Larry Martino

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Do you remember watching the MTV Video Music Awards the first year they were presented in 1984?

This year’s MTV Video Music Awards will be presented on Sunday August 28th. Now, we have all realized that MTV no longer specializes in broadcasting music videos. They focus on airing reality shows which appeal to  young adults and teens. But in 1984, the first year the awards were presented, the short form music video was a very exciting development in the music industry and very few rock or pop artists could release a single without a promotional video to back it up, thanks to the launch of the MTV cable channel in 1981.

So, with this year’s awards show coming up later this month, I thought it would be cool to take a look back at the MTV Video Music Awards “Video Of The Year” competitions from the first few years.

There was lots of great music released in 1984-1985 (the year for which the 1985 awards were presented), including songs from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s best-selling album Born In The U.S.A., you had the Purple Rain Soundtrack from Prince & The Revolution, Van Halen’s monster-seller 1984, Madonna’s breakthrough album Like A Virgin, and we were all introduced to George Michael & Wham! But, none of these recording acts even received a nomination for the year’s top prize.

That year’s nominees included two solo songs from the former lead singer of Van Halen, David Lee Roth. He was nominated for “California Girls,” a cover of the Beach Boys 1960’s hit, and for the medley “Just A Gigolo/Ain’t Got Nobody.” Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, David Lee Roth, U2, and Lady Gaga are the only recording artists to receive two nominations for the Video of the Year award at the same ceremony. The other nominees for 1985 included “Don’t Come Around Here No More” from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and the song and video I thought would take the top honors, “We Are The World” by U.S.A. For Africa.

But no! It was former Eagles co-lead vocalist, co-founder, and drummer, Don Henley who would win the Video of the Year award for the song “The Boys Of Summer.” The music video was directed by French fashion photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino, and it was shot in black and white.



Check back soon for another look at the MTV Video Music Awards during the decade that channel actually aired music videos.


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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.


33 Rock/Pop Music Videos with Over 1 Billion Views on YouTube

Since MTV doesn’t really show music videos anymore, YouTube is the place for those who want to watch music videos to their heart’s content.

Some music videos — both classic and recently released — have caught on more than others and have racked up 1 billion views and more.

For your viewing pleasure, here are 33 rock/pop music videos with at least 1 billion views on YouTube.

(Note: View numbers listed are as of January 30, 2023.)

  • Scorpions - 'Wind of Change' (1 billion views)

  • Bon Jovi - 'Livin' On A Prayer' (1 billion views)

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'Californication' (1.01 billion views)

  • Audioslave - 'Like a Stone' (1.04 billion views)

  • Evanescence - 'Bring Me To Life' (1.13 billion views)

  • Cyndi Lauper - 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' (1.14 billion views)

  • Metallica - 'Nothing Else Matters' (1.20 billion views)

  • Whitney Houston - 'I Will Always Love You' (1.35 billion views)

  • AC/DC - 'Thunderstruck' (1.22 billion views)

  • Rick Astley - 'Never Gonna Give You Up' (1.34 billion views)

  • Bon Jovi - 'It's My Life' (1.21 billion views)

  • The Cranberries - 'Zombie' (1.31 billion views)

  • a-ha - 'Take On Me' (1.60 billion views)

  • Guns N' Roses - 'November Rain' (2 billion views)

  • Nirvana - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' (1.60 billion views)

  • Queen - 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (1.57 billion views)

  • Linkin Park - 'In The End' (1.48 billion views)

  • Coldplay - 'Paradise' (1.66 billion views)

  • Imagine Dragons - 'Radioactive' (1.42 billion views)

  • 4 Non Blondes - 'What's Up' (1.46 billion views)

  • twenty one pilots - 'Heathens' (1.98 billion views)

  • Guns N' Roses - 'Sweet Child O' Mine' (1.47 billion views)

  • Linkin Park - 'Numb' (1.92 billion views)

  • Imagine Dragons - 'Believer' (2.36 billion views)

  • Coldplay - 'Hymn For the Weekend' (1.82 billion views)

  • Imagine Dragons - 'Thunder' (1.93 billion views)

  • Europe - 'The Final Countdown' (1.08 billion views)

  • Coldplay - 'The Scientist' (1.08 billion views)

  • Michael Jackson - 'Billie Jean' (1.29 billion views)

  • System of a Down - 'Chop Suey!' (1.23 billion views)

  • twenty one pilots - 'Ride' (1.35 billion views)

  • Coldplay - 'Adventure of a Lifetime' (1.39 billion views)

  • twenty one pilots - 'Stressed Out' (2.62 billion views)