MTV Pays Tribute to Prince With Wall-to-Wall Music Videos
The music-focused network changed the color of its logo from yellow to purple in honor of the legendary musician.
Following the news of legendary pop/R&B legend Prince's death at the age of 57 on Thursday, MTV paid tribute to the late musician by swapping its previously scheduled content for "a dedicated block of his most influential music videos."
Though episodes of Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness were scheduled to play throughout the large majority of the day, the network changed its logo to the color purple and played Prince's music videos, including "Kiss," "Let's Go Crazy," "Raspberry Beret" and "When Doves Cry."
"To honor the life and career of musical icon Prince, MTV will change its logo to purple for the entire day and MTV and MTV2 will air a dedicated block of his most influential music videos today beginning at 1:55 p.m. ET. MTV Live will air videos at 3:00 p.m.," MTV told The Hollywood Reporter. From 7:10 p.m. EST to 10 p.m. EST Thursday and 12:30 a.m. EST to 6 a.m. EST Friday, the network will air 1984 Prince-starrer Purple Rain, with Prince music videos playing in between.
The network added in a statement to THR: "MTV is heartbroken and in utter disbelief at the news that the world has lost Prince Rogers Nelson so suddenly and so before his time. Prince was a once-in-a-lifetime artist who transcended every medium and genre he touched and created music with a passion and individuality that inspired multiple generations. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, friends and millions of fans."
To further its remembrance of Prince, "MTV News will air a dedicated podcast highlighting Prince’s impact on music. MTV News correspondents will be on-the-ground in NYC and Paisley Park to get feedback from fans. MTV Snapchat will be a full Prince takeover tomorrow," the network said. "Additionally, interstitials will run on-air throughout the day which will include archival interviews from the legend himself, behind-the-scenes MTV moments and more."
The switch to a tribute of music videos comes hours following MTV's unveil of a massive upfront slate featuring 11 new unscripted series pickups, three scripted entries and development of eight more new works.
MTV president Sean Atkins told THR of the new, larger music-focused slate, "It says a few things, first and foremost that we're clearly bringing music as our muse back to the brand and returning it creatively to what inspires us. The idea of having music — in terms of what it means to pop culture and that it gives artists a voice and is always resonant to youth and an influencer of culture — has always been a great element of the MTV brand. We're leaning back into the heritage and resuscitating it and renovating it for today's generation."
VH1 also announced Thursday afternoon that it would honor the late musician with multiple airings of Purple Rain and his most memorable music videos throughout the weekend.
Thursday, April 21:
5:30 PM ET/PT – Purple Rain
8:00 PM ET/PT – Prince Music Video Block
10:00 PM ET/PT – Purple Rain
12:30 AM ET/PT – Prince Music Video Block
Friday, April 22:
12:00 PM ET/PT – Purple Rain
10:30P PM ET/PT – Purple Rain
Saturday, April 23:
9:00 AM ET/PT– Purple Rain
4:30 PM ET/PT – 7:00 PM – Purple Rain
Sunday, April 24:
1 PM ET/PT – Purple Rain
9PM ET/PT– Purple Rain
April 21, 1:30 p.m.: Updated with Purple Rain show times.
April 21, 2:24 p.m.: Updated with VH1 scheduling.