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It Was 25 Years Ago Today...

8/1/2006 10:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Ladies and Gentleman...Rock and Roll." Those were the first words uttered on August 1, 1981, when MTV changed not only the face of music, but eventually the entire pop culture landscape. At that time, the concept of a 24 hour music only station was laughed at in some circles. But, those original VJs and early producers made it work.

Interestingly, in the early days MTV focused on rock and roll as those first words suggested. Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" - one of the top videos of the 80s - became the first video MTV aired by a black artist. That "breakthrough" came in 1983. From there Michael Jackson ruled the video airwaves with a string of ground-breaking videos that helped spur the art form, including, of course, the mini-movie "Thriller." Madonna also had a mutually beneficial relationship with early MTV. Even U2, not exactly known for their videos, owes a bit of gratitude as MTV's amazing Live Aid coverage in 1985 showcased the Irish rocker's set at Wembley Stadium launching them on their way to super group status. MTV also helped to mainstream rap music. In 1988, Yo! MTV Raps took hip-hop straight into suburban homes -the very market that would ignite hip-hop record sales into the stratosphere.

Today the network has grown to multiple channels with MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic and many more. Obviously, they've grown away from their "all music all the time" format. Many say they paved the way for the reality tv wave with shows like the Real World and Road Rules. Of course, others complain that MTV doesn't play enough music. But, from Spring Break coverage to the Unplugged series to Beavis and Butthead to TRL to House of Style, you've got to admit MTV has put out some entertaining programming. And, there's no question they have left an indelible mark on pop culture around the world.

Happy Birthday MTV, here's to 25 more!

COMMENTS

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1.

amyg    

Remember when MTV was good....and actually played music videos? MTV used to be fun to watch, it will never be as good as it was 25 years ago. I wish the producers would go back to the roots of MTV, if not, they need to change their name.

And, shame on Madonna and Carson Daly:

"Madge" for dissing MTV at their 20th Anniversary party in 2001. She was already commited to a concert that night----how about a satellite feed? She should have been the first performer to want to be there for MTV-----if it wasn't for them, she would never be where she is today, regardless of the number of people she had sex with. And Carson Daly....he clearly thinks he is the end all, be all. He treated the 5 original VJs with absolutely no respect whatsoever. He would not have had a job if it wasn't for their success. They helped make MTV a huge hit. Its amazing how you can quickly forget where you came from.

2913 days ago

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