1991 in music
1990 in music,
other events of 1991,
1992 in music, 1990s in music and the list of 'years in music'
1991 was the year that
grunge music made its popular breakthrough. Nirvana's , led by the surprise hit single " Nevermind Smells Like Teen Spirit", became the most popular U.S. album of the year. Followed immediately by other grunge bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, grunge dominated the U.S. charts for the next few years. Its success effectively ended pop-oriented hair metal groups like Guns n' Roses, Poison and Def Leppard, whose sales and critical viability had been declining for years.
A Tribe Called Quest's was released this year; it would go on to be considered one of the best Low End Theory hip hop albums of the 1990s. A Tribe Called Quest, along with De La Soul, Dream Warriors, Gang Starr and the Poor Righteous Teachers, helped define what came to be known as alternative rap with important releases this year.
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was found dead in London on November 24, 1991 due to AIDS. Rumors had been circulating that Mercury had AIDS, but the death came as a shocker to millions of fans and the music industry. The remaining members of Queen form the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the following year, a tribute concert is staged in Wembley Stadium. A sell-out crowd in attendance witnessed the three surviving members reuniting to play along with performances by the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Metallica and George Michael.
The massive success of
Garth Brooks in this year sets the stage for the mid- 1990s influx of pop-oriented country musicians. In addition, several soon-to-be pivotal bands form or release debuts, including future pioneers in riot grrl punk ( Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Huggy Bear), jam bands ( moe., Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Spin Doctors) and stoner metal ( Kyuss, Sleep, Obsessed). Massive Attack's , while unique at the time, invented the sound that would eventually become known as Blue Lines trip hop. Entombed's and Clandestine Dismember's are early releases from the Like an Ever Flowing Stream Scandinavian metal scene. U2 release their seventh album , considered by many of their fans to be their best album.
January 18 - Three people are crushed to death during an AC/DC concert in Salt Lake City, Utah when audience members rushed the stage.
February 27 - James Brown is granted an early parole and released from jail. Brown had been arrested after leading Police on a high speed chase through two states in 1989. Pop Will Eat Itself documented the affair with their song, "Not Now James, We're Busy".
February 28 - Hollywood, California's The Record Plant recording studio closes its doors. Among the albums recorded at the Record Plant were The Eagles' , Hotel California Fleetwood Mac's and Rumours Stevie Wonder's
Songs in the Key of Life March 11 - Janet Jackson signs a $30 million (US) contract with Virgin Records.
March 16 - Seven members of country music singer Reba McEntire's band and her road manager are killed when their private plane crashes in California, near the Mexican border. McEntire travels on a separate plane.
March 20 - Michael Jackson signs a $1 billion contract with Sony.
March 20 - Eric Clapton's four-year-old son, Conor, dies after falling 53 stories from a New York City apartment window. (The death of his son would inspire Clapton to write "Tears in Heaven".)
March 24 - The Black Crowes are dropped as the opening act of ZZ Top's tour for repeatedly insulting the tour's sponsor, Miller Beer .
March 27 - New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg is arrested in Louisville, Kentucky for allegedly setting his hotel room on fire.
March 28 - George Harrison, Phil Collins and others attend funeral services for Eric Clapton's late son, Conor.
April 28 - Bonnie Raitt marries actor Michael Noonan O'Keefe in New York.
May 7 - In Macon, Georgia, a judge dismisses a wrongful death lawsuit against Ozzy Osbourne. The suit was filed by a local couple that believed their son was inspired to attempt suicide by Osbourne's music.
July - Launch of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music .
August 27 - Dr. Dre pleads no contest to charges that he beat up a woman at a West Hollywood nightclub. Dr. Dre is sentenced to 24 months probation.
September 24 - Nirvana releases , debuting at #144 on the Nevermind Billboard 200.
October 25 - Steely Dan spontaneously reunites
Whitney Houston sings " The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Superbowl. The recording is then released and becomes a hit single.
Britney Spears appears on
Star Search Love Battery 's career begins
Shakira's career begins
Sublime's career begins
Tool's career begins
Cradle of Filth forms
Dave Matthews Band forms
Perry Farrell organizes the first Lollapalooza tour as a farewell for his just-dissolved band, Jane's Addiction
Digable Planets forms
Huggy Bear forms in Brighton, England
Local H forms
Stabbing Westward forms in Chicago
Unwritten Law forms
Nas joins Main Source
The Pharcyde signs to Delicious Vinyl , their first label
Jermaine Dupri discovers Kris Kross performing at a mall in Atlanta
Rancid forms in Berkeley, California
Vertical Horizon forms
Leftfield, an electronica duo forms in London, England
Talking Heads disbands
Rage Against The Machine forms
The original surviving members of Bill Haley and His Comets from the 1950s reunite for a European concert tour, and soon after resume regular touring and recording engagements that continue as of 2005.
Hot 100 No. 1 Hits of 1991
January 8 - Steve Clark, guitarist of Def Leppard
February 6 - Danny Thomas, singer and actor
March 2 - Serge Gainsbourg, singer and songwriter
March 14 - Jerome Doc Pomus (65), songwriter, cancer
March 14 - Howard Ashman, lyricist
March 21 - Leo Fender, inventor of the electric guitar
April 20 - Steve Marriott, the Small Faces
May 19 - Odia Coates, singer
May 23 - Wilhelm Kempff, pianist and composer
June 6 - Stan Getz, US saxophonist
June 9 - Claudio Arrau, pianist
June 14 - Joy Finzi, founder of the Finzi Trust
September 4 - Charlie Barnet, US bandleader
September 28 - Miles Davis, musician
October 6 - Igor Talkov, Russian singer/songwriter
November 24 - Freddie Mercury, singer
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