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When Bruce Springsteen Protested Nukes and Nirvana Released 'Bleach'

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June 14, 2002: Mick Jagger is knighted by the Queen

Queen Elizabeth was never shy about where she stood on the eternal debate of Beatles vs. Stones: she presented the former with MBE (Member of the British Empire) medals in 1965 (a commendation John Lennon later returned in protest of British politics), and knighted Paul McCartney in 1997. Five years later, she knighted Mick Jagger.

Sir Lips earned his royal title for "services to music" in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List royal ceremony, a longstanding British tradition. He was 58 at the time, and received the honor along with playwright Harold Pinter and actor Trevor Nunn. A royal spokesman described Jagger as "one of the great rock stars of the last century." In turn, Jagger suggested that if Britain’s team won the upcoming World Cup, they should be knighted as well – but neither came to pass.

Keith Richards was, shockingly, disgruntled by the entire affair.

June 13, 2005: Michael Jackson is cleared of all charges of child abuse
After a 16-week hearing, the Michael Jackson child molestation media circus ended in definitive victory for the pop icon.

A jury of eight women and four men found Jackson, then 46, not guilty of all charges brought against him, including four counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, one count of attempted lewd act on a child under 14, four counts of administering alcohol to enable molestation, and one count of conspiracy to kidnap a child, falsely imprison and extort.

The trial was held in Santa Maria, a rural town along California’s Central Coast, not far from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Deliberations spanned 32 hours over seven days. Upon release of the verdict, the hundreds of fans outside the Santa Maria courthouse burst into song and cheers. Jackson reportedly cried during the verdict, then exited the venue quickly, thanked his fans and returned to the ranch with his family.

LAST WEEK: When Elvis Presley Scandalized America and MC Hammer Topped the Charts

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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