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MTV is now officially in its 30s! 7 must-watch vids that tell its story

MTV turned 31 today. Here’s our look back at some of its more interesting moments.

Image: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson via PA

THERE’S ONLY ONE thing worse than being 30, and that’s being in your 30s.

As it turns 31 today, MTV knows what it feels like.

While TheJournal.ie could bring you 31 of its best moments in an ode to all things Music Television-ey, it would take too long and your employer would probably give out to us.

So here are seven of its most memorable moments and facts instead.

In the beginning…

MTV began broadcasting at 12:01am on August 1, 1981, with this unusually elongated promo. Immediately afterwards came the first video: Buggles, with their song Video Killed the Radio Star.


You’re banned!

Perhaps the strangest video that MTV banned over the years was Super Freak by the late Rick James in 1981, on the grounds that it didn’t suit MTV’s then rock format.

If they’d banned it because of crimes against fashion instead, they may just have had a case.

(Rick James/YouTube)

Incidents and accidents

In ’92 Nirvana played the MTV Awards. In one of their more eventful five minutes, the Seattle grunge band started playing their song Rape Me to the producers’ horror before playing their planned number, Lithium.

The song concluded with bass player Krist Novoselic nearly knocking himself unconscious with his bass guitar before the band made known their dislike of Guns and Roses and in particular, their lead singer Axl Rose.


The kiss

In 1994 Michael Jackson wanted us to know that he was just a regular guy. He tried to prove this, as you do, by kissing Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley on TV in front of millions of viewers.


Vanilla Ice loses his cool

Fast forward (or maybe rewind) to 1999 when Vanilla Ice (remember him) decides to ‘retire’ his video from the MTV vaults.


Madonna shocks

Long before Katy Perry kissed a girl and, by all accounts, liked it, Madonna was doing her best to shock the world.

Getting Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to sing Like A Virgin in her honour before kissing them should do it, she thought. And it did. Here’s the performance from 2003.


Kanye talks his way into trouble

Imma let you finish, but first you need to watch how Kanye West fell out with most of the world by interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the Video Music Awards in 2009.


What are some of your favourite MTV moments from the last 31 years?

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About the author:

Paul Hyland

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