MTV Unplugged

MTV Unplugged is an American television series on MTV showcasing musical artists usually playing acoustic instruments. The show aired regularly from 1989 to 1999. The show aired less frequently from 2000 to 2009, usually billed as MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. Since 2009 MTV Unplugged specials have aired occasionally, sometimes online-only. Episodes and specials have tended to showcase one artist or group, playing a combination of their hit songs and covers.

Many of the artists who appeared on the show in the 1990s released their Unplugged session as an album, and some of these albums were commercial and critical hits. Eric Clapton's Unplugged (1992) sold 26 million copies worldwide and remains the best-selling live album of all time. Other Unplugged albums that went platinum include Mariah Carey's MTV Unplugged (1992), Rod Stewart's Unplugged...and Seated (1993), 10,000 Maniacs' MTV Unplugged (1993), Tony Bennett's MTV Unplugged (1994), Page and Plant's No Quarter (1994), Nirvana's MTV Unplugged in New York (1994), Los Tres's MTV Unplugged (1995 - platinum in their native Chile), Alice in Chains's Unplugged (1996), Shakira's MTV Unplugged (1999 - platinum in the Latin market), La Ley's MTV Unplugged (2001 - platinum USA, triple platinum in Mexico, Chile, Argentina), Ricky Martin's MTV Unplugged (2006 - platinum USA and diamond in Mexico), Lauryn Hill's MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 (2001) and Alicia Keys' Unplugged (2005). Some of these albums produced successful singles as well, including Mariah Carey's #1 hit cover of "I'll Be There".

The Eagles' 1994 live album Hell Freezes Over, which sold 9 million copies, though not part of the Unplugged series, was produced by the Unplugged producers and followed a similar format.

The show received the George Foster Peabody Award and 3 Primetime Emmy nominations, in its original form.

A limited-run reboot of MTV Unplugged came in 2009, featuring six acts, which won the Emmy Award for Best New Approach.

MTV Unplugged
Created byJim Burns[1]
Robert Small[1]
Country of originUnited States
Running time60 minutes
DistributorMTV Networks
Original networkMTV
Original releaseNovember 26, 1989 – present
External links


The term "unplugged" has come to refer to music that would usually be played on electrified instruments (such as an electric guitar or synthesizer) but is rendered instead on instruments that can be played without electricity, for example acoustic guitar or traditional piano, although a microphone is still used.

MTV launched MTV Unplugged in 1989. The show featured musicians performing unplugged versions of their electric repertoire. Many of these performances were subsequently released as albums, often featuring the title Unplugged.

Inspiration and precursors

Beach Boys' Party! (1965) is considered the first "unplugged" type album.[2] The underlying concept behind the Unplugged series has been attributed to the popularity among musicians of a variety of informal musical performances on stage, film, television and record in earlier decades. The casual "in-the-round" sequence in Elvis Presley's 1968 Comeback Special, and The Beatles' informal studio jams documented in the 1970 film Let It Be were both precursors of the "Unplugged" concept, though they were neither conceived nor promoted as such at the time they occurred.

The direct inspiration was a series of highly publicized "unplugged" performances that occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The first of these was the June 1979 appearances by Pete Townshend at The Secret Policeman's Ball, a series of benefit shows in London for human rights organization Amnesty International at which the usually electric guitar-wielding Townshend was persuaded by benefit producer Martin Lewis to perform his hits "Pinball Wizard" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" on acoustic guitar. The performances were widely seen and heard on the 1980 live album and the UK-only movie of the benefit and inspired other rock performers to emulate Townshend.

In September 1981, Lewis produced a sequel benefit show The Secret Policeman's Other Ball that featured similar performances by other rock performers including Sting, Phil Collins and Bob Geldof. The 1982 live album of these performances and the US version of The Secret Policeman's Other Ball movie (which incorporated a "flashback" of Townshend's 1979 performances) both became very successful and were widely seen and heard in the United States.

The phenomenon of rock stars re-creating their hits in an acoustic manner was thus well established by the early 1980s though the word "unplugged" had not yet been applied to the concept. In addition, the late 1980s saw a renewed interest in folk and acoustic music in general (accompanied by a wave of nostalgia for the music of the 1960s, which also had a significant folk/acoustic movement). Many new acts established during the period had a strong folk/acoustic influence, e.g. The Indigo Girls, R.E.M., Sinéad O'Connor, Suzanne Vega, Lyle Lovett, Michael Penn, Enya, and Bruce Hornsby and the Range. At the same time, many established folk and folk-influenced artists of the 60s and 70s experienced renewed success – some reaching the greatest commercial success of their careers – such as Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Bonnie Raitt, Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler, Yes, and Bob Dylan.

The first rock artist to perform in an "unplugged" mode on MTV was Jethro Tull, who, on November 17, 1987 as an acoustic trio (Ian Anderson, Dave Pegg, and Martin Barre), performed a portion of "Serenade to a Cuckoo" and "Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day)".[3] XTC performed acoustically in May 1989, and Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora performed "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Wanted Dead or Alive" during the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.

Launch of Unplugged

The MTV show titled Unplugged, drawing on this phenomenon, was created by producers Robert Small and Jim Burns,[1] Songwriter Jules Shear hosted the first 13 episodes.[4] The pilot and first seven episodes were produced by Bruce Leddy, after which Associate Producer Alex Coletti took over for the remainder of the series. After the first 13 episodes, the role of host was eliminated. The show was produced by Viacom and RSE Inc[5] and was most frequently directed by Milton Lage and Beth McCarthy.

The first episode of MTV Unplugged aired on November 26, 1989.

Selected list of artists

For a full list of performers sorted by date, please see this article


  • The series first aired November 26, 1989,[6] featuring Squeeze, Syd Straw and Elliot Easton. The first 13 episodes were hosted by American singer-songwriter Jules Shear and featured Aerosmith, Elton John, Sinéad O'Connor, Poison, Joe Satriani and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others.
  • Paul McCartney's 1991 appearance was later released on the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album. Show producer Alex Coletti went on to say that had McCartney not released it, the concept would have never gained the cult status that it went on to enjoy.
  • Joe Walsh appeared on the show in 1990 with Dr. John. According to the book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks, Joe Walsh wanted to perform the Eagles classic, "Desperado" but Joel Gallen received a three-page fax from Don Henley denying the use of the song. MTV invited Henley to perform on the show, but Henley wanted to have a show featuring only himself. At that point, MTV was sharing the time between different artists.
  • On April 10, 1991, Unplugged aired its first ever acoustic rap show. The special kicked off with individual performances by LL Cool J along with MC Lyte (Cappucino), De La Soul (Ring Ring Ring), and A Tribe Called Quest ("Can I Kick It?") and a five piece back-up band, Pop's Cool Love. The highlight of the show was LL Cool J's energetic renditions of "Jingling Baby" and "Mama Said Knock You Out".
  • In 1992, Mariah Carey performed a cover version of The Jackson 5's hit "I'll Be There" along with backup singer Trey Lorenz. That live version was released as a single and went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as in Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, and became a hit elsewhere. Due to high demand, the performance was released as an EP, MTV Unplugged, which eventually sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The performance was released in a video form too, achieving success particularly in America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.
  • In 1992, Eric Clapton recorded an Unplugged performance at Bray Studios in London. He rearranged many of his famous songs for the acoustic context, and the resulting Unplugged album went on to become the bestselling Unplugged album in the U.S. and worldwide with sales of 10 million in the U.S. and 26 million worldwide.[7][8] Clapton earned six Grammy Awards for the album, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Rock Male Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song.[9]
  • While MTV has filmed over 101 Unplugged performances, fewer than 30 of them have been released as albums. Pearl Jam's March 1992 set wasn't released until 2009 as a DVD for their reissue of their debut album, Ten.[10]
  • On April 27, 1992, Seattle-based heavy metal band Queensrÿche filmed their Unplugged performance, playing such songs as "Silent Lucidity", "The Lady Wore Black", "I Will Remember", "The Killing Words", and a very well received cover of "Scarborough Fair".
  • On July 3, 1992, Annie Lennox played an Unplugged show at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Nine of the twelve songs performed were released as part of the single series Cold. Colder. Coldest. Each CD featured the studio version of Lennox's "Cold" as well as three songs from the MTV Unplugged show. Cold consisting of songs from Diva, Colder songs Lennox has recorded with the Eurythmics and Coldest cover versions of songs originally by Ike & Tina Turner, The Detroit Emeralds and The Beatles.


  • On January 9, 1993, Swedish duo Roxette recorded the show at Stockholm Circus. During the show they covered songs from other artists such as Aretha Franklin, Neil Young and The Byrds.
  • On April 20, 1993 Midnight Oil recorded an episode at Sony Music Studios in New York City. They recorded a 17-song set which included many of their hits and an encore cover of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" originally recorded by Eric Burdon and the Animals. The set was broadcast in the U.S. edited while Australia received a longer 9 song set. The full set was finally released on DVD in 2017. "One Country" was attempted in their session but was not finished and not released.
  • Rod Stewart performed a session with Ronnie Wood on 5 February 1993 at Universal Studios, Los Angeles, CA. Selections from this recording aired in May and were released on the album Unplugged...and Seated.
  • On November 17, 1993, British rock group Duran Duran filmed their acoustic performance after a brief hiatus from their world tour due to lead singer Simon Le Bon's vocal straining after 11 months on the road. They played many of their classic hits as well as their 1990 single "Serious".
  • Nirvana's performance on Unplugged was one of the last televised performances by Kurt Cobain, recorded on November 18, 1993, about five months before Cobain's death. Nirvana's set list consisted of some of their lesser known originals, and covers of songs by the Meat Puppets, Lead Belly, David Bowie and The Vaselines. The only real "hits" played during this performance were "Come as You Are", "Polly" and "All Apologies". This contrasts with other Unplugged performances, where artists largely perform their hit singles and other original material. Nirvana's performance was released on CD a year later as MTV Unplugged in New York, which sold over 5 million copies and would later win Best Alternative Music Performance at the 38th Grammy Awards in 1996. It was released on DVD in 2007.
  • Bruce Springsteen's 1993 performance included a twist in where most of his set was performed with amplified instruments. The show was released later on album and video as In Concert/MTV Plugged.
  • 10,000 Maniacs performed their last televised concert with vocalist Natalie Merchant in 1993. The performance was released as the album MTV Unplugged. Their cover of the Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen song "Because the Night" was released as a single. David Byrne was a guest vocalist.
  • Bob Dylan recorded an Unplugged concert in 1994 over two nights that was combined into one show.
  • The Eagles' 1994 acoustic reunion concert was broadcast on MTV as a one-off special called Hell Freezes Over. Nevertheless, the show, which was produced by the Unplugged team, is generally regarded as part of the MTV Unplugged series. The concert was released on CD (with 4 new studio tracks), VHS, and DVD, as Hell Freezes Over.
  • On September 29, 1994, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs performed the first Latin/Spanish show at MTV Miami studios. The playlist included covers of The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton" and reggae artist Keith & Tex's "Stop That Train".
  • On October 14, 1994, (recorded in August 1994), the long-awaited reunion between Jimmy Page and Robert Plant occurred on a 90-minute "UnLedded" MTV project, recorded in Morocco, Wales, and London, which rated highly on network television. It was not a reunion of Led Zeppelin, however, as former bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones was not present. In fact, Jones was not even told about the reunion by his former bandmates. In addition to acoustic numbers, the album features a reworking of Led Zeppelin classics, along with four Middle-Eastern and Moroccan-influenced songs: "City Don't Cry," "Yallah," (or "The Truth Explodes") "Wonderful One," and "Wah Wah". The resulting album, No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, was certified Platinum in the U.S. and elsewhere.
  • In 1993, Stone Temple Pilots filmed an episode of MTV Unplugged, where they debuted the song "Big Empty".
  • On October 21, 1994 Phil Collins Unplugged aired. Because of his diminishing popularity in the U.S. it only aired in Europe.
  • In 1994, a compilation album was released called The Unplugged Collection, Volume One


  • On February 14, 1995, Irish rock band The Cranberries recorded a live acoustic performance in front of an audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. Along with a string ensemble, the band played nine songs, three of which were unreleased material at that time. The show aired for the first time on April 18, 1995.
  • On February 15, 1995, Live performed a 9-song set which included both their own material and a cover of Vic Chesnutt's "Supernatural".
  • On May 4, 1995, Argentine musician Charly Garcia appeared at the MTV studios, bringing together his "Cassandra Lange" band for his third live album. Garcia included some of his classics and the result was issued as a live album, after Garcia re-recorded some of the material.[11]
  • On August 9, 1995, Kiss performed on an episode that would lead to the reunion of the original members. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons contacted former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and invited them to participate in the show. Fan reaction was so positive that the following year the original Kiss lineup officially reunited, together for the first time since 1979. The recording of the episode was released as the album Kiss Unplugged.
  • On August 10, 1995, Chris Isaak performed a set including his hit song "Wicked Game".
  • On September 14, 1995 Chilean band Los Tres. This album was recorded on September 14, 1995 in Miami Beach, Florida. It was attended by Chilean musician friends of the band: Antonio Restucci and Cuti Aste. This album was the first album unplugged of a Chilean group for MTV and, according to technicians of MTV, is the only truly unplugged concert has been performed as only analog microphones dynamic range were used, at some distance from each instrument. The resulting album, MTV Unplugged, went quadruple platinum, and was the most popular album in Chile in 1995. The recording was made just a few months after the death of Chilean musician Roberto Parra, who had been an important inspiration for the band. Because of this, the group decided to dedicate the concert and album to the memory of "Uncle Robert" and played two cuecas: "el arrepentido" and "La vida que yo he pasado", besides popular Foxtrot "Quien es la que viene alli". The latter song became a success of great proportions, possibly the most important in the career of the Chilean band. The new song on the album, "traje desastre" was also touted as single from the album, and featured a video directed by Chilean film director German Bobe. The album contains 15 songs, of which 12 are of own composition and 3 of Roberto Parra.
  • On February 14, 1995, Hole performed on Unplugged with memorable performances of "Miss World," and "Doll Parts," and covers of the Nirvana songs "You Know You're Right" (as "You've Got No Right") and "Old Age", and also the Duran Duran song "Hungry Like the Wolf."
  • On March 12, 1996, Soda Stereo was invited to Miami by MTV to record a session for MTV's acoustic show, MTV Unplugged. After a few refusals by the band, Soda was able to convince the network to accept an offer where the band would play plugged in, but with modifications such as orchestration including new arrangements of some of their classic songs. The result was an eclectic mix of music, some electric, some acoustic, but all bearing the Soda signature style. A highlight of the album was a soaring rendition of “En La Ciudad De La Furia.” where the chorus was sung by Andrea Echeverri of the Colombian rock band Aterciopelados. The recording of the MTV show were partially released on the album Comfort y Música Para Volar (Comfort and Music to Fly By) (1996), and in its entirety in a new version of Comfort released in 2007. The album cointained 4 new tracks from the Sueño Stereo sessions as well as an interactive cd-rom with pictures and videos from the show.
  • On April 10, 1996, Alice in Chains would give their first performance in three years and one of their last concerts as a group for 9 years. During the show, lead singer Layne Staley looked visibly weak due to his ongoing drug addictions, but was able to deliver a strong performance. Being one of Layne Staley's last performances, the Unplugged session is considered to be one of the most popular and most memorable Unplugged sessions.[12][13][14]
  • Oasis were due to tape the show at the Royal Festival Hall on August 23, 1996, when lead singer Liam Gallagher pulled out at the last minute, citing a sore throat. The band performed despite this, with songwriter and guitarist Noel Gallagher handling the vocals, earning much critical praise. Liam watched the performance and heckled the group from a balcony. The performance has never been officially released.
  • In 1996, Pop artist George Michael gave an unplugged performance for a crowd of 200-300 people. He performed a few select tracks from his album Older and a few more from his earlier recordings (including one from his Wham! days). He also gave a cover of "I Can't Make You Love Me". The performance was critically acclaimed and was the last performance his mother saw, as she died the following year.
  • In 1997, neo-soul singer Maxwell performed Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" and Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" to high acclaim.
  • On September 26, 1997, Bryan Adams performed on Unplugged at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and released an album. Adams was joined by Irish piper Davy Spillane and Michael Kamen who wrote orchestrations for many of the songs and brought students from the Juilliard School to play them. Three new songs were included; "Back To You", "When You Love Someone", and "A Little Love". The song "If Ya Wanna Be Bad – Ya Gotta Be Good" made its debut on an album. The record sold over 5 million units worldwide.
  • On March 10, 1998, Mexican rock group Maná recorded their MTV Unplugged performance at MTV-Miami studios. The concert was released on CD and DVD on June 22, 1999 in the Americas and Spain. It includes exclusive covers of the José Alfredo Jiménez song "Te Solte La Rienda", the Rubén Blades song "Desapariciones", and "Se Me Olvidó Otra Vez" by Juan Gabriel. The recording received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album.
  • In 1997 Argentina musician Luis Alberto Spinetta performed a MTV unplugged with his band Los Socios del Desierto (with some invite musicians like Juan "Mono" Fontana in keyboard) this unplugged was atypical with Spinetta performing longer that an hour and playing 7 new songs and ignoring his pass hits (except for Durazno Sangrando) this unplugged was released as Estrelicia MTV Unplugged latter that year
  • On September 8, 1999, Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette performed on MTV Unplugged, later released on November as Alanis Unplugged. Twelve tracks were included on the album, but Morissette performed several others, including "Baba", "Thank U" (both from 1998's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie) and "Your House" (the hidden track on 1995's Jagged Little Pill), during her Unplugged concert. In addition to material from Morissette's first two U.S. albums, MTV Unplugged featured performances of "No Pressure over Cappuccino" and "Princes Familiar", two previously unreleased songs from her tours, a cover of The Police song "King of Pain", and "These R the Thoughts", a previously released b-side.
  • In 1999, Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira's concert became the first episode of the program to be broadcast entirely in another language – her native Spanish. Her MTV Unplugged release was particularly successful in introducing Shakira into the English speaking world. As well as charting at number one in the Billboard Latin Charts, and being the first Latin Unplugged album to win a Grammy Award.
  • In October 1999, Irish band The Corrs performed live on MTV Unplugged recorded in Wicklow, Ireland.


MTV Unplugged 2.0 logo
The MTV Unplugged 2.0 logo used for the show's return in the 2000s.

Since 2000, the Unplugged format has been revived on a number of occasions for specials.

  • In 2000, Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz performed on MTV unplugged and released the album of the performance on November 20, 2001.
  • In 2001, Hikaru Utada became the youngest singer and the third Japanese, the first and second being Chage and Aska, to be featured on MTV Unplugged.
  • Lauryn Hill unveiled her much-anticipated new material on a 2002 MTV Unplugged special, and later released it on the album MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. It had been three years since the release of Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Hill appeared with her hair cut off and performed in a stripped-down, minimalist style. Her set included her playing an acoustic guitar, spoken word segments, and occasionally breaking down in tears.
  • Chilean rock band La Ley performed on MTV Unplugged in 2001, and released an album of the performance, which went on to win a Grammy award. This album is the band's best selling album. After the album's success, La Ley was finally able to internationalize themselves and they make their way to foreign countries such as the United States. The album contains older songs from previous albums plus three new songs.
  • Jay-Z recorded a performance of Unplugged on November 18, 2001, with The Roots serving as his backing band. The subsequent album sold over 600,000 copies and made it to No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • Dashboard Confessional recorded an Unplugged show in New York in 2002, and became the first band without a platinum record to do so.
  • MTV Unplugged is introduced in Italy for the first time on June 16, 2005 with Italian singer Giorgia's own successful Unplugged experiment.
  • Queens of the Stone Age participated in their first Unplugged special in Berlin on June 2005 and performed a number of tracks from their album Lullabies to Paralyze.
  • Alicia Keys' Unplugged special aired on MTV on September 23, 2005. It was the first Unplugged for MTV in nearly three years, and special guests for Keys' performance included Mos Def, Common, Damian Marley and Maroon 5's Adam Levine. The show was released on CD and DVD in October 2005. The album debuted at No. 1 (see Unplugged).
  • On August 17, 2006, Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin performed on MTV Unplugged, and released the album of the performance on November 7, 2006 as MTV Unplugged . The album had a brilliant success, it reached number 1 of the Billboard Latin Charts, it sold more than 2,000,000 copies and won several awards, including two Latin Grammy.
  • On December 9, 2006, Korn performed on Unplugged with guests Amy Lee, Robert Smith, and Simon Gallup (the former of Evanescence and the duo latter of The Cure) on some of their well-known songs, along with others. The performance was released on a CD entitled MTV Unplugged: Korn on March 6, 2007, where it debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at #9.
  • In 2009, Nagase Tomoya, of the idol group TOKIO, performed on MTV Unplugged as the sixth Japanese performer to hold a performance on the program, after artists such as Chage and Aska and Hikaru Utada
  • During the summer of 2009, officially revived the Unplugged franchise with a 6-episode season produced and directed by Matthew C. Mills of Spacestation. This particular season won an Emmy award for Best New Approach, was nominated for another Emmy (Sound Recording), and was a Webby Award Honoree. Artists in this incarnation were Adele, Silversun Pickups, All Time Low, Paramore, Vampire Weekend and Katy Perry. Both Katy Perry and All Time Low released albums of their performances. The shows debuted on while single song excerpts appear on MTV and Palladia/MTV Live in video rotation. Adele Unplugged premiered on Palladia June 26 and Silversun Pickups August 1.[15]


  • The MTV Unplugged with the German rapper Sido was recorded on January 28, 2010 in Berlin
  • MTV revived the show on March 10, 2010 with Adam Lambert.
  • On September 2, 2010 an MTV Unplugged with the Swedish band Mando Diao was recorded in Berlin.
  • In 2011, MTV Unplugged: Vampire Weekend was named an official Honoree of the 15th Annual Webby Awards, overseen by the IADAS. Matthew C. Mills was the Director/Executive Producer of this episode.
  • In March 2011, K-os performed an MTV Unplugged in Toronto recorded for a future album and DVD.
  • On March 4, 2011, 'MTV Unplugged with Lykke Li debuted on
  • In May 2011, Los Tigres Del Norte MTV Unplugged was aired on MTV Tr3s. They became the first Regional Mexican group to ever record an Unplugged.
  • On May 13, 2011, Thirty Seconds to Mars recorded an Unplugged performance at Sony Music Studios in New York City. The band's set list consisted of songs extracted from their third studio album, This Is War (2009) and cover versions of songs by U2 and The Police. The performance was later released as a four-track extended play with a video accompaniment package. The Unplugged version of "Hurricane" won the MTV Award for Best Live Performance.
  • On June 12, 2011, an MTV Unplugged with Lil Wayne premiered on MTV and MTV2.
  • On June 19, 2011, MTV Unplugged with Lil Wayne had a "re-cut" edition that premiered on MTV2 only with footage not seen in the original airing.
  • In April 2012, popular band Florence and the Machine starred in an MTV Unplugged special.[16]
  • In September 2013, Scorpions performed and taped three nights in Athens, Greece for a future MTV Unplugged episode.
  • On January 28, 2014, American actress and recording artist, Miley Cyrus performed an Unplugged show from Los Angeles. The show aired the next day on MTV[17] During the performance, Cyrus performed several songs from her album, Bangerz. She also performed a duet with Madonna, performing a mash-up of "We Can't Stop" and "Don't Tell Me".[18]
  • On 11/07/2014 Gentleman (Reggae Artist from Germany) released his Album MTV Unplugged which included 28 songs featuring Ky-Mani Marley, Milky Chance, Shaggy, Christopher Martin and more. This was actually the first time MTV Unplugged have had a reggae artist after 25 years. Gentleman said: "This is up to you and me, make we sit down and talk bout longevity, sit down and reason conscious livity, our natural ability – give thanks for diversity!"
  • On September 15, 2017, Bleachers appeared and recorded 11 tracks for MTV Unplugged. The album was released later that year on November 11, and features additional vocals from Carly Rae Jepsen and Lorde.

In 2016, former MTV president Sean Atkins announced the show would return reimagined to the flagship network.[19] In 2017, MTV announced the program would return September 8, with Shawn Mendes performing in the season premiere.[20]

In 2017, the Norwegian band a-ha recorded the performance of the MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice album and DVD / BluRay. The album and DVD / BluRay was released on 6 October 2017. It was recorded live at the Harbour Hall at Ocean Sound Recordings in Giske, Norway on 22 and 23 June 2017.[21] MTV had first approached a-ha 10 years earlier, but the band had put it off several times until 2017. The performance includes a selection of guest artists singing with a-ha on their songs, including Lissie, Alison Moyet, Ian McCulloch and Ingrid Helene Håvik

In April 2018, a "SaMTV Unplugged" was recorded on the ship "MS Bleichen" in Hamburg harbor by german rapper Samy Deluxe.[22] In 2017, Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro recorded an MTV unplugged performance in London which later aired in 2018.

Performances using the "Unplugged" format

MTV's sister channel, VH1, airs VH1 Storytellers, interspersing mostly acoustic performances with the artists discussing the history, meaning and memories of the songs.

Bon Jovi performed unplugged in 2007 on CMT. The Police, Mary J. Blige, Kenny Chesney and John Mayer were scheduled to perform, but it appears these were scrapped.[23]

The fourth season of Canadian Idol featured an Unplugged night which was held at Toronto's Masonic Temple. This episode of Canadian Idol was a tribute to MTV in two ways: a direct tribute to the Unplugged Format, and to celebrate the recent licensing of the new MTV Canada which was located in the Masonic Hall until 2012.[24]


  1. ^ a b c Fernandez, Matt (2018-12-27). "'MTV Unplugged' Co-Creator Struck and Killed by Taxi". Variety. Archived from the original on 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
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  3. ^ "Jethro Tull and Kevin Seal, MTV 1987". January 11, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  4. ^ O'Connor, John J. (June 3, 1992). "Review/Television; With Paul Simon, MTV Slips Into Its Cardigan". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
  5. ^ Karger, Dave (January 17, 1997). "Unplugging MTV". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  6. ^ "MTV Unplugged show listing".
  7. ^ Diamond Awards Archived July 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. RIAA Retrieved January 28, 2011
  8. ^ "Bassist Nathan East on Eric Clapton and "Change the World," Plus, Watch His Documentary". AllMusic.
  9. ^ Billboard 6 Mar 1993 Billboard Retrieved January 28, 2011
  10. ^ Hay, Travis (December 10, 2008). "Pearl Jam's Ten gets the deluxe treatment with four reissues next year". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  11. ^ Iván Adaime. "Charly Garcia, MTV Unplugged". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  12. ^ "Alice in Chains – MTV Unplugged (album review)". Sputnikmusic. March 31, 2005.
  13. ^ ""Unplugged" Alice in Chains (TV episode 1996) – IMDb".
  14. ^ "Unplugged: Music".
  15. ^ Plugging 'Unplugged' Into HD Multichannel News. Retrieved 2002-02-21.
  16. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (April 9, 2012). "Florence and the Machine's MTV Unplugged Premieres Online (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  17. ^ "Miley Cyrus Stripping Down For 'MTV Unplugged' - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  18. ^ "Miley Grinds On Madonna, Madonna Grinds Back: Go Behind Their 'Unplugged' Party". MTV. 2014-01-29. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  19. ^ Steinberg, Brian (April 21, 2016). "MTV Chief Vows to Restore Music to Programming".
  20. ^ Halperin, Rebecca Rubin, Shirley (August 17, 2017). "'MTV Unplugged' Plots Fall Return With Shawn Mendes (EXCLUSIVE)".
  21. ^
  22. ^ "SaMTV Unplugged: Samy Deluxe feiert bei uns die Videopremiere zu "Flagge hissen / Anker lichten" | MTV Germany". Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  23. ^ "MTV's "Unplugged" reborn with Police, Bon Jovi". Reuters. June 1, 2007.
  24. ^ "Iconic Masonic Temple closing". Toronto Sun. November 2, 2012.

External links

Kiss Unplugged

Kiss Unplugged is an MTV Unplugged album by American rock band Kiss. On August 9, 1995, the band performed on MTV Unplugged. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons contacted former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and invited them to participate. Fan reaction to Criss and Frehley at the show was so positive that, in 1996, the original lineup of Kiss reunited, with all four original members together for the first time since 1979. It is the first live album by the band that is not part of the Alive series.

"The sound was deafening: the sound of rock 'n' roll history coming full circle in a TV studio", wrote Kerrang!'s Don Kaye in a review of the taping at New York's Sony Music Studios. "Complete pandemonium ensued as they struck the opening chords to '2,000 Man', and it continued when Ace's voice rang out in the clear, sardonic manner we all know and love."It marked the only time the original lineup performed publicly without their trademark makeup, and was also the only time Frehley and Criss shared a stage with Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick. It was the first time Singer had part of a lead vocal on an album (shared with Criss on "Nothin' to Lose"). On March 12, 1996, the concert was released on CD and, on December 18, 2007, on the Kissology Volume Three: 1992–2000 DVD set. This included the original DVD release of the concert plus five previously unreleased songs: "Hard Luck Woman" (with Stanley on vocals), "Heaven's on Fire", "Spit", "C'mon and Love Me", and a country version of "God of Thunder". The LP version of the album includes a poster and some were pressed on yellow marbled vinyl.A stand-alone VHS and DVD documentary was produced around the same time as the CD release, with archival footage of the band's rehearsal sessions at SIR Studios in New York. It also shows the first "KISS Konvention" appearance with Criss joining the touring members on stage to sing a few tunes earlier in the year. According to Criss, this invite gave Simmons the idea of reaching out to both him and Frehley to be a part of the Unplugged taping in an unannounced reunion. Because of the contentious split, the worldwide fan base never thought this would happen, and it was kept a closely held secret until the day of the event.

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1

Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 is the second solo studio album by the English singer-songwriter George Michael, released on 3 September 1990.

The album was Michael's final album of all-new material on Columbia Records until 2004's Patience. Disappointing album sales in the US led to Michael's legal battles against Sony Music, in which he accused the corporation of not fully supporting him as an artist.

MTV Unplugged (10,000 Maniacs album)

MTV Unplugged is a 1993 live album by 10,000 Maniacs, recorded for the MTV Unplugged series. Between the recording and release of the album, vocalist Natalie Merchant left the band to pursue a solo career. In addition to the songs released on this album, four takes of "How You've Grown" were recorded, second takes of Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith's "Because the Night" and "Gold Rush Brides", a brief take of "Puff the Magic Dragon" and three other songs with David Byrne as a guest singer: "Let the Mystery Be" (two takes, one of which was released as a B-side to "Few and Far Between" and on Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings), Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and "Dallas".

MTV Unplugged (Alanis Morissette album)

MTV Unplugged is the first live album by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, released by Maverick Records in the United States on November 9, 1999 (see 1999 in music). It comprises songs performed by Morissette on the television program MTV Unplugged. Twelve tracks were included on the album, but Morissette performed several others, including "Baba", "Thank U" (both from 1998's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie) and "Your House" (the hidden track on 1995's Jagged Little Pill), during her Unplugged concert. These were later released as B-sides on the "King of Pain" single release. The first single, "That I Would Be Good", was moderately successful, and two other tracks, "King of Pain" (a cover of the song by The Police) and "You Learn" were released as singles outside North America. As of March 2012, the album has sold 673,000 copies in the U.S.In addition to material from Morissette's first two U.S. albums, MTV Unplugged featured performances of "No Pressure over Cappuccino" and "Princes Familiar", two previously unreleased songs from her tours, and "These R the Thoughts", a previously released b-side. Morissette has stated that "Princes Familiar" in particular is one of her favorite and most vocally challenging songs. She performed it on her 2005 Diamond Wink Tour, where she dedicated it to "all of the dads in the audience." The ballad "No Pressure over Cappuccino", one of the first songs she wrote following the release of Jagged Little Pill, "was inspired by [her] twin brother," Wade.Featuring cleaner vocals, slower arrangements and a few drastic reinventions (particularly in the case of "You Oughta Know"), MTV Unplugged foreshadowed much of Morissette's later, softer work, particularly 2005's Jagged Little Pill Acoustic and the accompanying Diamond Wink Tour.

MTV Unplugged (Alejandro Sanz album)

MTV Unplugged is the second live album from Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz, which turns him into the first Spanish artist in recording an unplugged for MTV, and in this opportunity he resorts to Humberto Gatica's talent as producer and arranger. This album contains an inedit song, "Y Sólo Se Me Ocurre Amarte" dedicated to his daughter Manuela, the song "Aprendiz" that Alejandro composed for the Spanish singer Malú, a different version of "Cómo Te Echo de Menos" and a flamenco song, "Todo Es de Color" by Manuel Molina.

MTV Unplugged (Bob Dylan album)

MTV Unplugged is a live album by Bob Dylan, released in May 2, 1995 by Columbia Records (reissued in 2007 by Sony). It documents Dylan's appearance on the then-highly popular MTV Unplugged television series, recorded at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 17 and 18, 1994. It gave Dylan his best sales in years, reaching US No. 23 and going gold, while hitting No. 10 in the UK.

MTV Unplugged (Jay-Z album)

Jay-Z: Unplugged is rapper Jay-Z's 2001 live album that contains some of his past songs with live instruments performed by the hip-hop band The Roots. The album was recorded during the taping of an MTV Unplugged 2.0 episode on November 18, 2001. It sold more than 600,000 copies.

MTV Unplugged (Katy Perry EP)

MTV Unplugged (listed on iTunes as MTV Unplugged: Katy Perry) is an extended play (EP) and live album by American singer Katy Perry, released in the United States on November 13, 2009 by Capitol Records. After airing more than 100 MTV Unplugged specials, MTV wanted to bring back the series, in order to expose them to a younger generation. The channel recruited various mainstream and popular artists to perform as part of the series, including Perry, who particularly expressed interest in the idea as it would allow her to showcase herself as an artist and share the stories behind her songs.

The extended play includes rearrangements of five songs from Perry's album One of the Boys (2008), a previously unreleased original song and a cover version of a song by Fountains of Wayne. Alongside the audio disc, the album includes a DVD with the video recording of her performance and an exclusive interview. Upon its release, MTV Unplugged received mixed reviews from critics, who questioned the idea of giving Perry's songs an acoustic treatment, while some deemed Perry a hard-working artist. On the US Billboard 200, the set debuted at number 168, while on the French and Swiss album charts, it reached numbers 192 and 82.

MTV Unplugged (Korn album)

MTV Unplugged: Korn is an acoustic live album by the band Korn released worldwide on March 5, 2007 and on the following day in the United States.

MTV Unplugged (Maná album)

Maná MTV Unplugged is a complete live album (tenth overall) that was recorded in Miami, Florida for MTV by Mexican rock band Maná. Maná's MTV Unplugged performance was a live show which was performed in an acoustic sound. The live performance was recorded on March 10, 1998 and released on CD and DVD on June 22, 1999 in the Americas and Spain. It includes exclusive re-make versions of the José Alfredo Jiménez song "Te Solte La Rienda", the Rubén Blades song "Desapariciones", and "Se Me Olvidó Otra Vez" by Juan Gabriel.

It received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album.

MTV Unplugged (Mariah Carey EP)

MTV Unplugged is a live EP by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, released in the United States on June 2, 1992 by Columbia Records. Following the success of Carey's previous two albums and the growing critical commentary on her lack of concert tours and unsubstantial televised performances, Sony BMG organised a performance show at the Kaufman Astoria Studios, New York on March 16, 1992. The show, titled MTV Unplugged, originally aired on MTV to help promote Carey's album Emotions, as well as help shun critics who deemed Carey a possible studio artist. However, after its success, the show was released to the public as an EP, with an accompanying VHS titled MTV Unplugged +3.

Upon release, the EP garnered generally positive reviews from music critics, many of whom complimented Carey's vocals. Commercially, the album was a success, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, and was certified three times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of two million copies within the United States. Additionally, the EP experienced strong success in several international markets, such as the Netherlands and New Zealand, where it reached number one and was certified double Platinum. MTV Unplugged peaked within the top five in the United Kingdom, and in the top ten in Australia and Canada.

"I'll Be There" was chosen as the lead single from the album. Due to its critical success until that point, it was released one month before its parent EP, eventually becoming Carey's sixth chart topper in the United States, and one of the few songs to do so by two different acts. Globally, the song was successful, topping the charts in Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, as well as attaining the top five position in Ireland and the United Kingdom. After its success, "If It's Over", a song from Carey's second studio effort Emotions was released, due to its exposure on the show and EP.

MTV Unplugged (Shakira album)

MTV Unplugged is the first live album by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira, released on 29 February 2000, by Columbia Records and Sony Latin. It was recorded on 12 August 1999, during her MTV Unplugged performance at the Grand Ballroom in New York City.

The performance was released in 2000 as a live album, and again in 2002 as a DVD. It was critically acclaimed by American critics and earned Shakira the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album.

MTV Unplugged (Tony Bennett album)

MTV Unplugged is a live album by Tony Bennett that was released in 1994. Backed by his usual Ralph Sharon Trio, Bennett appeared on the TV show MTV Unplugged, which despite being a superfluous platform ("I've always been unplugged," Bennett noted), showcased the Great American Songbook. Rock stars Elvis Costello and k.d. lang made guest appearances.The album reached platinum record status in the United States and won the 1995 Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance and Album of the Year.

MTV Unplugged / Live

Bjork on MTV: Unplugged & Live is an official DVD released by Björk on 9 February 2002. It features two complete MTV performances: the first show was recorded on MTV Unplugged in 1994 during the promotion of her album Debut and the second show was recorded on MTV Live in 1998 for the promotion of her album Homogenic. A cover of the track "My Funny Valentine" was performed on the MTV Unplugged performance but is not included on this DVD.

Fans were disappointed to find that both shows appear on the DVD as originally broadcast, with tracks cut short to fit into the syndicated slot. However, a fuller audio version of the MTV Unplugged performance appears on Debut Live, first released as part of the Live Box set in 2003 and later released separately in 2004. The DVD was re-released in 2003 to fix synchronisation problems, and to change the audio from mono to stereo on the MTV Unplugged part.

MTV Unplugged NYC 1997

MTV Unplugged NYC 1997 is a live album from R&B artist, Babyface. It includes other performers such as Eric Clapton, Shanice, K-Ci & JoJo, Kevon Edmonds, Melvin Edmonds, Sheila E. and Stevie Wonder.

MTV Unplugged in New York

MTV Unplugged in New York is a live album by American grunge band Nirvana. It features an acoustic performance recorded at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993, for the television series MTV Unplugged. The show was directed by Beth McCarthy and aired on the cable television network MTV on December 16, 1993. In a break with traditional practice on the television series, Nirvana played mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by the Vaselines, David Bowie, Lead Belly, and Meat Puppets, whose Cris and Curt Kirkwood joined Nirvana onstage.

MTV Unplugged in New York was the first Nirvana album released following the death of Kurt Cobain. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and is Nirvana's most successful posthumous release, having been certified 5x platinum in the United States by 1997. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996. The performance was released on DVD in 2007.

MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice

MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice is a live album by the Norwegian band a-ha. The album was released on 6 October 2017. It was recorded live at the Harbour Hall at Ocean Sound Recordings in Giske, Norway, on 22 and 23 June 2017.


Staind ( STAYND) is an American rock band formed in 1995. The original lineup consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Aaron Lewis, lead guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist and backing vocalist Johnny April, and drummer Jon Wysocki. The lineup has been stable outside of Wysocki's departure in 2011, who was replaced by Sal Giancarelli. Staind has recorded seven studio albums: Tormented (1996), Dysfunction (1999), Break the Cycle (2001), 14 Shades of Grey (2003), Chapter V (2005), The Illusion of Progress (2008), and Staind (2011). The band's activity became more sporadic after their self-titled release, with Lewis pursuing a solo country music career and Mushok subsequently joining the band Saint Asonia, but they have continued to tour on and off in the following years. As of 2016, Lewis has reiterated that the band has not broken up, and will possibly create another album, but that his current focus is on his solo career. Staind most recently performed live in 2017, and as of 2018, they are on hiatus. The band has sold over 15 million records worldwide. Many of their singles have reached high positions on US rock and all-format charts as well, including "It's Been Awhile", "Fade", "Price to Play", "So Far Away", and "Right Here".

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