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Today in Music History for April 3: In 1897, German pianist and composer Johannes Brahms died of liver cancer at age 63.

Today in Music History for April 3:

In 1897, German pianist and composer Johannes Brahms died of liver cancer at age 63. Baptised Lutheran, he wrote extensively for the church, including his ``German Requiem,'' which some critics consider to be the greatest major sacred choral work of the 19th century, despite the belief of many scholars that Brahms was privately agnostic.  Brahms was an admirer of Beethoven whose work is considered both traditional and innovative, being based in Classical structures while broadly Romantic in tone. Brahms' First Symphony was described by some as "Beethoven's Tenth", suggesting a stylistic continuation from Beethoven's final Ninth Symphony.  

In 1922, singer and actress Doris Day, whose real name is Doris Kappelhoff, was born in Cincinnati. After the 1944 hit, ``Sentimental Journey,'' with ``The Les Brown Orchestra,'' Day went solo in 1946, then became a movie and TV actress. Her other hits included ``It's Magic'' and ``Que Sera, Sera.''

In 1930, soprano Emma Albani, the first Canadian-born artist to achieve international fame, died in London. She was born Marie-Louise-Emma-Cecile Lajeunesse in Chambly, Que., on Nov. 1, 1847 to Joseph Lajeunesse, a professional musician, and Melina Mignault.

In 1941, Jan Berry of the 1960s surfing music duo of ``Jan and Dean'' was born in Los Angeles. Jan teamed with Dean Torrance on a string of hits, starting with 1963's ``Surf City.'' But their career ended when Berry was critically injured in a 1966 car crash. He died March 26, 2004.

In 1943, Richard Manuel, pianist with ``The Band,'' was born in Stratford, Ont. He was still in high school when he joined Ronnie Hawkins' band, ``The Hawks.'' They became Bob Dylan's backing group in 1965 and were renamed ``The Band.'' Manuel hanged himself in a Florida motel bathroom in 1986 at age 42.

In 1950, German-American composer Kurt Weill died in New York City. He was 50. He was born on March 2, 1900, in Dessau, Germany, and fled his homeland for the United States after the rise to power of the Nazis and their leader Adolf Hitler.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of two appearances on ``The Milton Berle Show.'' He sang ``Heartbreak Hotel'' and two other songs. He earned $5,000.

In 1960, Elvis Presley recorded the songs ``It's Now Or Never'' and ``Are You Lonesome Tonight?'' in Nashville.

In 1970, the British pub rock band ``Brinsley Schwarz'' was launched in a blaze of publicity. More than 100 English journalists were flown to New York for the group's first U.S. appearance. The concert was a disaster, but the group survived and members like Nick Lowe and Ian Gomm had successful solo careers.

In 1973, Capitol Records issued two ``Beatles'' greatest hits packages -- ``The Beatles - 1962-1966'' -- and ``The Beatles - 1967-1970.''

In 1979, British singer and songwriter Kate Bush made her concert debut in Liverpool, England.

In 1986, the British pop group ``Simply Red'' began its first U.S. tour in Los Angeles. The band's ``Holding Back the Years'' was beginning its climb to the top of the Billboard pop chart.

In 1989, Pepsi scrapped plans to air commercials featuring Madonna's song ``Like a Prayer.'' The company cited public confusion between the ads and the song's controversial video, which showed Madonna caressing a priest.

In 1989, 23 people were arrested after fans tried to crash a ``Grateful Dead'' concert in Pittsburgh.

In 1990, legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, known as the ``Divine One,'' died in Los Angeles of lung cancer eight days after her 66th birthday. She was known for the flowing style she developed in the 1940s with such bebop musicians as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Vaughan once said that horns influenced her more than other singers.

In 1993, Ray Charles became the first performer with chart hits in six decades when his version of Leon Russell's ``A Song For You'' entered the Billboard Hot R&B singles chart. Charles' first R&B charter was 1949's ``Confession Blues'' as a member of the ``Maxine Trio.''

In 1994, two new books claimed that ``Rolling Stones'' guitarist Brian Jones was murdered in his swimming pool in 1969. The alleged killer was a London builder named Frank Thorogood, who died in '93. The coroner had ruled Jones drowned while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

In 1996, Grammy-winning rapper MC Hammer filed for bankruptcy, owing his creditors $10 million. After his 1990 debut album, ``Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em,'' Forbes magazine estimated his gross earnings at $33 million.

In 1998, Elmer Iseler, Canada's foremost choral conductor, died of cancer in Caledon, Ont. He was 70. Iseler founded the ``Festival Singers'' and ``Elmer Iseler Singers,'' and was artistic director and conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for 33 years.

In 1998, Michael Jackson's wife, Debbie Rowe Jackson, gave birth to their second child -- daughter Paris Michael Katherine -- in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1999, British composer-lyricist Lionel Bart died of cancer in London at age 68. He was famed for his 1960 musical ``Oliver,'' but squandered his fortune on booze and other excesses.

In 2001, blues singer-guitarist Lester ``Big Daddy'' Kinsey died of prostate cancer at age 74. Known for his croaky voice, Kinsey and his three sons were known as ``Big Daddy Kinsey and His Fabulous Sons.'' The sons later formed ``The Kinsey Report.''

In 2002, frontman Dave Mustaine announced the breakup of ``Megadeth.'' Mustaine had suffered an injury that caused nerve damage to his arm. He later reformed the band.

In 2005, the Juno Awards were presented in Winnipeg. Relative new-comers such as k-os, ``Billy Talent,'' and Feist, won multiple music awards. Avril Lavigne tied with k-os for the highest number of Junos received -- three.

In 2009, Madonna's application to adopt a second child (Chifundo ``Mercy'' James) from Malawi was rejected because of a requirement that prospective parents live in the country for 18 to 24 months. The residency rule was waived in 2006 when Madonna was allowed to take her adopted son, David, to London before his adoption was finalized in 2008. (In mid-June, the country's highest court overturned the ruling and allowed the adoption.)

In 2010, ``Jane's Addiction'' confirmed former ``Guns N' Roses'' bassist Duff McKagan was now a member of the band, replacing Eric Avery who left the band earlier in the year. (McKagan's stint with the band was brief as he departed in September).

In 2011, Taylor Swift won Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, its most prestigious award and only major award determined by fans. Miranda Lambert took home four trophies: her second straight for Female Vocalist and her hit ``The House That Built Me'' won for Song, Record, and Video of the Year.

In 2011, a statue of Michael Jackson was unveiled outside the stadium of England's Premier League soccer team Fulham, commemorating the late singer's friendship with the club's chairman Mohamed Al Fayed.

In 2011, the right purple Nike sneaker worn and autographed by pop star Justin Bieber sold on eBay for US$1,425. The teen singing sensation from Stratford, Ont. donated a pair of sneakers to his former high school to help raise money to build a broadcasting studio.

In 2016, R&B star The Weeknd won Junos for Album of the Year (``Beauty Behind the Madness'') and Single of the Year (``Can't Feel My Face'') during the televised show in Calgary, adding to the three awards he took the previous night at a gala dinner. Alessia Cara won Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Justin Bieber nabbed the Fan Choice Award, while Walk Off the Earth was voted Group of the Year.

In 2016, Taylor Swift claimed three prizes at the iHeartRadio Awards, including Female Artist and Album of the Year (``1989''). Song of the Year went to Adele for ``Hello.'' Justin Bieber took Male Artist of the Year and shared in the Dance Song of the Year award with Diplo and Skrillex for ``Where Are U Now.''

In 2016, singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton continued his domination at awards shows, taking home six Academy of Country Music Awards, including Album (``Traveller''), Song (``Nobody to Blame''), Male Vocalist and New Male Vocalist of the Year. Miranda Lambert won Female Vocalist of the Year for a record-setting seventh time. Thomas Rhett won Single Record of the Year for ``Die a Happy Man,'' while Jason Aldean took the night's top prize, Entertainer of the Year.

In 2023, Canadian R&B singer Jully Black was honoured in Ottawa, at an Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs assembly, for the minor change she made to our national anthem when she sang at the NBA All-Star Game in Utah in February. The Juno Award-winner swapped out one word in the opening line "O Canada! Our home and native land'' with “Our home 'on' native land'' to recognize the Indigenous peoples who lived on the land before European settlers. 


The Canadian Press