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Today in Entertainment History

August 17, 2018

On Aug. 25, 1970, Elton John made his U.S. debut at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. The performance kicked off a brief tour and led to a recording contract with MCA.

In 1973, Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks suffered a broken leg in a car crash in Macon, Georgia.

In 1976, Boston released their self-titled album. It became one of the best-selling albums of all time.

In 1980, Broadway director Gower Champion died of blood cancer just hours before his musical, “42nd Street” opened on Broadway. The show went on to win the Tony Award for best musical and was a long-running hit.

In 1984, author Truman Capote (kah-POH’-tee) died in Los Angeles. An autopsy revealed he overdosed on valium, codeine and barbiturates.

In 1986, Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album was released.

In 1987, the film “Dirty Dancing” made its world premiere in Los Angeles.

In 1994, a New York Supreme Court justice formally dissolved the marriage between Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley.

In 1999, keyboardist Rob Fisher of Naked Eyes died after a long illness. He was 39.

In 2001, singer Aaliyah (ah-LEE’-yah) and eight others died in a plane crash shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas. Aaliyah was 22.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sean Connery is 88. Actor Page Johnson (“Finnegan’s Wake”) is 88. Talk show host Regis Philbin is 87. Actor Tom Skerritt is 85. Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter is 85. Singer Walter Williams of The O’Jays is 75. Actor Anthony Heald (“Boston Public”) is 74. Singer Henry Paul of BlackHawk (and The Outlaws) is 69. Actor John Savage is 69. Bassist Gene Simmons of Kiss is 69. Singer Rob Halford of Judas Priest is 67. Keyboardist Geoff Downes of Asia is 66. Musician Elvis Costello is 64. Director Tim Burton is 60. Country singer-actor Billy Ray Cyrus is 57. Actress Ally Walker (“Profiler”) is 57. Actress Joanne Whalley is 57. Guitarist Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard is 56. Actor Blair Underwood is 54. Actor Robert Maschio (“Scrubs”) is 52. DJ Terminator X of Public Enemy is 52. Singer Jeff Tweedy of Wilco is 51. TV chef Rachael Ray is 50. Country singer Jo Dee Messina is 48. Model Claudia Schiffer is 48. Actor Eric Millegan (“Bones”) is 44. Actor Alexander Skarsgard (“Big Little Lies,” ″True Blood”) is 42. Actor Jonathan Togo (“CSI: Miami”) is 41. Actor Kel Mitchell (“Kenan and Kel”) is 40. Actress Rachel Bilson (“The O.C.”) is 37. Actress Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl”) is 31.

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