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VIDEO: MTV celebrates 30 years

Michael Jackson's Billie Jean is first video by a black artist to be shown on Music network almost three decades ago
Posted: 02/08/2011 11:52 AM
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MICHAEL JACKSON'S Billie Jean video was the first to be shown on popular music network, MTV, which celebrated 30 years on air yesterday (Aug 1).

Promoting itself as a “rock-based” music channel, black artists would never appear on it's rotation, but in 1983 Michael Jackson changed that.

The singer, who had then been enjoying a successful solo career since leaving the Jackson 5, released his second album Thriller, which went on to produce an endless array of hits. But one song would soon change the face of music videos.

Billie Jean broke the mold when it became the first video to be played on MTV by a black artist.

The move helped other big black artists of the time such as Prince and Whitney Houston break into heavy rotation on the channel.