The Police, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, Mary J. Blige and John Mayer are among the multi-genre artists planned to break out the critically acclaimed Unplugged music franchise for new audiences across MTV, VH1 and CMT. The intimate acoustic performances will roll out in a number of upcoming Unplugged specials that could appear on nearly every MTV, VH1 and CMT screen - from the television to the Web to the mobile phone - providing maximum exposure for artists and the ability to cross musical generations and boundaries by connecting with diverse audiences. As legend has it, the first Unplugged was inspired by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora's acoustic performance at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.
The new multi-network, multi-genre incarnation of the Grammy Award-winning Unplugged will take full advantage of the world's three premier music brands in MTV, VH1, and CMT, as well as their broad number of platforms. Bon Jovi, whose newest album, Lost Highway releases June 19, 2007, will kick off the first cross-network Unplugged on consecutive nights beginning June 22, 2007, with each airing tailored for the specific audiences of MTV, VH1 and CMT. Each of the shows will then be available respectively on MTV.com, VH1.com and CMT.com after the on air premiere.
"When Unplugged first premiered, it ushered in a new era of intimacy between artists and fans," said Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks' Music, Logo & Films Group. "Today, Unplugged will be customized across our music channels - MTV, VH1 and CMT - as well as our multiple platforms, including online, mobile, VOD, and radio."
"When we first did the MTV awards show, we thought the only way to impact an audience of our peers, fans and the industry was to simply lay it all out there naked - stripped of all the pomp and production," said Jon Bon Jovi. "So it came down to two guys, and two guitars. It was Dick Clark who said to do two songs. At the end of the day it was and is all about the song in its purest form. A lot of great performances followed. Thanks MTV."
In addition to uniting with Unplugged, MTV's successful The Leak franchise will now become a staple of all three music brands, making it the premier destination for discovering artists' unreleased tracks and albums online before their availability for purchase anywhere. The first cross brand The Leak, will be on MTV.com and VH1.com, featuring Kelly Clarkson's newest release, "My December." Fans can stream the audio of the upcoming album a full week before its June 26th release.
MTV's Unplugged concert series first debuted in 1989 and is credited with starting an "acoustic revolution" among musicians. Unplugged has received critical acclaim, spotlighting artists including Eric Clapton who won six Grammys including Album of the Year for his Unplugged, Nirvana who won the Best Alternative Album Grammy for their Unplugged release, and Tony Bennett whose cross-generational Unplugged earned him Album of the Year honors. Other memorable MTV Unplugged performers include: R.E.M., Sting, Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, KoRn, Neil Young, Elton John, Bob Dylan, The Cure, Don Henley, LL Cool J, Duran Duran, Alanis Morissette, Jay-Z, Rod Stewart, Lauryn Hill and Paul McCartney.
The three different versions of Bon Jovi Unplugged will premiere on Friday, June 22nd on MTV; Saturday, June 23rd on VH1, VH1 Classic and MHD: Music High-Definition; and on Sunday, June 24th on CMT. Each music brands' audience will help inform where the upcoming Unplugged specials will appear. All of them will air in high-def on MHD: Music High-Definition.
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