On This Day

May 2021 in Music History

Events in Music

Music releaseAlbum Release

May 21 Marvin Gaye' eleventh album "What's Going On" is released; considered the best album off all-time by critic surveys in Rolling Stone (2020); The Guardian (1997); and New Music Express (1985)

Singer Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye
  • May 22 Eurovision Song Contest won by Italian metal band Maneskin with 524 points in Rotterdam

Weddings in Music

LovePerson of Interest

May 15 Pop star Ariana Grande (28) weds realtor Dalton Gomez (25) at home in Montecito, California

Deaths in Music

  • May 2 Jacques d'Amboise, American ballet dancer, and choreographer (NYC Ballet Company, 1949-84), actor (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers), and educator (founded National Dance Institute, 1976), dies from stroke complications at 86 [1]
  • May 3 Lloyd Price, American R&B singer ("Lawdy Miss Clawdy"; "Stagger Lee"; "Personality"), dies at 88
  • May 6 Pervis Staples, American gospel vocalist (The Staple Singers -"Uncloudy Day"), dies at 85
  • May 8 Curtis Fuller, American jazz trombonist (Yusef Lateef; John Coltrane; Farmer/Golson Jazztet), dies at 88
  • May 14 Ester Mägi, Estonian composer 'First Lady of Estonian music', dies at 99
  • May 18 Franco Battiato, Italian pop, rock, and new wave singer, songwriter (“La Voce del Padrone” (“The Master’s Voice”), and filmmaker ("Lost Love"), dies at 76
  • May 19 Alix Dobkin, American folk and feminist singer-songwriter (Lavender Jane Loves Women), dies of a brain aneurysm and stroke at 80
  • May 19 Joey Cathcart, American rock guitarist (Nelson - "Love & Affection") dies of brain cancer at 53
  • May 20 Roger Hawkins, American session drummer (the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section - Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin), dies at 75
  • May 23 Cristóbal Halffter, Spanish conductor, and composer (Yes, speak out, yes; Lazarus), dies at 91
  • May 24 Samuel E. Wright, American stage and screen actor and singer (Jesus Christ Superstar; Ball Four; The Little Mermaid; The Lion King), dies of prostate cancer at 74
  • May 26 Patrick Sky [Lynch], American musician, folk singer, songwriter, record producer, and uilleann bagpiper (Songs That Made America Famous), dies of cancer at 80
  • May 29 B.J. Thomas, American singer ("Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"; "Hooked On A Feeling"; "Growing Pains Theme"), dies of lung cancer at 78