2003 in music
|List of years in music (table)|
... 1993 . 1994 . 1995 . 1996 . 1997 . 1998 . 1999 ...
2000 2001 2002 -2003- 2004 2005 2006
... 2007 . 2008 . 2009 . 2010 . 2011 . 2012 . 2013 ...
|Art . Archaeology . Architecture . Literature . Music . Philosophy . Science +...|
- 1 Events
- 2 Bands formed
- 3 Bands reformed
- 4 Bands disbanded
- 5 Albums released
- 6 Release date unknown
- 7 Top 5 albums of Billboard year
- 8 Top hits on record
- 9 Classical music
- 10 Opera
- 11 Musical theater
- 12 Musical film
- 13 Births
- 14 Deaths
- 15 Awards
- 16 Charts
- 17 References
- January 6 – The annual Park Lane Group Young Artists festival of contemporary music opens with two concerts in the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre, London. The first concert, given by the Gallimaufry Ensemble, included the premiere of a new wind quintet by 23-year-old Benjamin Wallfisch; the second concert featured solo bass clarinettist Sarah Watts, who premiered Marc Yeats Vox for solo bass clarinet and Michael Smetanin's Ladder of Escape for bass clarinet with prerecorded ensemble of six bass and two contrabass clarinets.
- January 7 – Opening of the Philip on Film Live festival (until January 11) at the Barbican Centre, London, featuring films with music by Philip Glass performed live by the Philip Glass Ensemble, conducted by Michael Riesman.
- January 9 – The Vienna Philharmonic belatedly announce that violist Ursula Plaichinger has become the first official female member of the orchestra, 158 years after their founding and six years after they had been forced to allow women to audition, under threat of having their state subsidies stopped. At the same time, it was disclosed that orchestra boss Clemens Hellsberg had formally banned Plaichinger from giving interviews to the press.
- Andrew Lack, former chief of NBC news, is named the new head of Sony's music division, to the surprise of the music industry, because he had no previous experience of the record industry. He replaced Tommy Mottola, who resigned the previous day amidst reports of friction with higher Sony executives over huge financial losses in the music division.
- Following an investigation by The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and London detectives, police raids in the UK and the Netherlands recover 500 original Beatles studio tapes, recorded during the Let It Be sessions. Five people are arrested. The tapes have been used for bootleg releases for years.
- January 13 – The Who guitarist Pete Townshend is arrested by British police on suspicion of possessing and making indecent images of children and of incitement to distribute them. Townshend claims in a statement that he did not download any such images and accessed Web sites advertising child pornography because he was researching material for his autobiography, which will include passages about his abusive childhood.
- The Indian Air Force band, the Air Warriors, played a concert in the Homi Baba Auditorium in Colaba (Mumbai), which included Muthuswami Dikshitar's Vathapiganapathi in a version combining military band with traditional Carnatic instruments.
- A two-day festival of the music of Mark-Anthony Turnage is given at the Barbican Centre, London, with three world premieres and chamber concerts by the Nash Ensemble and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
- January 22 – Nikolaus Harnoncourt cancels a European tour after being ordered by his doctors to take a two-month rest.
- Police respond to a 911 phone call from one of Phil Spector's neighbors and discover the body of actress Lana Clarkson, with a gunshot wound, at Spector's his home in Alhambra, California. Spector is arrested on suspicion of murder."
- The Martin Bashir television film Living with Michael Jackson premieres on ITV in the UK. It airs on ABC in the US three days later. A total of 53 million viewers in the two countries watch the special.
- February 8 – Avril Lavigne scores her third #1 single "I'm with You", making her the second artist in history to have three consecutive #1 songs from a début album in the Billboard Mainstream Top 40.
- February 20 – The Station nightclub fire: Fire engulfs a Rhode Island nightclub during a fireworks display which was part of the performance by rock band Great White. The fire quickly spreads across the ceiling, filling the building with thick, black smoke, killing 100 people and injuring 160 others as audience members rush for the exits. Many people are missing for some time, including Great White guitarist Ty Longley, who is later confirmed to be dead.
- February 23 – New York City is the site of The 45th Annual Grammy Awards, featuring Nickelback, No Doubt, Foo Fighters, Beyoncé, and other performers.
- February 24 - Robert Trujillo joins Metallica.
- March 3 – Avril Lavigne kicks off her first headlining tour the "Try To Shut Me Up Tour".
- Johnny Cash is admitted to Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee to undergo treatment for pneumonia.
- The Dixie Chicks unleash a firestorm of controversy at a concert in London when lead singer Natalie Maines announces to the audience that "just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas". The group is dropped from radio playlists all over the United States and receives death threats as a result.
- March 21 - Ex-Neighbours star Delta Goodrem releases her debut album Innocent Eyes which became Australia's monster smash hit of 2003 and included the releases of the new singles "Born to Try" and "Lost Without You".
- March 24 - Meteora by Linkin Park debuts at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart.
- March 25 - Céline Dion begins A New Day..., her Las Vegas residency show. It would run for almost five years and over 700 shows.
April 1 – Dozens of fans walk out during a
- April 8 – Godsmack releases their third studio album Faceless.
- April 16 - Luther Vandross suffers a severe stroke at his home in New York City. He emerges from a coma six weeks later.
- April 21 – S Club announce live on stage at London's Docklands Arena that they've decided to split up after five years together. Their final single, "Say Goodbye", enters the chart at #2 a month after the announcement. Rachel Stevens from the group launched her successful solo career shortly afterwards with the song "Sweet Dreams My LA Ex".
- April 28 - Apple Inc. opens the iTunes Music Store, offering 200,000 songs for download at a cost of 99 cents each. More than 1 million songs are sold in the store's first week.
- May 7 - Pete Townshend is cleared of the charges stemming from his arrest in January on suspicion of possessing child pornography, but is formally cautioned and placed on the sex offenders register for five years.
- May 19 - The former TV channel MuchMusic USA relaunches as Fuse.
- May 21 - Ruben Studdard wins the second season of American Idol, edging Clay Aiken.
- Turkish singer Sertab Erener wins the Eurovision Song Contest, held in Riga, Latvia, with the song "Everyway That I Can". It is the last time that the contest is a one-night event.
- After a 40-year wait, Russian fans of The Beatles finally get to see former Beatle Paul McCartney perform on their soil, on the Red Square in Moscow.
- Alexander Kuoppala quit Children of Bodom.
- David Del Tredici's Wondrous the Merge for string quartet and narrator, based on a homoerotic poem by James Broughton, makes its controversial debut at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.
- Henry Ranta quits Soilwork.
- Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera kicked off their summer Justified & Stripped Tour.
- Los Angeles, California radio station KROQ-FM airs the 11th Annual of the Weenie Roast show with AFI, The Ataris, Blur, Chevelle, Deftones, Finch, Foo Fighters, Godsmack, Good Charlotte, Hot Hot Heat, Interpol, Jane's Addiction, Less Than Jake, Liam Lynch, Staind, Sum 41, Thrice, The Transplants, The Used, The White Stripes, and Pete Yorn.
- Alice Cooper begins production of his 26th album. It is a departure from the heavy metal sound of previous albums and is more influenced by his albums of the 1970s.
- June 22
- June 27 – 29 – Glastonbury Festival, U.K., headline acts included David Gray, R.E.M., Primal Scream, Morcheeba, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Super Furry Animals, Lamb, Macy Gray, Feeder, Manic Street Preachers, Moby, and Doves. The weather is mostly dry and the festival deemed a success from both a security and entertainment viewpoint by Michael Eavis.
- July 2 – A-Teens and many others perform at the Stockholm Pride festival.
- July 5 - Lollapalooza returns after a six-year absence from the music festival circuit. Jane's Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus and Queens of the Stone Age are among the featured acts.
- July 11 - Judas Priest announces that Rob Halford has rejoined the band, with a reunion tour to follow in 2004.
- July 14 - The eurodance and alternative rock musician Lynda Thomas made her last public appearance; she suddenly left the music industry and public life altogether.
- July 20 - a tragic auto accident in Oregon kills three of the four members of The Exploding Hearts, ending the band after just one album.
- July 30 – The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, The Guess Who, and others headline a benefit concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to prove that the city is safe from SARS. With 450 000 spectators, it is the largest concert in Canadian history.
- August 19 – Jessica Simpson releases her third studio album In This Skin. The album would later go triple platinum in the U.S. and would produce the hit single "With You".
- August 28 – Madonna sparks media controversy by kissing popstars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. The situation even ignited a quick war of words between Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera over the kiss.
- September 15 - Zwan has broken up.
- September 16 - Ryan Malcolm wins the first season of Canadian Idol.
- September 22 – Mike Doling to leave the band Soulfly in protest.
- September 23 – Limp Bizkit release Results May Vary their first album in 3 years and their 4th album overall.
- October 4 – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's The Rising Tour concludes after 120 shows over 14 months, with record-setting sales in U.S. stadiums during the summer and early autumn.
- October 15 – A two-week-long international conference, "Fuori tempo, dire, fare, sentire la musica oggi", opens in Genoa, Italy, bringing together performers, composers, scholars, and administrators from classical, folk, and popular music, with a keynote address by Charles Rosen. Featured participants included Nuria Schoenberg (daughter of Arnold Schoenberg and widow of Luigi Nono), musicologist James Harrison, the opera conductor Roberto Abbado, violinist Ivry Gitlis, composers Salvatore Sciarrino, Lorenzo Ferrero, and Andrea Liberovici, poet Edoardo Sanguineti, popular singer-songwriters Teresa De Sio, Gianna Nannini, and Gino Paoli, rock and jazz artists Peppe Servalo and Peppe D'Argenzio of the Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel, and administrators Anna Cammarano (director of classical music at RAI Trade), Gennaro di Benedetto (superintendent of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa), and Joseph Hussek (director of the artistic programme at the Salzburg Festival).
- October 16 – Simon & Garfunkel begin their "Old Friends" U.S. reunion tour, twenty years after their 1983 world tour.
- October 20 – Britney Spears releases the first single, "Me Against The Music" featuring American singer-songwriter Madonna, from her upcoming album In the Zone, marketed as a comeback single in the US; it goes on to be an international success, reaching the top three in several countries.
- October 21 – Delta Goodrem wins 7 ARIA Awards and defeats Amiel's "Lovesong" for and a Gold ARIA for Single of the Year, Born to Try. ARIAs host Rove McManus announced that John Farnham will raise the very loud speakers to 1985/1986's "You're the Voice" after being inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
- October 29 - a legal version of the Napster file sharing network relaunches as a pay service, offering song downloads for 99 cents apiece or $9.99 for unlimited listening.
- November 4 - Aaron Carter releases his first compilation album (fifth overall album under Jive Records) Most Requested Hits
- November 5
- November 6 - Marco Aro quits The Haunted from his vocalist position. The band rehires their first vocalist, Peter Dolving who had quit from the band in the past.
- November 7 – Steve Kmak, aka "Fuzz," is fired from Disturbed as a result of personality clashes with others in the band.
- November 11 – Dream Theater releases their seventh studio album titled Train of Thought, widely regarded as their heaviest album to date.
- November 14
- Blink-182 release their fifth studio album blink-182. This album was regarded as a change of musical style for Blink-182 as the music has darkened and matured since their previous albums.
- Britney Spears releases In the Zone. She breaks her own record as the first female artist to have 3 albums in #1 to become the first female artist to have 4 albums in #1 consecutively.
- Michael Jackson releases the compilation album Number Ones.
- November 19 – Guy Sebastian becomes the first winner of Australian Idol, receiving a contract with BMG Australia. He subsequently records the studio album, Just As I Am.
- November 20 – Michael Jackson is arrested on charges of child molestation. The singer faced similar charges in 1993 that were dropped after an out-of-court financial settlement was reached with the family of a boy. In light of the new accusations, the television network CBS chooses to pull the scheduled November 26 airing of a one-hour television special intended to promote Jackson's new greatest hits album, Number Ones.
- November 21 – Korn releases their sixth studio album, Take a Look in the Mirror. It is the last album that features the original lineup of Korn.
- November 22 – The band Five Iron Frenzy plays its last show at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver.
- December 6
- December 8 - Ozzy Osbourne is rushed into emergency surgery after having a serious accident riding an all-terrain vehicle on the grounds of his English estate. Osbourne broke his collarbone, eight ribs and a vertebra in his neck.
- December 12 - Mick Jagger is knighted for services to music by The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.
- December 13/14 – The Los Angeles, California radio station KROQ-FM airs the 14th Annual of the Acoustic Christmas show with AFI, Blink-182, Brand New, Chevelle, The Distillers, Jane's Addiction, Jet, KoЯn, Linkin Park, The Offspring, P.O.D., Pennywise, Puddle of Mudd, Rancid, Staind, 311, Thrice and Trapt.
- December 30/31 – The New Year's Eve Falls Festival in Australia, traditionally held in Lorne, Victoria, holds events in both Lorne and Marion Bay, Tasmania at the same time. The same artists perform at both events, alternating between the two venues each night.
January – March
April – June
July – September
October – December
Release date unknown
- All Got Our Runnins EP – The Streets
- Arcade Fire – Arcade Fire
- Bayside/Name Taken Split – Bayside / Name Taken
- Blitzen Trapper – Blitzen Trapper
- Bootlegged, Distorted, Remixed and Uploaded – Pitchshifter
- The Concept – The Spill Canvas
- For Stars and Moon – Angie Aparo
- Hunted EP – Year of the Rabbit
- Live from the Gaiety – The Dubliners (live)
- Louis XIV – Louis XIV
- Prime Time – Bell, Book & Candle
- Saturday Rock Action EP – Hawk Nelson
- The Sauce – Eddie Spaghetti
- Snowfield Demo EP – Editors (as Snowfield)
- Still Electric – Primitive Radio Gods
- Strawberry Bubblegum – 10cc - Compilation
- The Sunday Best EP – This Providence
- Throw the Fight (EP) – Throw the Fight
- To Madagascar and Back EP/DVD – Flickerstick
- Try Honesty / Living in the Shadows EP – Billy Talent
- 25 Miles to Kissimmee – Fools Garden
- Velvet Lined Shell EP – Toyah
- Watching the Snow – Michael Franks (Japanese release)
Top 5 albums of Billboard year
- 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin'
- Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
- Beyoncé – Dangerously in Love
- Michael Jackson – Number Ones
- Dixie Chicks – Home
Top 10 Selling Albums of the Year
- Get Rich or Die Tryin' – 50 Cent
- Come Away with Me – Norah Jones
- Stripped – Christina Aguilera
- Number Ones – Michael Jackson
- Meteora – Linkin Park
- Dangerously in Love – Beyoncé
- A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay
- Fallen – Evanescence
- In the Zone – Britney Spears
- Let Go – Avril Lavigne
Top hits on record
- "2+2=5" – Radiohead
- "Addicted" – Simple Plan
- "Angels or Devils" – Dishwalla
- "Anthem of Our Dying Day" - Story of the Year
- "All I Have" – Jennifer Lopez
- "American Life" – Madonna
- "Angel" – Amanda Perez
- "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" – Jet
- "Are You Ready For Love?" (re-mix) – Elton John
- "Baby Boy" – Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul
- "Beautiful" – Christina Aguilera
- "The Beautiful Occupation" – Travis
- "Be Mine" – David Gray
- "Behind Blue Eyes" – Limp Bizkit
- "Bottom of a Bottle" – Smile Empty Soul
- "The Boys of Summer" – Ataris
- "Born to Try" – Delta Goodrem
- "Breathe" – Blu Cantrell
- "Bring Me to Life" – Evanescence
- "California" – Phantom Planet
- "Cannonball" – Damien Rice
- "Can't Hold Us Down" – Christina Aguilera featuring Lil' Kim
- "Cassé" – Nolwenn Leroy
- "Chihuahua" – DJ Bobo
- "Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)" – The Darkness
- "Clocks" – Coldplay
- "C'mon C'mon" – Sheryl Crow
- "COLORS – Hikaru Utada
- "Come Clean" – Hilary Duff
- "Come Over" – Aaliyah
- "Crazy in Love" – Beyoncé Knowles
- "Cry Me A River" – Justin Timberlake
- "Did My Time" – KoЯn
- "Don't Look Back into the Sun" – The Libertines
- "Don't Know Why" – Norah Jones (held over from 2002)
- "Don't Steal Our Sun" – The Thrills
- "Don't Wanna Lose This Feeling" – Dannii Minogue
- "Entre Nous" – Chimène Badi
- "Everyway That I Can" – Sertab Erener
- "Faint" – Linkin Park
- "Fan" – Pascal Obispo
- "Feel" – Robbie Williams
- "Feeling This" – Blink-182
- "Feel Good Time" – Pink
- "Fighter" – Christina Aguilera
- "Forever and for Always" – Shania Twain
- "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" – Coldplay
- "Go to Sleep" – Radiohead
- "Growing on Me" – The Darkness
- "Girls & Boys" – Good Charlotte
- "Girl's Not Grey" - AFI
- "Headstrong" – Trapt
- "The Hell Song" - Sum 41
- "Hold On"- Good Charlotte
- "Hey Oh" – Tragédie
- "Hey Ya!" – OutKast
- "Hurt" – Johnny Cash
- "I Begin to Wonder" – Dannii Minogue
- "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" – The Darkness
- "I'm with You" – Avril Lavigne
- "In Da Club" – 50 Cent
- "Innocent Eyes" – Delta Goodrem
- "Into the West" – Annie Lennox
- "Intuition" – Jewel
- "Invisible" – Clay Aiken
- "It's My Life" – No Doubt
- "It's Showtime!!" – B'z
- "Je voulais te dire que je t'attends" – Jonatan Cerrada
- "Just Because" – Jane's Addiction
- "Just the Way I'm Feeling" – Feeder
- "L'Orange" – Star Academy 3
- "Laisse parler les gens" – Jocelyne Labylle and Cheela featuring Jacob Desvarieux and Passi
- "Laura" – Scissor Sisters
- "Le Frunkp" – Alphonse Brown
- "Like a Stone" – Audioslave
- "Lonely Day" – Phantom Planet
- "Losing Grip" – Avril Lavigne
- "Lost Without You" – Delta Goodrem
- "Love at First Sight" – Kylie Minogue
- "Mad World" – Gary Jules and Michael Andrews
- "Ma Liberté de penser" – Florent Pagny
- "Mandy" – Westlife (UK)
- "Maybe Tomorrow" – Stereophonics
- "Me Against the Music" – Britney Spears featuring Madonna
- "Me Myself and I" – Beyoncé
- "Ménage à Trois" – Alcazar
- "Miss Independent" – Kelly Clarkson
- "Milkshake" – Kelis
- "Minerva" – Deftones
- "Molly's Chambers" – Kings of Leon
- "Move Your Feet" - Junior Senior
- "Mueve el Ombligo" – Christell
- "My Love Is Like...Wo" – Mýa
- "Never Leave You" – Lumidee
- "No Good Advice" – Girls Aloud
- "Not Gonna Get Us" – t.A.T.u.
- "Not a Sinner Nor a Saint" – Alcazar
- "Not Me, Not I" – Delta Goodrem
- "Novocaine" – Alice Cooper
- "Numb" – Linkin Park
- "One Horse Town" – The Thrills
- "One More Chance" – Michael Jackson
- "Ourselves" – Ayumi Hamasaki
- "Out of Time" – Blur
- "Papi chulo... (te traigo el mmmm...)" – Lorna
- "Paris-Latino" – Star Academy France
- "Perfect" – Simple Plan
- "P.I.M.P." – 50 Cent
- "Price to Play - Staind
- "Pump It Up" – Joe Budden
- "Right Thurr" – Chingy
- "Remember" – Disturbed
- "Rock wit U (Awww Baby)" – Ashanti
- "Rock Your Body" – Justin Timberlake
- "Rollover DJ" – Jet
- "Santa's List" – Cliff Richard
- "Save Yourself/Genie in a Bottle" – Speedway
- "Say You Will" – Fleetwood Mac
- "Seven Nation Army" – The White Stripes
- "Silver and Cold" - AFI
- "Sing for the Moment" – Eminem
- "Shake Ya Tailfeather" – Nelly, P. Diddy & Murphy Lee
- "So Far Away" - Staind
- "So Yesterday" – Hilary Duff
- "Someday" – Nickelback
- "Somewhere I Belong" – Linkin Park
- "Songbird" – Oasis
- "Spitting Games" – Snow Patrol
- "St. Anger" – Metallica
- "Stacy's Mom" – Fountains of Wayne
- "Stupid Girl" – Cold
- "Summer Jam" – The Underdog Project and Sunclub
- "Sur un air latino" – Lorie
- "Swing, Swing" – All American Rejects
- "The Anthem" – Good Charlotte
- "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)" – Jason Mraz
- "The Voice Within" – Christina Aguilera
- "The Way You Move" – OutKast & Sleepy Brown
- "There There" – Radiohead
- "Times Like These" – Foo Fighters
- "Trouble" – Pink
- "Universally Speaking" – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- "Until the Day I Die" - Story of the Year
- "Unwell" – Matchbox Twenty
- "Way Away" - Yellowcard
- "We Used To Be Friends" – The Dandy Warhols
- "What Do You Want From Me?" – Alice Cooper
- "Where Is the Love?" – The Black Eyed Peas
- "White Flag" – Dido
- "Will You" – P.O.D.
- "The Wreckoning" – Boomkat
- "Why Can't I?" – Liz Phair
- "Why Not" – Hilary Duff
- "You Said No" – Busted
- Leonardo Balada – Ebony Fantasies (Cantata for Choir and Orchestra)
- A Journey Beyond Time for soprano, percussion quartet and piano.
- Otherworldly Resonances for two pianos
- River of Life for soprano, percussion quartet and piano
- Mario Davidovsky – Duo Capriccioso for piano and violin
- Peter Maxwell Davies
- Andrew Glover- The Death of Angels: A Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
- Haflidi Hallgrímsson – Cello Concerto
- György Ligeti – Hamburg Concerto for solo Horn and Chamber Orchestra with 4 obligato Natural Horns (1998–99, 2003)
- Frederik Magle – Phoenix for mixed choir and organ or piano four-hands
- Alexander Raskatov – The Last Freedom
- Karlheinz Stockhausen –
- Deborah Drattell – Nicholas and Alexandra
- Osvaldo Golijov – Ainadamar
- Michael Nyman – Man and Boy: Dada
- Krzysztof Penderecki – Ubu Rex
- Rachel Portman – The Little Prince
- Karlheinz Stockhausen – Sonntag aus Licht (and with it, the entire Licht cycle of seven operas)
- Avenue Q Broadway production
- The Boy from Oz Broadway production
- Caroline or Change Off-Broadway Production. Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner and score by Jeanine Tesori.
- Fame on 42nd Street opened at the Little Shubert Theatre on November 11 and ran for 264 performances
- The Full Monty Melbourne production
- Jerry Springer - The Opera London production
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat London revival
- Never Gonna Dance Broadway production opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on December 4 and ran for 84 performances
- Showtune, a Jerry Herman musical revue, off-Broadway production
- Taboo Broadway production opened November 13 and ran for 103 performances.
- Thoroughly Modern Millie London production
- Tonight's The Night London production
- George Gershwin Theatre on October 30.
- The Adventure of Iron Pussy
- Brother Bear (animated feature)
- The Cheetah Girls (Disney Channel Original Movie - the first musical film by Disney Channel, bringing in over 84 million viewers)
- End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones
- From Justin to Kelly
- Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
- The Jungle Book 2 (animated feature)
- Love Under the Sun
- A Mighty Wind
- Pas sur la bouche
- Pop Carn
- School of Rock
- The Singing Detective
- Tupac: Resurrection
- Vivir Intentando
- October 28 - Beatrice Millie McCartney, daughter of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. The McCartneys fooled the press into publishing misleading details about the birth.
- Unknown - Keshav, tabla prodigy
- January 1 – Giorgio Gaber (63), actor, singer-songwriter
- January 5 – Daphne Oram (77), composer and electronic musician
- January 8 – Ron Goodwin (77), composer and conductor
- January 11 – Mickey Finn (55), bongo player and T.Rex sideman (liver failure)
- January 12 – Maurice Gibb (53), Bee Gees singer and bassist (cardiac arrest)
- January 15 – Doris Fisher (87), singer-songwriter
- January 23 – Nell Carter (54), singer and actress (heart disease)
- February 1 – Mongo Santamaría (80), Latin jazz percussionist
- February 2
- February 19 – Johnny Paycheck (65), country singer
- February 20 – Ty Longley (31), guitarist of Great White (fire accident)
- February 23 – Howie Epstein (47), bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- February 26 - Othar Turner (95), fife player
- March 3
- March 8 – Adam Faith (62), singer, actor (heart attack)
- April 1 – Leslie Cheung (46), actor, musician (suicide)
- April 2 – Edwin Starr (61), soul singer (heart attack)
- April 6 – Babatunde Olatunji (75), drummer (diabetes)
- April 13 – Alex Baroni (35), singer (motorbike accident)
- April 15 – Little Eva (59), singer (cervical cancer)
- April 17 – Earl King (69), blues musician
- April 19 – Conrad Leonard (104), composer and pianist
- April 20 - Teddy Edwards (78), jazz saxophonist
- April 21 – Nina Simone (70), singer and pianist
- April 22 – Felice Bryant (77), Hall of Fame songwriter
- May 11 – Noel Redding (57), bassist of The Jimi Hendrix Experience
- May 15 – June Carter Cash (73), musician and singer
- May 19 - Ivo Žídek (76), operatic tenor
- May 25 - Jeremy Michael Ward (27), sound technician and guitarist
- May 27 – Luciano Berio (77), composer
- May 30 – Mickie Most (64), record producer (mesothelioma)
- June 6 – Dave Rowberry (63) (The Animals)
- June 17 - Marcella Pobbé (81), operatic soprano
- July 1 – Herbie Mann (73), jazz flautist (prostate cancer)
- July 3 - Skip Scarborough (58), songwriter
- July 4
- July 5 – Bebu Silvetti (59), pianist, composer, arranger and record producer; respiratory failure
- July 6
- July 7 – Izhak Graziani (79), conductor
- July 12 – Benny Carter (95), jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger and bandleader (bronchitis)
- July 13 - Compay Segundo (95), Cuban guitarist, singer and composer
- July 16 – Celia Cruz (77), salsa singer (brain tumor)
- July 17 – Rosalyn Tureck (88), pianist
- July 25 – Erik Braunn, Iron Butterfly
- July 26 – Richard Wayne Dirksen (81), organist and choirmaster
- July 27 – Bob Hope (100), actor, comedian and singer
- July 30 – Sam Philips (80), producer and founder of Sun Records
- August 2 – Don Estelle (70), actor and singer
- August 5 – Tite Curet Alonso (77), songwriter; heart attack
- August 8 – Julius Baker (87), flautist
- August 9 – Gregory Hines (58), actor, singer and dancer
- August 10 – Carmita Jiménez, singer
- August 13 – Ed Townsend (74), singer-songwriter
- August 15 - Robert Moulson (70), operatic tenor
- August 18 - Tony Jackson (55), bass player and singer (The Searchers
- August 21 – Wesley Willis (40), novelty musician
- August 23 – Imperio Argentina (96), singer and actress
- September 4
- September 5 – Gisele MacKenzie (76), singer
- September 7 – Warren Zevon (56), rock and roll singer; mesothelioma
- September 12 – Johnny Cash (71), country and rock 'n roll singer
- September 14 – John Serry, Sr. (88) concert accordionist, organist, composer, arranger
- September 19 – Slim Dusty (76), country singer
- September 25 - Matthew Jay (24), English singer-songwriter
- September 26 – Robert Palmer (54), singer (heart attack)
- September 27 – Donald O'Connor (78), actor, singer and dancer (congestive heart failure)
- September 30 - Ronnie Dawson (64), rockabilly singer and guitarist
- October 5 – Denis Quilley (75), actor and singer (liver cancer)
- October 10 – Eugene Istomin (77), pianist (liver cancer)
- October 21 – Elliott Smith (34), singer-songwriter
- October 22 - Gabriella Gatti (95), operatic soprano
- October 23 – Tony Capstick (59), comedian, actor and musician
- October 24 – Rosie Nix Adams, singer-songwriter
- October 29 – Franco Corelli (82), operatic tenor
- October 30 - Franco Bonisolli (65), operatic tenor
- November 5 – Bobby Hatfield (63), singer (The Righteous Brothers)
- November 9 - Buddy Arnold (77), jazz saxophonist
- November 12 – Tony Thompson (48), drummer of Chic (kidney cancer)
- November 14 – Gene Anthony Ray (41), actor and dancer (complications of a stroke)
- November 15 – Dorothy Loudon (70), actress and singer
- November 17
- November 18 – Michael Kamen (55), composer, conductor and musician (heart attack)
- November 19 - Greg Ridley (56), English bassist (Humble Pie)
- November 26 – Soulja Slim (26), rapper (homicide)
- November 28 – Thekra, Tunisian singer (murdered by her husband)
- December 8 – Rubén González (84), pianist
- December 16 – Gary Stewart (58), country singer (suicide)
- December 22 – Dave Dudley (75), country singer (heart attack)
- December 27 – Vestal Goodman (74), gospel singer (influenza complications)
- December 30 – Anita Mui (40), Hong Kong pop singer
- December 31 - Sieglinde Wagner (82), operatic contralto
ARIA Music Awards
Country Music Association Awards
Eurovision Song Contest
Mercury Music Prize
Triple J Hottest 100
- Richard Morrison, "PLG Young Artists", The Times (Wednesday January 8, 2003): 15.
- John L Walters, "Philip on Film Live: Barbican, London", The Guardian (Thursday January 9, 2003); Geoff Brown,"Glass Shorts", The Times (January 9, 2003): 23.
- Irene Zoech, "Orchestra Falls Quiet over First Female", The Times (January 10, 2003): 15.
- Anon., "Sony Names Music Chief", The Times (January 11, 2003): 52.
- Laura M. Holson and Lynette Holloway, "Top Music Executive Is Leaving Sony: After Tumultuous Year, He Plans to Start His Own Label", The New York Times (January 10, 2003).
- Priceless' Beatles tapes discovered"'".
- Wiederhorn, Jon; Vineyard, Jennifer (January 13, 2003). "Pete Townshend Arrested In Child Porn Investigation".
- Anon., "Air Warriors Hit High Note with Concert", The Times of India (Tuesday January 21, 2003): 2.
- Ivan Hewett, "Momentum: The Music of Mark-Anthony Turnage: Barbican, London EC2, Jan 18-19", The Times (January 18, 2003): 10; Richard Morrison, "Blood on the Floor", The Times (January 20, 2003): 17.
- Andrew Pierce, "Conductor's Illness Robs London of the Voice of St Cecilia", The Times (January 22, 2003): 6.
- "Specs a maniac". The Sun (London).
- Grossberg, Josh (February 24, 2003). "Great White Guitarist Declared Dead".
- Pareles, Jon (May 21, 2006). "The Dixie Chicks: America Catches Up With Them".
- Chen, Brian X. (April 28, 2010). "This Day In Tech".
- Wilson, Jamie (May 8, 2003). "Pete Townshend put on sex offenders register".
- "Blabbermouth.Net - Drummer Henry Ranta Quits Soilwork!". Legacy.roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Alessandra Pieracci, "Da Abbado alla Nannini a musica va in analisi", La Stampa, no. 277 (October 9, 2003): 33.
- Borland, John (October 29, 2003). "Legal Napster up and running".
- "No false pride, no fashion, no fake set of values". The Haunted. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "CBS pulls Michael Jackson special after issue of warrant".
- Osbourne 'stable' after accident, BBC News, December 9, 2003.
- Stones frontman becomes Sir Mick, BBC News, December 12, 2003.