In 1976, Motown Records announced a $13 million contract renewal for Stevie Wonder. At the time, it was the largest contract ever negotiated.
Also in 1976, Eric Faulkner of the Bay City Rollers nearly died after swallowing Seconal and Valium at his manager’s house in Scotland.
In 1980, “Kramer vs. Kramer” won the best picture and director Academy Award. Dustin Hoffman won best actor and Meryl Streep won best supporting actress for their roles in that film. Sally Field won the best actress award for “Norma Rae.”
Also in 1980, musician Gary Numan released “The Touring Principle,” a 45-minute concert video. It was the first commercially available home rock videocassette.
In 1983, bassist Pete Farndon, formerly of The Pretenders, died of a drug overdose at the age of 30. He had been fired from the band the year before.
In 1995, actor-singer Burl Ives died at his home in Anacortes, Washington. He was 85.
In 2012, Guns ‘N Roses were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without Axl Rose, who refused his induction. Rod Stewart was supposed to be inducted with The Small Faces but missed it because he had the flu. He missed his being inducted as a solo artist in 1994 because of a massive earthquake in Los Angeles.
In 2013, bassist Chi (CHEE) Cheng of Deftones died at the age of 42. He had been in a coma for four-and-a-half years after getting in a car accident in November 2008.
In 2015, singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton were divorced after nearly nine years of marriage.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Loretta Lynn is 88. Actress Julie Christie is 80. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is 75. Actor John Shea (“Gossip Girl,” ”Lois and Clark”) is 72. Actor Peter Capaldi (“Dr. Who,” ”The Musketeers”) is 62. Actor-turned-racecar driver Brian Forster (“The Partridge Family”) is 60. Actor Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) is 60. Actor Robert Carlyle (“Once Upon A Time”) is 59. Singer-guitarist John Bell of Widespread Panic is 58. Actress Catherine Dent (“The Shield”) is 55. Drummer Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) is 53. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 52. Actor Adrien Brody is 47. Singer David Miller of Il Divo is 47. Rapper Da Brat is 46. Actor Antwon Tanner (“One Tree Hill”) is 45. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 43. Actor Rob McElhenney (MAK’-uhl-heh-nee) (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) is 43. Musician JD McPherson is 43. Singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire is 40. Actor Claire Coffee (“Grimm”) is 40. Actor Nick Krause (“The Descendants”) is 28. Actor Graham Phillips (“The Good Wife”) is 27. Actress Skyler Samuels (“Scream Queens”) is 26. Actress Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) is 24.