Charlie Sloth

On Air Now 16:00 – 17:45

What happened in 1987

  • On New Year's Eve Prime Minister Robert Mugabe was formally installed as Zimbabwe's first executive President. He would continue to exercise the powers of Prime Minister, but the post was abolished. It marked the change over in Zimbabwe from a parliamentary style of government to a presidential one.
  • Mike Tyson became undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world by beating Tony Tucker on points. As the reining WBC and WBA champion, Tyson took Tucker's IBF belt in a Las Vegas fight.
  • Sugar Ray Leonard beat Marvin Hagler to win the WBC middleweight boxing title. Hagler had defended his title for ten years before meeting Leonard, who won on a split decision at Caesars Palace Stadium, Las Vegas. At the time, the bout was the richest in sporting history, with Hagler receiving $15m and Leonard $11m.
  • The 'subway vigilante' Bernard Goetz was cleared of attempting to murder four black youths in a shooting incident on the New York subway. He successfully argued that he had fired in self-defence because he believed he was about to be mugged but was convicted of possessing an illegal weapon. The verdict was condemned by representatives of the black community
  • Paul Gilroy released his book There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack.
  • Michael Jordan was voted the NBA's most valuable player (MVP). He went on to win this title a further five times.

In the music

  • Boogie Down Productions' Scott La Rock was shot and killed while trying to settle an argument in his native South Bronx.
  • Reggae legend and Bob Marley collaborator Peter Tosh was murdered in his own home by an affiliate demanding money. Dennis Lobban was convicted of his murder.
  • Eric B and Rakim released their groundbreaking debut album Paid in Full. Although they never had a big mainstream hit, this album established them as one of the hip hop greats of all time. Singles I Aint No Joke and I Know You Got Soul sampled James Brown, while a sample-tastic Coldcut remix became a huge UK hit.
  • Public Enemy released their debut album Yo Bum Rush the Show. The Bomb Squad's fierce production combined with Chuck D's powerful political rhymes and Flava Flav's comedic raps were to make Public Enemy one of the most important groups of the 1980s.
  • Ice T released Rhyme Pays, one of the first credible rap albums to come out of the US West Coast, and the beginning of the gangsta rap genre.
  • LL Cool J released I Need Love, the first rap record to reach No 1 in the US RnB charts. It was also credited as the first successful rap ballad.
  • Michael Jackson released the eagerly anticipated follow up to Thriller, the Bad album. Dressed in black leathers on the cover, it was clear Jackson had moved away from the horror theme towards mainstream rock territory. The single Bad was a huge hit, but it marked the creative downturn in his career.
  • Marvin Gaye, BB King, Smokey Robinson, Muddy Waters, Jackie Wilson and Aretha Franklin were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Aretha was the first woman to be inducted.
  • Salt-n-Pepa released the single Push It. It went platinum - a first for a female rap group. The trio also released their debut album Hot Cool and Vicious.
  • Keith Sweat kicked off the new jack swing era with his debut album Make it Last Forever.
  • Danny Rampling launched Shoom, one of the first club nights to play early house music. It has since been heralded as one of the key clubs to take the black music of Chicago underground and kick start UK club culture.

Key Releases



Grammy awards


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