roxette scored their fourth US No.1 single with 'Joyride.' The song was inspired by an interview with Paul McCartney who said that writing songs with John Lennon had been 'like a Joyride.'
11 May 1985
Bruce Springsteen and a small group of friends went out for a boy’s night out in Lake Oswego, Oregon, two nights before his wedding to Julianne Phillips. Drinking in the Gemini pub Springsteen sang a number of songs, karaoke-style, to his own records in the jukebox.
11 May 1985
UK producer and keyboard player Paul Hardcastle was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with '19'. The title referred to the average age of American soldiers in the Vietnam War and features dialogue by television narrator Peter Thomas, and a strong anti-war message.
11 May 1981
Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley died aged 36. In July 1977, Marley was found to have a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe, Marley's health deteriorated as the cancer had spread throughout his body. Marley had the 1981 single 'No Woman No Cry', plus over ten other UK Top 40 singles. In 1990, the 6th February was proclaimed a national holiday in Jamaica to commemorate his birth. The compilation album, Legend, released in 1984, is the best-selling reggae album ever with sales of more than 20 million copies. Time magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century.
11 May 1974
Led Zeppelin attended an Elvis Presley show at the Los Angeles Forum in California. After a shaky start to the show, Elvis stopped the band and jokingly said: ‘Wait a minute, if we can start together fellas, because we’ve got Led Zeppelin out there, lets try to look like we know what we're doing.’ All four members of Zeppelin met with Elvis after the show, spending over 2 hours backstage. Elvis asked for all the group’s autographs for his daughter Lisa Marie.
11 May 1972
John Lennon appeared on the US television 'Dick Cavett Show', claiming he was under surveillance from the FBI.
11 May 1970
The triple soundtrack album Woodstock was released in the US, going gold within two weeks. The album featured tracks by; Canned Heat, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Santana and others. The couple on the album cover are Bobbi Kelly and Nick Ercoline.
11 May 1967
The Bee Gees made their Top Of The Pops debut performing 'New York Mining Disaster' on the UK TV show.
11 May 1965
Roger Miller was at No.1 on the US Country charts with 'King Of The Road.' The song has been covered by many other artists, including George Jones, Dean Martin, Boxcar Willie, Randy Travis, the Statler Brothers, and Rufus Wainwright & Teddy Thompson. The Proclaimers had a UK No.9 hit with their version of the song in 1990.
11 May 1964
During a UK tour The Rolling Stones were refused lunch at The Grand Hotel, Bristol, where they were staying because they were not wearing jackets and ties. The following day the Daily Express ran the story with the headline, 'The Rolling Stones gather no lunch.'
11 May 1963
The Beatles started a 30 week run at No.1 on the UK album charts with their debut album 'Please Please Me', making it the longest running No.1 album by a group ever. The bands follow up 'With The Beatles' replaced it at the top of the charts on 7th December 1963 and stayed there for 21 weeks.
Born on this day in music
11 May 1986
Kieren Webster, bass guitarist, vocalist, from The View who had the 2007 UK No.1 album Hats Off to the Buskers.
11 May 1983
Australian actress, singer and model Holly Valance who scored the 2002 UK and Australian No.1 single 'Kiss Kiss'.
11 May 1966
Christoph "Doom" Schneider, drummer, for the German rock band Rammstein who formed in Berlin in 1994. Five of their albums reached No.1 on the German album charts.
11 May 1965
Avtar Singh, bassist from British indie rock band Cornershop, who had the 1998 UK No.1 single 'Brimful Of Asha'.
11 May 1965
American musician Greg Dulli, a member of the Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers and Gutter Twins. Dulli is known as the voice of John Lennon in the 1994 film Backbeat, and he also played additional guitar on the track 'X-Static' on the debut Foo Fighters album.
11 May 1947
American drummer Butch Trucks, The Allman Brothers Band who released the classic album Eat a Peach in 1972 and had the 1973 US No.12 single 'Ramblin Man'. Trucks died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on 24 January 2017, in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 69.
11 May 1943
Les Chadwick, who with Gerry And The Pacemakers had the 1963 UK No.1 single 'How Do You Do It' and the 1965 US No.6 single, 'Ferry Cross The Mersey'. In common with The Beatles they came from Liverpool, were managed by Brian Epstein, and were recorded by George Martin.
11 May 1941
English singer-songwriter and actor Eric Burdon, who with The Animals had the 1964 UK & US No.1 single 'House Of The Rising Sun'. He later joined forces with Californian funk rock band War.
11 May 1939
Canadian musician R. Dean Taylor, singer, songwriter, and record producer for Motown during the 1960s and 1970s. He co-wrote hits for the Four Tops, Temptations and Diana Ross & the Supremes. As a singer, Taylor is best known for his chart-topping 1970 hit 'Indiana Wants Me' and the 1974 hit 'There's a Ghost in My House' (first released in 1967). Taylor died at home on 7 January 2022, at the age of 82.
11 May 1936
Tony Barrow, who worked as The Beatles' press officer between 1962 and 1968. He coined the term 'The Fab Four' to describe the band and also wrote sleeve notes for their early albums, as well as the strip cartoon for the Magical Mystery Tour booklet. Barrow died on 14th May 2016 aged 80.
11 May 1888
American composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin who is widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He was the composer of many pop, stage show and film hits. He emigrated from Siberia to New York as a child. He was the composer of ‘White Christmas’, 'There's No Business Like Show Business' and ‘Let’s Face The Music and Dance’. He died on September 22nd 1989 of a heart attack and natural causes, in New York City, at the age of 101.
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top