During the early days of the channel, MTV would occasionally let other stars take over the channel within an hour as "guest VJs".
The film Flashdance was the first film in which its promoters excerpted musical segments from it and supplied them to MTV as music videos, which the channel then aired in regular rotation. Videos' budgets increased, and artists began to add fully choreographed dance sections. Michael Jackson 's music became synonymous with dance.
In addition to learning the lyrics, fans also learned his choreography so they could dance along. Madonna capitalized on dance in her videos, using classically trained jazz and break-dancers. MTV brought more than music into public view, it added to the ever-growing resurgence of dance in the early s that has carried through to today.
In , more record companies and artists began making video clips for their music than in the past, realizing the popularity of MTV and the growing medium. In keeping with the influx of videos, MTV announced changes to its playlists in the November 3, , issue of Billboard magazine, that would take effect the following week.
The playlist categories would be expanded to seven, from three light, medium, heavy ; including New, Light, Breakout, Medium, Active, Heavy and Power. In this light, MTV pushed teens to pay more attention to safe-sex because they were most likely more willing to hear this message from MTV than their parents. This showed that MTV was not always influencing youth negatively.
The very first people of color to perform on MTV was the British band The Specials , which featured an integrated line-up of white and black musicians and vocalists. The Specials' video "Rat Race" was played as the 58th video on the station's first day of broadcasting. The exclusion enraged James; he publicly advocated the addition of more black artists' videos on the channel. Baker, who was black, had questioned why the definition of music had to be so narrow, as had a few others outside the network.
We didn't have to be on the cutting edge of racism. As a black woman, I did not want that representing my people as the first black video on MTV. It was difficult for MTV to find African American artists whose music fit the channel's format that leaned toward rock at the outset.
Record companies weren't funding them. They never got charged with racism. Prince's " Little Red Corvette " joined both videos in heavy rotation at the end of April. Eventually, videos from the emerging genre of rap and hip hop would also begin to enter rotation on MTV. Video Music Awards —present [ edit ] Main article: The first award show, in , was punctuated by a live performance by Madonna of " Like A Virgin ".
The statuettes that are handed out at the Video Music Awards are of the MTV moonman, the channel's original image from its first broadcast in It makes good sense for us to come down and go live from the center of it, because obviously the people there are the kinds of people who watch MTV. The annual tradition would continue into the s, when it would become de-emphasized and handed off to mtvU , the spin-off channel of MTV targeted at college campuses.
The channel would later expand its beach-themed events to the summer, dedicating most of each summer season to broadcasting live from a beach house at various locations away from New York City, eventually leading to channel-wide branding throughout the summer in the s and early s such as Motel California, Summer Share, Isle of MTV, SoCal Summer, Summer in the Keys, and Shore Thing.
MTV VJs would host blocks of music videos, interview artists and bands, and introduce live performances and other programs from the beach house location each summer. MTV would also hold week-long music events that would take over the presentation of the channel.
Examples from the s and s include All Access Week, a week in the summer dedicated to live concerts and festivals; Spankin' New Music Week, a week in the fall dedicated to brand new music videos; and week-long specials that culminated in a particular live event, such as Wanna be a VJ and the Video Music Awards.
Several live music performances are featured alongside interviews with artists and bands that were influential throughout the year. For many years from the s to the s, the channel upheld a tradition of having a band perform a cover song at midnight immediately following the beginning of the new year. MTV drew heavy criticism for its coverage of Live 8. The network cut to commercials, VJ commentary, or other performances during performances.
The phone number remained in use for video requests until Also in , the channel introduced Minutes , a show that would feature low-rotation, alternative rock and other "underground" videos for the next 14 years on MTV and three additional years on sister channel MTV2. The program then became known as Subterranean on MTV2. Eight years later, on July 31, , Minutes was resurrected with Matt Pinfield taking over hosting duties once again and airing monthly on MTV2.
Another late night music video show was added in , Headbangers Ball , which featured heavy metal music and news. Before its abrupt cancellation in , it featured several hosts including Riki Rachtman and Adam Curry. A weekly block of music videos with the name Headbangers Ball aired from to on sister channel MTV2, before spending an additional two years as a web-only series on MTV2's website, until Headbangers Ball was discontinued once again in In , MTV debuted Yo!
The program continued until August It was renamed to simply Yo! The concept was reintroduced as Direct Effect in , which became Sucker Free in and was cancelled in , after briefly celebrating the 20th anniversary of Yo! In , MTV began to premiere music-based specials such as MTV Unplugged , an acoustic performance show, which has featured dozens of acts as its guests and has remained active in numerous iterations on various platforms for over 20 years.
The show would be reformatted into the better known MTV Jams the following year, which incorporated mainstream hip-hop into the playlist. Bill Bellamy would become the new and ongoing host. Rise of the directors — [ edit ] To accompany the new sounds, a new form of music videos came about: Several noted film directors got their start creating music videos.
After pressure from the Music Video Production Association, MTV began listing the names of the videos' directors at the bottom of the credits by December As the PBS series Frontline  explored, MTV was a driving force that catapulted music videos to a mainstream audience, turning music videos into an art form as well as a marketing machine that became beneficial to artists.
He wrote the scripts for them, he was in the editing room, and they were part of his art. And I think they stand up as part of his art, and I think that's true of the great artists today. Not every artist is a great artist and not every video is a good video, but in general having it available as a tool, to me, adds to the business.
I think they would've added to their creative contribution, not subtracted from it. MTV increased rotation of its weekly alternative music program Minutes and added the daily Alternative Nation to play videos of these and other underground music acts. Subsequently, grunge and alternative rock had a rise in mainstream tastes, while s-style glam bands and traditional rockers were phased out, with some exceptions such as Aerosmith and Tom Petty. Older acts such as R.
Pop singers were added to the rotation with success as long as they were considered "alternative," such as Alanis Morissette , Jewel , Fiona Apple , and Sarah McLachlan. Electronica and pop — [ edit ] However, in late , MTV began shifting more progressively towards pop music, inspired by the success of the Spice Girls and the rise of boy bands in Europe.
Airplay of rock, electronica, and alternative acts was reduced. Return of the Rock — [ edit ] Beginning in late , MTV progressively reduced its airing of rock music videos, leading to the slogan among skeptics, "Rock is dead. All rock-centric shows were eliminated and the rock-related categories of the Video Music Awards were pared down to one.
From this time until , MTV made some periodic efforts to reintroduce pop rock music videos to the channel. By through , the punk-rock band Blink received regular airtime on MTV due in large part to their " All the Small Things " video that made fun of the boy bands that MTV was airing at the time.
Meanwhile, some rock bands that were not receiving MTV support, such as Korn and Creed , continued to sell albums. A band sponsored by Korn, Limp Bizkit , received airtime for its cover of George Michael 's " Faith ", which became a hit. In the fall of , MTV announced a special Return of the Rock weekend,  in which new rock acts received airtime, after which a compilation album was released.
MTV also launched digital cable channel MTVX to play rock music videos exclusively, an experiment that lasted until Total Request Live — [ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.