The fire that swept across the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood on Sunday, June 1, 2008 destroyed over 100,000 masters and an estimated 500K song titles, including works by such historical figures as Billie Holiday, Chuck Berry and even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
According to the New York Times, the list of original recordings destroyed and lost in the fire at a vault facility on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood, where UMG stored original masters and other recordings dated from the 1940s up to the 2000s.
The list of artists original works effected is extensive and includes many country artists like Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, John Anderson, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Loretta Lynn, Opry legend Bill Anderson, The Carter Family, Toby Keith, Tanya Tucker, Sheryl Crow and hundreds more.
Crow tweeted upon hearing the news, “Oh my Lord…this makes me sick to my stomach. Why???? …and shame on those involved in the coverup. Massive fire at UMG 11 years ago, and we’re just hearing about this now??”