WATCH | This was the first music video played on MTV in 1981

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The Buggles
The Buggles
Photo: Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images
  • MTV launched on 1 August 1981, making it's imprint on pop music and changing pop culture forever.
  • The channel's first broadcast started with a video of a rocket launch, followed by a video depicting an astronuat on the moon planting an MTV flag.
  • Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles was the very first music video played on MTV.


On 1 August 1981, MTV (Music Television) kicked off its very first episode, blending music and television, and for the first time ever.

The opening credits of the debut episode started with a rocket launch, followed by a video depicting an astronaut on the moon planting an MTV flag. 

As we know, the "moon man" would become the symbol for MTV and the statuette given away at the MTV Video Music Awards.

"Ladies and gentlemen, let's rock and roll," the voice of Warner Cable executive John Lack said as the channel kicked off.

Mark Goodman, one of MTV's first VJs, spoke during the show's opening, calling it: "The best of TV, combined with the best of radio."

He added: "We all are so excited about this new concept in TV. We'll be doing for TV what FM did for radio."

The very first music video played on MTV was Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles. 

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