January 1 – Eric Clapton marries his 25-year old American girlfriend in a surprise wedding ceremony at a church in the English village of Ripley, Surrey.
January 8 – The Black Crowes announce they are taking a hiatus.
January 14 – Adam Ant is committed to a psychiatric hospital two days after being arrested for carrying a firearm into a London pub that Ant claims was fake.
January 18 – Rapper C-Murder is arrested and charged with second-degree murder over a fatal shooting in a Harvey, Louisiana nightclub on January 12.
January 23 – Virgin Records buys out its contract with Mariah Carey for $28 million, essentially paying her to not record any more music for the label.
February 3 – U2 perform during the halftime show for Super Bowl XXXVI. U2’s performance becomes a tribute to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack.
February 4 – Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has a notoriously antagonistic interview with Terry Gross on National Public Radio. Simmons continuously baits the host with sexual come-ons throughout the interview while Gross repeatedly calls Simmons “obnoxious.” Simmons refuses to grant NPR permission to post the interview online, but unauthorized transcripts and audio exist.
February 13 – Jennifer Lopez becomes the first singer to have a remix album, J to tha L-O!: The Remixes, debut at number one, selling over 156,000 copies.
February 15 – Popstar Britney Spears landed her first starring role in Crossroads, a teen drama road film alongside Zoe Saldana. Although film was largely panned, the film was grossed $61.1 million worldwide.
March 7 – Burton C. Bell leaves Fear Factory after falling out with Dino Cazares. Fear Factory soon disband.
March 12 – Silverchair withdraw from the Gone South festival in Australia after Daniel Johns contracts reactive arthritis.
March 15 – Liverpool Airport is rechristened Liverpool John Lennon Airport in an official ceremony.
March 24 – Takahiro Nishikawa leaves Dreams Come True.
March 25 – Celine Dion returns to the music scene after a three-year absence with the album A New Day Has Come.
March 26 – Former Ozzy Osbourne & Motley Crue drummer Randy Castillo dies from severe cancer.
April 5 – Alice In Chains-singer Layne Staley dies from an overdose of heroin.
April 17 – Pop-punk giants Blink-182 and Green Day co-headline the two-month Pop Disaster Tour.
April 25 – Lisa Lopes, American rapper, singer, songwriter, and member of the R&B girl group TLC, better known by her stage name Left Eye, dies in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras. She was the sole fatality of eight people in the vehicle, a Mitsubishi Montero Sport that she was driving.
May 8 – Mariah Carey signs a new record contract with Island Def Jam Music Group.
May 12 – We Will Rock You, a jukebox musical based on the songs of Queen, opens at the Dominion Theatre in London, England.
May 21 – Blink-182 gutairist Tom DeLonge forms post-hardcore side-project band Box Car Racer. Their album Box Car Racer is released.
May 22 – Members of Alien Ant Farm are injured in an early morning tour bus crash in Spain that claimed the life of the driver.
June – Graham Coxon leaves Blur during Think Tank’s recording sessions, after tensions with the other members mainly due to its alleged alcohol problems and disagreement about the choice of Fatboy Slim as producer. Coxon only contributed in one song, Battery in Your Leg. He was later “replaced” on tour by Simon Tong, former guitarist of The Verve.
June 1 – The Prom at the Palace is held in London to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Performers include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Chorus, Kiri Te Kanawa, Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna.
June 5 – U.S. soul and R&B singer R. Kelly, is charged with 21 counts of having sexual intercourse with a minor after a videotape allegedly showing him engaged in sexual acts with an underage girl is broadcast on the internet.
June 11 – Paul McCartney marries second wife Heather Mills in a lavish ceremony at Castle Leslie in Ireland. American Idol premieres on Fox.
Korn’s fifth-studio album, Untouchables, is released, but fails to sell as well as their previous releases, marking the decline of the nu metal genre.
June 12 – BMG Music agrees to acquire the rest of Zomba Music Group in a deal reportedly worth $3 billion.
June 15 – The Los Angeles, California, USA, radio station KROQ-FM airs the 10th Annual Weenie Roast show with Bad Religion, Hoobastank, Jack Johnson, Jimmy Eat World, Moby, New Found Glory, P.O.D., Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd, The Strokes, System of a Down, Unwritten Law, The Vines, The Violent Femmes and Rob Zombie.
June 19 – Hikaru Utada releases the album Deep River, which sold 2,350,170 copies in a week, debuting at number 1 on the weekly, monthly, and annual Oricon album chart. This would be her third time at number 1 on the year-end rankings of that particular chart, a record for any Japanese musical act or worldwide.
June 20 – Pop star Britney Spears, at only 20 years of age, is ranked by Forbes as the world’s most powerful celebrity.
June 21 to 23 – The first Bonnaroo Music Festival is held in Tennessee. Performers include Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule and Norah Jones.
June 25 – The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra releases an arrangement of the Romeo and Juliet 1968 film soundtrack on the Silva America label.
June 27 – The Who bassist John Entwistle is found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room on the eve of the band’s new tour. He was 57.
June 30 – The Glastonbury Festival features headline acts Coldplay, Garbage, Stereophonics, Orbital, Roger Waters, Rod Stewart, and Air.
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 12 – Buckcherry breaks up on the heels of lead singer Josh Todd’s decision to quit the group. They would reunite in 2005.
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.
September 3 – Napster is shut down for good after a judge denies a bid from Bertelsmann to purchase its assets.
September 4 – Kelly Clarkson is 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 28 – A stretch of Tennessee State Route 19 is officially named for Tina Turner, who was born and raised in nearby Nutbush, Tennessee.
October 2 – 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 “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).
October 30 – 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 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 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 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.