January 8 – Robert Hoskins is found guilty and convicted on five charges of assault, stalking, and threatening to kill Madonna.
January 16 – At the trial of two American teenagers, Nicholaus McDonald and Brian Bassett, for the murder of Bassett’s parents and young brother, defense lawyers attempt to lay the blame for the murders on the fact the pair had been listening to “Israel’s Son” by Silverchair prior to the crimes, which are dubbed the “Israel’s Son Murders”. Murmur Records released an official response, stating that Silverchair do not condone violence of any kind and that the song “seeks to criticize violence and war by portraying them in all their horror.” Jamaican authorities open fire on Jimmy Buffett’s seaplane, Hemisphere Dancer, mistaking it for a drug trafficker’s plane. U2 singer Bono and Island Records executive, Chris Blackwell, are also on the plane; no-one is injured.
January 18 – Lisa Marie Presley files for divorce from Michael Jackson.
January 25 – Madonna receives death threats from Argentine conservatives who are enraged and insulted that she is playing Eva Peron in Evita. After she arrives in Argentina, over 50 walls throughout the city have been spray-painted with the words: ¡Viva Evita! ¡Fuera Madonna! (Long Live Evita! Get Out, Madonna!).
January 26 – The controversial musical Rent is given its first public performance at the New York Theatre Workshop, a day after the death of its creator, Jonathan Larson.
January 28 – Chris Isaak makes a guest appearance on the television show Friends.
January 29 – La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy, is destroyed by fire. Kiss reveals that they have reunited with original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, with a surprise appearance on the American Music Awards. The band took to the podium in full makeup and costume for the first time since 1983. Garth Brooks refuses to accept his American Music Award for Favorite Overall Artist. Brooks says that Hootie and the Blowfish had done more for music that year than he did.
February 4 – Former Milli-Vanilli band member Rob Pilatus is hospitalized when a man hits him over the head with a baseball bat in Hollywood, while Pilatus is attempting to steal the man’s car.
February 13 – Tupac Shakur releases the first ever rap double album, All Eyez on Me, one of the most influential albums in hip hop history. All Eyez on Me achieves platinum sales in just four hours and reaches No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts. Take That formally announce that they are splitting up.
February 14 – The Artist Formerly Known As Prince marries backup singer Mayte Garcia.
February 19 – Jarvis Cocker disrupts a performance by Michael Jackson at the BRIT Awards. During an elaborate staging of “Earth Song” Cocker crashed the stage, lifted his shirt and pointed his bottom in Jackson’s direction before getting into a scuffle with security. Cocker later stated that his actions were “a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing”.
February 20 – Snoop Dogg and his bodyguard are acquitted of first degree murder. The jury deadlocks on voluntary manslaughter charges and a mistrial is declared. Storytellers premieres on VH1. The first episodes features Ray Davies.
February 22 – MCA Records buys half of Interscope Records. Time Warner had owned half of Interscope until September 1995 when it sold off its share due to political pressure for the explicit lyrics of the label’s gangsta rap artists.
March 4 – The Beatles’ second reunion song is released as part of their first reunion since the band’s breakup 26 years earlier. The song is a finished version of “Real Love”, a John Lennon demo from 1980.
March 13 – Ramones fans riot in Buenos Aires, Argentina after waiting all night for concert tickets only to find out that the show had been sold out.
March 16 – Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s 16th consecutive week stay at No. 1 in the American charts with “One Sweet Day” ends when Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” reaches #1. “One Sweet Day” enjoyed the longest consecutive stay at No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100’s history.
March 18 – The Sex Pistols announce that they will be reuniting for a 20th anniversary tour.
March 28 – Phil Collins announces that he is leaving Genesis to focus on his solo career.
April – Roberto Alagna marries Angela Gheorghiu backstage at the New York Metropolitan Opera.
April 3 – M.C. Hammer files for bankruptcy.
April 4 – The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia’s widow, Deborah, scatter part of Garcia’s ashes in the Ganges River in India.
April 10 – Alice in Chains plays at Majestic Theatre in NYC for a MTV unplugged record and video to be released in July.
April 15 – The remaining part of Jerry Garcia’s ashes are scattered near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
April 16 – Madonna announces that she is four months pregnant by Carlos Leon, her then boyfriend and trainer.
April 24 – This Train, Rick Elias, Jimmy A, Phil Keaggy, Carolyn Arends, Third Day & Ashley Cleveland perform a tribute concert for Rich Mullins at Nashville’s Cafe Milano. Speakers included Reunion Records executive Terry Hemmings, record producer Reed Arvin, disc jockey Jon Rivers, and author Brennan Manning.
April 28 – Oasis play the second of two gigs in Maine Road, home of Manchester City F.C., featured on the video “…There and Then”. The Galway Early Music Festival is launched in Ireland.
May 8 – In Los Angeles, a judge rules against Tommy Lee and wife, actress Pamela Anderson Lee, in their attempt to keep Penthouse magazine from publishing still photos taken from an X-rated home movie that was stolen from their home.
May 11 – A 17-year old fan is crushed in the festival seating section at a concert by The Smashing Pumpkins in Dublin, Ireland, despite the presence of 110 security guards and repeated admonishments from the band telling the crowd to stop surging towards the stage. The fan dies of her injuries the next day and the band cancels that night’s show in Belfast as a result.
May 30 Depeche Mode leader Dave Gahan is arrested upon his release from hospital, having overdosed on a heroin and cocaine ‘speedball’ in a Los Angeles hotel room and been pronounced clinically dead for two minutes in an ambulance. Gahan is ordered by the court to complete a 9-month rehabilitation.
June 2 – Alice Cooper performs at Sammy Hagar’s club, Cabo Wabo, in Mexico. It was recorded and released the next year as a live album.
June 12 – The final of the Eurovision Young Musicians 1996 competition is held in Lisbon, Portugal. The winner is German violinist and pianist Julia Fischer.
June 15 and 16 – The first Tibetan Freedom Concerts are held in San Francisco.
June 19 – Japanese duo Chage and Aska become the first Asian group to participate in MTV Unplugged.
June 21 – The Sex Pistols start their reunion tour in Lahti, Finland.
June 26 – Sammy Hagar leaves Van Halen.
June 28 – Kiss kicks off the Alive/Worldwide reunion tour at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. It’s the first tour by the original lineup of the band since 1979.
July 3 – Alice in Chains performs their last concert with lead singer Layne Staley in Kansas City, Missouri while touring with Kiss (band).
July 8 – The Spice Girls release their debut single “Wannabe” in the United Kingdom.The song proves to be a global hit, hitting number 1 in 31 countries and becoming not only the biggest selling debut single by an all-female group but also the biggest-selling single by an all-female group of all time.
July 11 – Robert Simpson’s second string quintet receives its première at the Cheltenham International Festival by the Maggini Quartet with Pal Banda, cellist.
July 13 – Phil Anselmo of Pantera overdoses on heroin after a Texas homecoming gig.
July 19 – The Proms in the Park event is launched in London, UK.
July 27 – Adrian Erlandsson & Patrik Jensen form The Haunted.
August 1 – MTV2 is launched. The first video played is “Where It’s At” by Beck.
August 6 – Influential punk rock group The Ramones play their final show at The Palace in Hollywood.
August 10 & 11 – Oasis play the largest free-standing gigs in British history at Knebworth House, Stevenage.
August 27 – Aaliyah released her album One in a Million
September 4 – At the MTV Video Music Awards, Van Halen makes a surprise appearance with original singer David Lee Roth.
September 7 – Rapper Tupac Shakur is shot whilst being driven from the MGM Grand Hotel along Sunset Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, after seeing the allegedly fixed Mike Tyson versus Bruce Seldon boxing match, in what is apparently a drive-by shooting. Michael Jackson starts the HIStory World Tour.
September 10 – Wal-Mart announces it will not be carrying Sheryl Crow’s upcoming self titled album because of the lyric “Watch out sister, watch out brother/watch our children while they kill each other/with a gun they bought at Wal-Mart Discount Stores”.
September 11 – David Bowie’s single “Telling Lies” becomes the first song offered as a digital single by a major record label (Virgin Records). Bowie launches the single by hosting an online chat in which he and two other people pretending to be him answer questions from the audience.”
September 12 – Controversy follows The Eagles when the band dedicates “Peaceful Easy Feeling” to Saddam Hussein at a United States Democratic Party fundraiser held in Los Angeles.
September 13 – Seven months after the release of the epic ‘All Eyez on Me’, Tupac Shakur was pronounced dead at 4:03 pm as a result of injuries sustained 6 days earlier in a second Murder attempt on his life.
September 21 – Meg White marries John Anthony Gillis, who took Meg’s name and changed his name to Jack White. They would form The White Stripes one year later.
September 24 – Weezer releases its second record, “Pinkerton”. Due to its darker vibe and its departure from their earlier style, it sold less well and was critically panned. However, it has since become arguably the biggest cult record of the decade, topping “best of” lists by different critics.
September 27 – Sasha and Digweed release Northern Exposure, which has gone on to be considered one of the greatest dance albums of all time.
October 4 – Eddie and Alex Van Halen announce that David Lee Roth will not be continuing as lead singer of Van Halen and that Gary Cherone will be the band’s next vocalist.
October 4 – C-Block releases the single “So Strung Out”, which reaches fourth chart position in Germany.
October 6 – Country singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw get married.
October 14 – Madonna gives birth to daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon.
October 15 – Korn’s second studio album, Life is Peachy, debuts at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and goes on to sell 6 million copies worldwide.
October 27 – Pop-Up Video premieres on VH1.
October 28 – MTV India is launched.
October 29 – Slash announces in a faxed statement that he is officially leaving Guns N’ Roses.
November 8 – After having been premièred at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the film Hype!, a documentary on the Seattle grunge scene, opens to general audiences.
November 24 – Crowded House plays its farewell concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in Australia, in front of an audience of almost 200,000. Proceeds from this concert support the Sydney Children’s Hospital.
December 7 – The Sex Pistols finish their reunion tour in Santiago, Chile.
December 16 – Max Cavalera leaves Sepultura because of Sepultura not renewing his wife Gloria’s contract as manager as well as being overwhelmed by the death of his stepson.
December 31 – The twenty-fifth annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special airs on ABC, with appearances by Shawn Colvin, KC & the Sunshine Band, Spice Girls, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Usher.
Also in 1996
Jesper Strömblad leaves Hammerfall.
House of Pain breaks up which leads to DJ Lethal joining Limp Bizkit.
The Monkees embark on their 30th Anniversary Reunion Tour.
Singer Tori Amos is sued when a man crashes his car after being distracted by a billboard advertising her album. The billboard featured a photo of Amos breastfeeding a piglet.
Coal Chamber signs with Roadrunner Records and Mikey “Bug” Cox replaces John Tor.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is passed in the United States, deregulating the number of radio and TV stations that any one broadcaster can own.
Source: Wikipedia / Edited by Ron Kovacs