1991 in heavy metal music

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List of years in heavy metal music (table)

This is a timeline documenting the events of heavy metal in the year 1991.

Newly formed bands




  • Poison fires guitarist CC DeVille. Conflict between Michaels and DeVille culminated in a fistfight backstage at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, provoked by DeVille's inept live performance. After bringing "Unskinny Bop" to a grinding halt, DeVille launched into "Talk Dirty To Me", forcing the band to switch songs in mid-performance. Deville was fired and replaced by Pennsylvanian guitarist Richie Kotzen.
  • Queen releases Innuendo.
  • November 24: Queen's Freddie Mercury dies of AIDS induced bronchial pneumonia.
  • Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark dies on January 8 due to compression of the brain stem from excessive alcohol mixed with anti-depressants and painkillers (as a result of a rib injury).
  • Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" goes to number one in the UK for the second time, the only song to ever go to number one more than once in the same version. It has now spent 14 weeks at number one.
  • Extreme's hit single "More Than Words" reaches number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart. This brought the band to their first mainstream success in North America.
  • KISS Drummer - Eric Carr dies at age 41 on November 24 (The same day as Freddie Mercury). As a tribute, the group's 1992 release Revenge featured what is said to be the only drum solo Carr ever recorded with the band, which was titled "Carr Jam 1981".
  • Skid Row's second album Slave to the Grind becomes the only 90s classic heavy metal album to debut at No.1 in the Billboard music charts in the 90s.
  • Metallica's self-titled Black Album becomes the first album by a thrash metal band to hit No.1 in the Billboard music charts.
  • Guns N' Roses set a record when their albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II debut at the top two positions of the Billboard 200, the only time a rock band has ever achieved this
  • Mayhem's vocalist, Per Yngve Ohlin aka Dead, kills himself by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun and slitting his wrists with a hunting knife. He left a note reading "excuse all the blood". Photographs of his corpse taken by bandmate, Euronymous, were later used as cover art for the bootleg album Dawn of the Black Hearts.
  • Europe release the 5th album titled Prisoners in Paradise. It's Europe's last studio album before they decide to take a long break.
  • "Monsters in Moscow" takes place at Moscow's Tushino Airfield featuring AC/DC, The Black Crowes, EST, Metallica and Pantera.
Preceded by
Heavy Metal Timeline
Succeeded by
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