On Aug. 1, 1981, MTV made its debut as the music video TV station. Now 31 years later, the channel has branched out, producing a slew of original shows, including hits like “The Real World” and “The Jersey Shore.”
The first video to air on the network was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. The song was big overseas, but had yet to become popular in America. After it aired on MTV, the song quickly became a U.S. hit.
As we prepare for the next round of Video Music Awards on the network on Sept. 9, let's remember a time before the channel discovered reality shows and TRL.