MTV first planted the flag in popular culture with its debut on August 1, 1981. That’s right, those of us who grew up watching MTV for hours, waiting for our favorite videos to come out. , The MTV generation is now middle-aged. Here’s a look back at some of the internet’s (and our) childhood moments.
Turns out the video didn’t actually kill the radio star, but a song with that title by The Buggles was the first video ever played on MTV. Super smart.
They went from relative unknowns to faces we all recognize. Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Marha Quinn and JJ Jackson are the Fab Five that we hastily turned on the TV to watch.
The King of Pop Michael Jackson gave us one of the most cinematic music videos ever with 1983’s “Thriller.” It also helped break down the racial barrier for MTV, which was stumbling. criticized for the lack of diversity among the artists that were broadcast in the early days.
Nothing says classic MTV like a good ’80s rock video with frizzy hair and loud guitar solos. Few do it better than Van Halen – and the late Eddie Van Halen with guitar was a spell. Frontman David Lee Roth hung out with MTV’s VJ Mark Goodman here in 1983.
The sweet video of British pop duo Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics dream is captivating.
It’s hard to believe Madonna wasn’t still a superstar when she appeared at her first VMAs in 1984. Her “Like A Virgin” performance, complete with a white dress and some rolling on stage, caught the world’s attention, and Madonna has hosted it ever since.
Dig if you want a picture. With his guitar playing, provocative lyrics, and magnetic stage presence, Prince quickly became one of the music scene’s debut stars, as well as an MTV favorite.
An iconic rock woman like no other, Grace Jones broke every mold created with her creativity and daring talent. Her artistic videos can’t be denied, such as her 1985 “Slave to the Rhythm” video.
During MTV’s heyday, Downtown Julie Brown was ubiquitous online. But her best—and funnest—was hosting the hit music show Club MTV, which ran from 1987 to 1992.
“Yo! MTV Raps” hit MTV in 1988. It was the network’s first show dedicated entirely to rap and hip-hop, where Fab 5 Freddy, Ed Lover and Doctor Dré all served as hosts. program. Public Enemy appeared on the show here in 1991.
The Peabody Award-winning Choose or Lose campaign was launched in 1992. MTV encouraged eligible viewers to vote, successfully engaging young voters to vote and educating the public about Bill Clinton’s preference for shorts or briefs.
“This is the true story, about seven strangers, chosen to live in a house, work together and document their lives. Find out what happens, when people stop being polite. and start to come true.” With those words and the first season of MTV’s “The Real World” in 1992, reality television as we know it began. (Norman Korpi, Andre Comeau, Julie Oliver, Rebecca Blasband, Heather B., Eric Nies and Kevin Powell.)
Kurt Cobain and his fuzzy cardigan forever. Nirvana’s performance on “Unplugged” was recorded in 1993 – just five months before Cobain’s death. It was one of his last televised performances and it was beautiful.
In the wake of Covid’s super-spreading fears, MTV has been known for its annual spring break coverage. You’ll get performances by top artists and crowds of spring breakers doing what they do best, partying on the beaches of Cancun, Panama City and South Padre Island.
“Total Request Live” premiered in 1998, hosted by Carson Daly. The show was filmed live in Times Square, featuring the most requested music videos of the day, live performances and lots of screaming teenagers.
Remember when Britney Spears, Madonna and Christina Aguilera opened the 2003 VMAs with a kiss? Yes, of course you do.
Whitney Port, Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag and Audrina Patridge brought MTV’s “The Hills” to life with a plethora of TV series and cuts from the 2006-2010 scene.
That awkward moment when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs sparked a years-long social media feud and some notable lyrics.
Lady Gaga wore a dress made entirely of raw meat to the VMAs in 2010 to protest the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy about sex at the time. It was repealed the following year.
From 2009-2012, the cast of “The Jersey Shore” brought us bar duels, hair gels and life mottos for all ages: Gym, sunbathing, laundry.
Let Beyoncé make the final announcement about the pregnancy. Queen Bey took to the 2011 VMA stage, put on a stunning performance of “Love On Top,” then unbuttoned her purple sequined jacket to reveal a very sweet baby bump.
Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus’ 2013 VMA performance has been described as problematic, but it’s probably best remembered for its bear-dressed dancers and lots of messy moves.
The one-of-a-kind Missy Elliott received the Vanguard Video Award at the 2019 VMAs and showed some love for her “Moonman.” The trophy’s title was changed to “Moon Man” regardless of gender in 2017.
Show me MTV in 2020 needless to say… Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga showed off still-style masks at their VMA show last year.