MTV Turns 20 Years Old 
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Wednesday, 01 August 2001

With an appropriately named first video from the Buggles called "Video Killed the Radio Star" and the visionary leadership of a then former radio program director and now AOL-Time Warner co-COO, Bob Pittman, MTV was more than a draw for teenagers to cable television, it defined how an entire generation is introduced to popular music.

By adding visuals to popular music, MTV upped the ante for what it takes to become a MEGA-star in American and around the world. With records like the 49 times platinum selling Thriller from Michael Jackson and the rise of talent like Madonna, Duran Duran and countless others, MTV quickly surpassed FM radio as the way the youth, soon to be titled Gen X, would find new music.

In later years MTV developed original non-music related content ranging from an early take on "reality TV" in 1992 with The Real World and a less real (or possibly more real) take on the world of teenage issues with the animated Beavis and Butthead. Music took a backseat to the more network like programming which received mixed reviews from MTV's most loyal fans. In response MTV launched VH1, targeted at slightly older audiences and ultimately MTV2, which is completely music oriented.

In 20 years MTV has touched every music enthusiast's life in one way or another. It has changed the way we experience music while at the same time redefining the standards for stardom. Still to this day MTV's Buzzworthy videos give fans access to music that FM radio is too fearful to play with their conservative baker-like attitudes towards new music. In the end, the music world is definitely better of after 20 years of MTV.

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