July 6 – Michael Jackson stages a public protest against Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola, accusing him of taking part in a racist conspiracy within the music industry to exploit black recording artists. Sony responds with a statement calling Jackson’s remarks “ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful.”
July 9 – Red Hot Chili Peppers 8th studio album By The Way is released. It sold 286,000 copies in the United States during the first week, peaking at #2 on Billboard 200. It went on to sell over 2 million copies in the US, being certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
July 12 – Buckcherry breaks up on the heels of lead singer Josh Todd’s decision to quit the group. They would reunite in 2005.
July 23 – My Chemical Romance’s first album, “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love” was released to the public.
July 28 – The Area2 Festival, featuring headline acts Moby, David Bowie, Busta Rhymes, Ash, and Blue Man Group, begins a three-week tour in Washington, DC.
August 17 – The Snow Mountain Music Festival opens in Lijiang, China.
August 19 – Nickelback leaves the stage during the second song of their performance at the Ilha do Ermal festival in Portugal after being relentlessly pelted with rocks and bottles by the crowd.
August 27 – Queens of the Stone Age release their critically acclaimed album Songs for the Deaf, featuring Dave Grohl on drums. The album earned the band their first Gold certification in the United States on January 27, 2003, selling over 500,000 copies.
Napster was shut down for good after a judge denies a bid from Bertelsmann to purchase its assets.
Aaron Carter’s fourth studio album Another Earthquake! was released.
September 4 – Kelly Clarkson was crowned the first winner of the television talent contest, American Idol.
September 11 – Marie Fredriksson of Roxette is injured in a domestic accident, leading to the discovery of a brain tumor.
September 20 – Courtney Love announces that her legal dispute with the surviving members of Nirvana has been resolved, paving the way for the unreleased track “You Know You’re Right” to be included on an upcoming compilation.
September 25 – Radio Disney Jams, Vol. 5 gets released onto CD.
September 28 – A stretch of Tennessee State Route 19 is officially named for Tina Turner, who was born and raised in nearby Nutbush, Tennessee.
Robbie Williams signs a new six-album deal with EMI for £80 million, the most lucrative contract ever signed by a UK musician.
Christina Aguilera releases her controversial music video for the song, “Dirrty”, the lead single from her second album Stripped.
October 13 – The fifth Terrastock festival is held in Boston, USA.
October 24 – Mikey “Bug” Cox is fired from Coal Chamber after disputes with other members about his drug addiction.
October 26 – Christina Aguilera releases her controversial second studio album Stripped, which enters the Billboard 200 at number 2, selling 330,000 copies in its first week. Stripped is the first studio album in three years since Christina Aguilera (1999).
Jam Master Jay is shot dead at a studio in Queens. Run-D.M.C. disbands.
Warren Zevon, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer, is the sole guest for the entire hour of Late Show with David Letterman. It would be his final public performance.
November 7 – Guns N’ Roses fans in Vancouver riot after a concert, which was to kick off the band’s first tour in nine years, is canceled due to Axl Rose’s flight getting delayed.
November 10 – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Tom Petty and Brian Setzer guest-star on an episode of The Simpsons set at a Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp.
November 19 – Michael Jackson dangles his nine-month-old son over the balcony of his Berlin hotel room in an apparent attempt to connect with the fans below. He releases a statement later that day calling the incident a “terrible mistake”.
November 26 – Will Smith releases his first compilation album (last under Columbia Records) Greatest Hits
November 29 – Concert For George is held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, as a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death, under the musical direction of friend Eric Clapton. Performers included surviving Beatles members Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Ravi Shankar, and Billy Preston. The event benefitted the Material World Charitable Foundation.
November 30 – British girl group Girls Aloud is formed on the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals.
December 2 – Peter Garrett leaves Midnight Oil.
December 3 – Mariah Carey releases her ninth studio album Charmbracelet.
December 6 – Another riot over a canceled Guns N’ Roses concert breaks out, this time in Philadelphia, after Axl Rose is a no-show. The band cancels the remaining dates of the tour without explanation.
December 29 – A Creed concert in Chicago angers fans in attendance when lead singer Scott Stapp forgets many lyrics, takes a lengthy leave of absence in the middle of the show and lies down on the stage for part of the performance. The band’s manager issues a written apology that includes the statement “we hope that you can take some solace in the fact that you definitely experienced the most unique of all Creed shows and may have become part of the unusual world of rock ‘n’ roll history!”
December 31 – Phish end their two-year hiatus with a New Year’s Eve concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Fergie joins The Black Eyed Peas during their recording of the Elephunk album.