What Happened on the 21st September in Music History

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for September 21 throughout music history


Radiohead Emerge With Debut Single, ‘Creep’

In 1992, Parlophone Records released Radiohead’s debut single, “Creep.” While the British alt-rockers had initially recorded other tracks for a potential debut, none of them ended up satisfying the band. In between takes at the studio, Radiohead began jamming out another song, “Creep,” which frontman Thom Yorke had written years earlier as a student at Exeter University. Producers Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade were immediately taken with the track and fought to make it a single. While “Creep” didn’t immediately chart, it was a critical darling. The following year, the song became a global hit. Today, it remains the group’s most successful single.

In 1977, Meat Loaf released his debut album, Bat Out Of Hell, alongside songwriter and composer Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren. The epic record, which features such hits as “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time.

In 1996, The Fugees scored their second UK No.1 hit with “Ready Or Not,” following the success of “Killing Me Softly.” The soulful hip-hop track, which became one of the UK’s best-selling singles of the year, would be certified Platinum in both the UK and the US.

In 2015, trumpeter Ben Cauley, a member of The Bar-Kays and the only survivor of the 1967 plane crash that killed Otis Redding, died at the age of 67.

In 1987, American jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius died. Considered to be one of the greatest electric bassists of all time, Pastorius found success as a solo artist, a band leader, and a sideman (collaborating with the likes of Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell, among others), and was a member of the Weather Report from 1976 to 1981.

In 1974, Barry White went to No.1 on the US singles chart with “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe.” The song became a live staple for the artist, who performed memorable renditions on The Midnight Special in 1974 and Soul Train in May 1975.

In 1963, Bobby Vinton began a three-week run at the top of the US singles chart with “Blue Velvet.” 27 years later, the song became a No.2 hit in the UK, thanks to its appearance in an ad campaign for Nivea cream.

Looking for more things that happened on this day in music?
Keep scrolling for all of the headlines for September 21.


1934: Leonard Cohen
1947: Don Felder (Eagles)
1954: Phil Taylor (Motorhead)
1967: Faith Hill
1968: David Jude Jolicoeur (De La Soul)
1972: Liam Gallagher (Oasis)
1989: Jason Derulo

Looking for more artists born on this day?
Keep scrolling for all of our September 21 birthdays.

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September 21st

On this day in music
21 Sep 2019
English musician Sam Fender was at No.1 on the UK chart with his debut studio album Hypersonic Missiles. The album drew heavy comparisons to Bruce Springsteen due to Fender's "lyricism and his vignettes of working-class struggle."
21 Sep 2015
Trumpeter Ben Cauley, a member of the Stax Records group The Bar-Kays and the only survivor of the 1967 plane crash that killed Otis Redding died at the age of 67. The Bar-Kays appeared as the backing band on numerous recordings for Stax artists such as Carla Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, The Staple Singers and Sam and Dave.
21 Sep 2011
A contract revealing that The Beatles refused to perform in front of a segregated audience at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California on August 31st, 1965, sold for $23,033 at an auction in Los Angeles. In addition to the desegregation clause, the contract guaranteed the band $40,000 and at least 150 police officers to provide security at the show.
21 Sep 2009
American singer John ‘Bootsie’ Wilson from The Silhouettes died. The doo wop/R&B groups single 'Get A Job' was a No.1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart and pop singles chart in 1958. The doo-wop revival group Sha Na Na derived their name from the song's lyrics. 'Get A Job' is included in the soundtracks of the film American Graffiti, Trading Places and Stand By Me. The Silhouettes performed in the 1986 movie Joey.
21 Sep 2007
Snoop Dogg was sentenced to three years probation and 160 hours of community service after pleading guilty to carrying a collapsible baton. The rapper was arrested in September 2006 after the baton was found in his bag at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. In April 2007 he was given five years probation and 800 hours community service after pleading no contest to gun and drug charges in a Californian court.
21 Sep 2002
Pink went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Just Like A Pill', the American singers first UK No.1.
21 Sep 1996
The Fugees scored their second UK No.1 single with 'Ready Or Not'. The chorus in the song is based on 'Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide from Love)' by The Delfonics. The Fugees previous single 'Killing Me Softly' was so successful that the track was 'deleted' and no longer supplied to retailers whilst the track was still in the Top 20 to make way for the next single 'Ready or Not'.
21 Sep 1992
Parlophone Records released 'Creep' by Radiohead. as their debut single. The single didn't chart but featured in the majority of critics lists at the end of the year and later appeared on their first album, Pablo Honey.
21 Sep 1991
Status Quo put themselves in the Guinness Book Of Records by appearing four venues in one day, Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham and London, performing all four in a 12-hour period.
21 Sep 1987
American jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius died from injuries sustained in a fight. Pastorius was trying to enter the Midnight Bottle Club in Wilton Manors, Florida, (where he'd been banned), and became involved in a fight with a bouncer, Pastorius fell into a coma and was put on life support. In 2006, Pastorius was voted "The Greatest Bass Player Who Has Ever Lived" by readers in Bass Guitar magazine. Was a member of Weather Report and worked with various acts including Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock.
21 Sep 1986
The National Inquirer Magazine featured a picture of Michael Jackson in an oxygen chamber with a story claiming that Jackson had a bizarre plan to live until he was 150 years old.
21 Sep 1985
Madonna scored her first UK No.1 album with 'Like A Virgin', ten months after its release. The album spent a total 152 weeks on the UK chart.
21 Sep 1985
With the help Of heavy MTV exposure 'Money For Nothing' gave Dire Straits their first US No.1 single.
21 Sep 1981
Adam And The Ants were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their second chart topper 'Prince Charming'.
21 Sep 1980
During a North American tour, Bob Marley collapsed while jogging in New York's Central Park. After hospital tests he was diagnosed as having cancer. Marley played his last ever concert two nights later at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
21 Sep 1977
Meat Loaf released his debut studio album Bat Out Of Hell. His first collaboration with composer Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren, it is one of the best-selling albums of all time, having sold over 43 million copies worldwide (and still sells over 200,000 copies per year). The first single released from the album 'You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth' failed to chart when first released.
21 Sep 1974
Barry White went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Baby', the singers first and only US solo chart topper. It made No.8 in the UK.
21 Sep 1974
Carl Douglas was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Kung Fu Fighting.' The song was recorded in 10 minutes, had started out as a B-side and went on to sell over 10 million and made Douglas a One Hit Wonder.
21 Sep 1971
The first edition of the new BBC TV music show 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' was aired. Presented by Richard Williams, the show included; film clips of Jimi Hendrix from Monterey Festival playing 'Wild Thing', Bob Dylan playing 'Maggies Farm', plus America and Lesley Duncan 'live' in the studio. The influential show went on to enjoy a run from 1971 to 1987. According to presenter Bob Harris, the programme derived its name from a Tin Pan Alley phrase from years before. When they got the first pressing of a record they would play it to people they called the old greys—doormen in grey suits. The songs they could remember and whistle, having heard it just once or twice, had passed the old grey whistle test.
21 Sep 1970
Freda Payne was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Band Of Gold', the singers only UK No.1 which spent six weeks at the top of the chart.
21 Sep 1968
Deep Purple made No.4 on the US singles chart with their debut single 'Hush', also a hit for Kula Shaker in 1997.
21 Sep 1968
Jeannie C Riley went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Harper Valley PTA'. Jeannie won a Grammy for the best female country singer of 68.
21 Sep 1968
Madame Tussaud's Waxworks in London gave The Beatles their fifth image change of clothes and hair in four years.
21 Sep 1963
Bobby Vinton started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Blue Velvet'. The single became a hit in the UK 27 years later when it reached No.2.
21 Sep 1961
The Beatles played a lunchtime show at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. In the evening they appeared at Litherland Town Hall in Liverpool with Gerry & the Pacemakers, and Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, admission price was 3 shillings (15 pence).
Born on this day in music
21 Sep 1989
American singer-songwriter, actor and dancer, Jason Derulo, who had the hits 'Wiggle', 'In My Head', 'Whatcha Say' and 'Talk Dirty'. Since the start of his career Derulo has sold over 50 million singles.
21 Sep 1984
Wale (Olubowale Victor Akintimehin), American rapper who had the 2014 US No.1 album The Gifted.
21 Sep 1977
Sam Rivers, bass, Limp Bizkit, (2001 UK No.1 single 'Rollin' & US & UK No.1 album 'Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavoured Water').
21 Sep 1973
Jimmy Constable, 911, (1998 UK No.2 single 'More Than a Woman')
21 Sep 1972
David Silveria, drummer from American nu metal band Korn who scored the 1998 US No.1 album, Follow The Leader. Twelve of the band's official releases have peaked in the top ten of the Billboard Chart.
21 Sep 1972
English singer and songwriter Liam Gallagher from Oasis. Their first single was the 1994 UK No.31 'Supersonic'. Their 1994 UK No.1 album Definitely Maybe became the fastest selling UK debut album ever. Gallagher was voted the greatest frontman of all time in a 2010 reader poll by Q magazine. Gallagher was later the singer of Beady Eye, before performing as a solo artist after the dissolution of both previous bands.
21 Sep 1968
Jon Brooks, drummer with English indie rock band The Charlatans who had the 1990 UK No.9 single 'The Only One I Know'. In the UK, all of the band's thirteen studio albums have charted in the Top 40 of the UK Albums Chart, three of them being No.1s.
21 Sep 1968
Trugoy, (David Jude), from American hip hop trio De La Soul who had the 1990 UK No.7 single 'The Magic Number'. He died on 12 February 2023 age 54.
21 Sep 1967
Faith Hill, American country singer who had the 1993 US country No.1 'Wild One' and the 1998 UK No. 13 single 'This Kiss'. Known both for her commercial success and her marriage to fellow country star Tim McGraw. Hill has sold over 40 million records worldwide and scored eight No.1 singles and three No.1 albums on the US Country charts. Her Soul2Soul II Tour 2006 with McGraw became the highest-grossing country tour of all time. In 2009 Billboard named her as the No.1 Adult Contemporary artist of the decade 2000-2009.
21 Sep 1967
Timmy T, US singer, (1991 US No.1 single 'One More Try', not a hit in the UK).
21 Sep 1967
Tyler Stewart, drummer with Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies who scored the 1998 US No.1 & UK No.5 single 'One Week'. The group has sold over 15 million records including albums and singles, and were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in March of 2018.
21 Sep 1959
British singer Corinne Drewery with Swing Out Sister who scored the 1986 UK No.4 single 'Breakout'.
21 Sep 1954
Phil Taylor, Motorhead, (1980 UK No.15 single 'Ace Of Spades'). He was in the classic mark IV Motörhead line-up of Lemmy, Taylor, and Fast Eddie Clarke who recorded ten studio albums and the live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. Taylor died on 11th Nov 2015 aged 61.
21 Sep 1947
Don Felder, guitar, vocals, the Eagles, (1977 US No.1 & UK No.8 single 'Hotel California', plus 5 US No.1 albums. 'Greatest Hits 1971-1975' is the second biggest selling album in the world with sales over 30m).
21 Sep 1947
English musician, songwriter and record producer Rupert Hine. He produced albums for artists including Rush, Kevin Ayers, Tina Turner, Howard Jones, Bob Geldof, Thompson Twins, Stevie Nicks, Chris de Burgh and Suzanne Vega. Hine was also a member of the band Quantum Jump. He died on 4 June 2020 age 72.
21 Sep 1943
David Hood, American bassist best known as part of the studio backing band known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section of Alabama. He has played with many artists including, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Traffic, The Staple Singers, Frank Black, Odetta, John Hiatt, Etta James and Willie Nelson.
21 Sep 1936
Dickey Lee, US singer, (1962 US No.6 single 'Patches'). Had several US pop hits, then turned to country music in 1971 and had four top-ten country hits, including Rocky, No.1 in 1975.
21 Sep 1934
Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, painter, poet, and novelist. Cohen is a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. He wrote 'Hallelujah' which was first released on Cohen's studio album Various Positions in 1984 which was covered by John Cale, which formed the basis for a later cover by Jeff Buckley. Cohen died on 7th Nov 2016 at the age of 82 at his home in Los Angeles.
21 Sep 1923
Jimmy Young, UK singer (and BBC radio presenter until 2003). Scored the 1955 UK No.1 single 'Unchained Melody' plus ten other UK Top 40 hit singles.
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