Cable music television channel MTV signs on with the clip
of the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star."
A revolutionary experiment, the channel changes the way
music is marketed and ushers in the video age.
Michael Jackson releases "Thriller" (Epic). It
spawns seven top 10 singles on Billboard's Hot 100: "The
Girl is Mine" with Paul McCartney, "Billie Jean,"
"Beat It" featuring Eddie Van Halen on lead guitar,
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Human Nature,"
"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" and "Thriller."
1982: A landmark year for rap, 1982 witnesses the
release of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The
Message" and Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force's
"Planet Rock." The latter sells more than 500,000
1983: Though Madonna set the stage one year earlier
with the single "Everybody," which peaked at No.
3 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart, this is the
year that the girl from Bay City, Mich., truly began her
march to superstardom with the release by Sire Records of
her self-titled debut. more
1984: The U.S. Supreme Court votes 5-4 to find Sony
Corp., as manufacturer of the Sony Betamax videotape recorder,
not liable for contributing to any copyright infringement
by individuals who taped television programs at home for
private use -- a permissible time-shifting. Papers later
released reveal the decision was originally decided the
other way, but was changed after reargument. In October
2004, entertainment companies petitioned the Court to reconsider
this holding as it applies to peer-to-peer software providers.
Whitney Houston releases her self-titled debut Arista album,
the first of three to reach No. 1 on Billboard's pop albums
chart. The set, which features the hit singles "Greatest
Love of All" and "How Will I Know," spends
14 weeks on top and 162 weeks on the chart.
1985: Ethiopian famine relief takes center stage
via the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia, plus
the No. 1 hit "We Are the World," which features
46 U.S. superstars such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen
and Bob Dylan.
"Find A Way," the first single from contemporary
Christian artist Amy Grant's "Unguarded" album,
crosses over to mainstream radio and establishes Grant's
presence in pop music. The song peaks at No. 7 on Billboard's
AC chart. Grant followed with additional singles then teamed
with Peter Cetera in 1986 for the No. 1 duet "The Next
Time I Fall." In 1991, Grant hit the top of the AC
charts for three weeks as a solo artist with "Baby,
Baby," which paved the way for other Christian acts
such as Michael W. Smith, Kathy Troccoli, Jars of Clay and
Sixpence None the Richer to break into the mainstream pop
1986: Following the inroads paved by the Sugarhill
Gang, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious
Five, rap breaks through in a big way to the mainstream,
led by Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. more
1987: U2 breaks worldwide with "The Joshua Tree"
(Island), the Irish rock band's first album to reach No.
1 on Billboard's Top Pop Albums chart. "With or Without
You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking
For" become the band's first No. 1 hits on Billboard's
Country music's "Class of '89" emerges as Garth
Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Travis Tritt all land
their first appearances on Billboard's Hot Country Singles
& Tracks chart. The emergence of these artists and many
others marked the beginning of an explosion in popularity
for country music, which continued through the mid-1990s.
Brooks would go on to be the most successful of the bunch,
celebrating 100 million in sales in 2000 with a black tie
party at the Nashville Arena. He has since retired from
performing and recording.