In June, as the world knows, we witnessed the tragic death of Michael Jackson, who was known as the king of pop. But he might have also been the king of MTV and music videos. He pioneered music videos as an art form, crafting true short films, not just cheap promotional clips.
He brought the “M” back
The events immediately following Michael Jackson’s death were interesting to me, particularly because of MTV’s reaction to the news. Obviously, the channel is no longer Music Television, but if you watched the few days after Jackson’s death, you would’ve thought MTV never changed.
After the news came in, MTV began playing Michael Jackson videos, non-stop for many hours. These video blocks were followed by several more hours of live specials and news updates featuring Kurt Loder, John Norris, and some other faces not seen on the channel in years.
This temporary return of Music Television culminated the following Tuesday with their coverage of Jackson’s memorial service, anchored by a full slate of former MTV VJs, including Jim Shearer, now of VH1, and even Mark Goodman.
That’s right, Mark Goodman returned to give his unique perspective as one of MTV’s original VJs from the ’80s. MTV also broke out some old clips that hadn’t been seen in over 25 years, including an MTV commercial for the world premiere of the “Thriller” video, and Goodman’s introduction of the premiere itself.
A moment to remember
It was a very sad time, of course, but MTV was simply top-notch; the best it had been in a long, long time. It was probably also the last time we’ll ever see such an impressive gathering of MTV’s former talent, and certainly the last time they’ll all ever be together live on Music Television.
Just goes to show how important Michael Jackson was to MTV. Rest in peace, Michael.