On This Day

Year 2020 in Music History

Events in Music


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 8 US singer Justin Bieber reveals he has Lyme disease, an infectious disease spread by ticks

Pop Star Justin Bieber
Pop Star
Justin Bieber

Music awardsGrammy Awards

Jan 26 62nd Grammy Awards: Billie Eilish wins 5 Grammys, including album, record and song of the year

Singer-Songwriter Billie Eilish
Singer-Songwriter
Billie Eilish
  • Feb 18 40th Brit Awards: Best Album "Psychodrama" by Dave, Best, Song of the Year "Someone you Loved" Lewis Capaldi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 2 American rap group Public Enemy part ways with Flavor Flav after 35 years over playing for free at Bernie Sanders rally

Rapper & TV star Flavor Flav
Rapper & TV star
Flavor Flav
US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders
  • Mar 17 Golden Rassberry Film Awards (Razzies): Musical "Cats" wins six awards including worst film

Music concertMusic Concert

Apr 13 Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sings a special Easter concert in the deserted Milan cathedral accompanied by an organist

Italian Tenor Andrea Bocelli
Italian Tenor
Andrea Bocelli

Music concertMusic Concert

Apr 19 Together At Home concert for coronavirus COVID-19 aid curated by Lady Gaga and streamed worldwide

Singer-Songwriter Lady Gaga
Singer-Songwriter
Lady Gaga
  • May 19 WHO member states agree to set up an inquiry into the global response to the pandemic, including looking at the WHO itself
  • Jun 20 Social media campaign through TikTok, with teens. K-Pop fans and others claims to have helped orchestrate low turnout at Donald Trump's Tulsa rally.
  • Jun 21 Kurt Cobain's guitar during Nirvana's MTV Unplugged show sells for a record $6 million
  • Jul 2 Funeral for slain Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa in Ambo amid nationwide unrest at his death that has killed over 80 people

Divorces in Music


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Jan 20 Actor Liam Hemsworth and singer Miley Cyrus divorce after a year of marriage

Actor Liam Hemsworth
Actor
Liam Hemsworth
Actress and Singer Miley Cyrus
Actress and Singer
Miley Cyrus

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 19 Jimmy Heath "Little Bird", American jazz saxophonist and composer, dies at 93
  • Jan 19 Robert Parker, American saxophonist and soul singer (Barefootin'), dies at 89
  • Jan 26 Bob Shane, American folk vocalist (Kingston Trio - Tom Dooley), dies at 85
  • Feb 1 Peter Serkin, American pianist (Tashi), dies at 72
  • Feb 7 Nexhmije Pagarusha, Albanian singer ‘the Nightingale of Kosovo’ and actress, dies at 86
  • Feb 7 Steve Weber, American folk guitarist, (Holy Modal Rounders), dies at 76
  • Feb 9 Mirella Freni, Italian lyric soprano (Madame Butterfly), dies at 84
  • Mar 6 McCoy Tyner, American jazz pianist (John Coltrane Quartet), dies at 81
  • Mar 15 Suzy Delair, French actress and singer (The Murderer Lives at Number 21, Utopia, White Paws), dies at 102

Person of interestKenny Rogers

Mar 20 Kenny Rogers, American singer-songwriter (The Gambler, Through the Years) and entrepreneur (Kenny Rogers Roasters), dies of natural causes at 81

Country Singer Kenny Rogers
Country Singer
Kenny Rogers
  • Mar 22 Eric Weissberg, American singer and musician (Duelling Banjos), dies of Alzheimer’s at 80
  • Mar 24 Manu Dibango, Cameroonian musician (Soul Makossa), dies of COVID-19 at 86
  • Mar 29 Joe Diffie, American country singer and guitarist (Home), dies of COVID-19 complications at 61

Person of interestBill Withers

Mar 30 Bill Withers, American singer-songwriter and rhythm & blues musician (Ain't No Sunshine, Lean on Me), dies of heart complications at 81

Rhythm & Blues Musician Bill Withers
Rhythm & Blues Musician
Bill Withers
  • Apr 1 Ellis Marsalis, American jazz musician and prominent teacher, dies of COVID-19 complications at 85
  • Apr 7 John Prine, American country folk singer-songwriter (Hello in There, Angel From Montgomery), dies at 73
  • Apr 11 Lucia Dlugoszewski, Polish-American composer (Fire Fragile Flight), dies at 74
  • Apr 15 Lee Konitz, American jazz saxophonist (Birth of the Cool), dies of COVID-19 complications at 92
  • Apr 17 Arlene Saunders, American soprano, dies of COVID-19 complications at 89
  • Apr 19 Ian Whitcomb, English rocker (You Turn Me On), dies at 78
  • Apr 24 Harold Reid, American singer (Statler Brothers), dies at 80
  • Apr 27 Lynn Harrell, American cellist, dies at 76
  • Apr 28 Bobby Lewis, American rock and roll singer (Tossin' and Turnin'), dies at 95
  • Apr 30 Tony Allen, Nigerian drummer who pioneered Afrobeat sound, dies of an aortic aneurysm at 79
  • May 3 Frederick Charles Tillis, American jazz and classical composer, dies at 90
  • May 6 Millie Small, Jamaican singer (My Boy Lollipop), dies of a stroke at 72
  • May 9 Little Richard [Wayne Penniman], American singer-songwriter and rock 'n' roll pioneer (Tutti Frutti), dies at 87
  • May 10 Betty Wright [Bessie Norris], American R&B singer-songwriter (Clean Up Woman), dies at 66
  • May 12 Astrid Kirchherr, German photographer, helped establish The Beatles image, dies at 81
  • May 15 Phil May, English rocker (Pretty Things), dies at 75
  • May 22 Mory Kanté, Guinean singer and kora harp player (Yé ké yé ké), dies at 70
  • May 24 [Wilbur James] Jimmy Cobb, American jazz drummer (Miles Davis' First Great Sextet), dies of lung cancer at 91
  • May 28 Lennie Niehaus, American jazz saxophonist and film composer (Clint Eastwood films), dies at 90
  • Jun 4 Steve Priest, English rock bassist and vocalist (The Sweet), dies at 72
  • Jun 8 Bonnie Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters-Jump, I'm So Excited), dies at 69
  • Jun 18 Vera Lynn 'the Forces Sweetheart', English singer (We'll Meet Again), dies at 103
  • Jun 27 Johnny Mandel, American composer, arranger and musician (M*A*S*H theme), dies at 94
  • Jun 29 Hachalu Hundessa, Ethiopian singer songwriter (Waa'ee Keenyaa), shot and killed at 34
  • Jul 1 Ida Haendel, Polish-British violinist and author (Woman with Violin),, dies at 96
  • Jul 6 Ennio Morricone, Italian composer and musician (film soundtracks for The Mission and The Hateful Eight), dies at 91
  • Jul 6 Charlie Daniels, American singer (Devil Went Down to Georgia), dies at 83