The Day The Music Died

Jan. 28 2009, Updated 12:57 p.m. ET

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Buddy Holly became famous with the 1957 hit "That'll Be The Day" Starting today, thousands of rock and roll fans from around the world will begin gathering in Clear Lake, Iowa, to honor the memory of the superstars who died 50 years ago, on February 2.

That was the day Buddy Holly, 22, the Big Bopper, 28, and Mr. "La Bamba," Ritchie Valens, 17, died in the crash of a small plane. They were heading to their next gig after finishing a concert in Clear Lake.

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The accident was commemorated in the 1971 song "American Pie" by Don McLean.

The cornfield where the plane went down is marked with a small memorial featuring a cross and a metal guitar. The cause of the crash has been attributed to pilot error due to the dark, snowy conditions of the night flight.

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