The fire that raged eleven years ago in part of the Universal Studios Hollywood in California has caused much more damage than expected. About half a million audio recordings were lost through the fire, including unreleased songs from dozens of famous artists. The New York Times writes that based on its own research. The newspaper speaks of “the biggest disaster in music history”.

The fire raged on 1 June 2008. At the time, Universal reported that only the King Kong attraction had been destroyed, as well as a store containing old copies of videos. Now it appears that music was also lost in the sea of ​​flames.

It concerns master recordings by artists such as Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland and probably also one of the earliest recordings of Aretha Franklin ever. On the list of ‘victims’ are also names such as Ray Charles, BB King, The Four Tops, Neil Diamond, Sonny & Cher, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Aerosmith, The Police, Sting, REM, Janet Jackson, Guns N ‘Roses, Mary J. Blige, No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, 2Pac, Eminem and 50 Cent.

According to The New York Times, Universal at the time was committed to keeping the loss secret in order to prevent loss of face among artists in particular.