Four-decades-plus of MTV: from hair metal to reality shows

Originally called Music Television, the vision of the channel was to target younger audiences with music videos.

Its music video programming has progressively died out throughout the years, favoring reality shows, comedies and dramas.

First video - 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by The Buggles was the first music video to be aired on MTV.

Most-played video of all time - 'Sledgehammer' by Peter Gabriel is the most-played video on MTV ever.

Michael Jackson - Jackson initially struggled to get played on MTV, but 'Billy Jean' eventually received airtime and it was a hit. 

Pop -
MTV was a huge platform for the success of '80s pop acts such as Michael Jackson and Madonna. Elaborate video productions now were on heavy rotation on the channel.

Video Music Awards - The VMAs have been a huge success since the first edition in 1984. It's marked by a number of controversial moments, and is the channel's most-watched event.

Video Music Awards - Based on the original MTV opening sequence, the 'Moon Person' (previously known as a 'Moonman') is the award trophy of the VMAs.

MTV Movie & TV Awards - While the VMAs are huge, this awards show has also earned a place in the industry. 

'Spring Break' - In 1986, MTV started to broadcast its live event for a week, eight hours per day.

Eminem - MTV was crucial in catapulting hip hop to the mainstream in the turn of the century. Rappers such as Eminem became huge at the time.

'TRL' - One of MTV's most iconic shows, 'Total Request Live' started in 1998 and ran until 2008. It was eventually brought back to life in 2017 and continues to this day.

'The Osbournes' - In the mid-90s, MTV started introducing reality shows. In 2002, rock legend Ozzy Osbourne and his family had a camera crew following them 24/7. The show was a hit.

'Jersey Shore' - MTV continued to abandon the music video programming with the introduction of more shows, including the successful 'Jersey Shore.'

Prince tribute -
The day Prince passed away, MTV interrupted its normal programming to air the artist's music videos.

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