For years now, MTV has been criticized for airing more reality TV shows than music videos. But Thursday, after the tragic passing of Prince, the network decided to get back to its roots by airing all music, all day.
Rumors began swirling about Prince’s death shortly after 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday. By 1:57 p.m., MTV made the decision to scrap their programming line-up for the day — which included the airing of shows like “Fantasy Factory,” “Ridiculousness,” and “Real World: Go Big or Go Home” — in favor of a Prince music video marathon. The network aired videos for hits like “Purple Rain,” which premiered on the network in 1984, among others.
At 1:57pm, MTV halted its regular programming and started a marathon of Prince music videos.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 21, 2016
MTV’s decision gained much attention on social media. Many Prince fans were shocked to turn on MTV and find that the artist and his legendary discography had taken over. Some joked that it was Prince’s “greatest accomplishment,” while others reveled in the nostalgia.
Rasberry Beret is on @MTV right now. They are playing prince videos. MTV is actually playing videos. I like the Sesame Street version lol.
— Anoa J. Changa, Esq. (@MsNonoESQ) April 21, 2016
Prince's greatest achievement is getting MTV to play music videos again
— Mike Ryan (@MichaelRyanRuiz) April 21, 2016
So I turn on MTV 2 c if they would have a tribute 2 Prince's passing + was shocked 2 c MTV playing his videos. Feels like 1987 all over
— Matt Wilson (@dr_matt_wilson) April 21, 2016
Prince was @MTV to me when I was 10 years old, so it’s somehow reassuring to be working here today.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) April 21, 2016
INBOX: To honor the life and career of musical icon Prince, MTV will change its logo to purple for the entire day
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) April 21, 2016
— Todd Yakoubian (@KATVToddYak) April 21, 2016
While fans relive Prince’s glory through MTV, others have taken to social media to pay tribute. Celebrities like Ice T, Dave Navarro and more recalled the impact the brilliant musician had on their lives and work. Others, like Michelle Branch and Olivia Wilde, posted photos and quotes from interviews Prince had done throughout his career.
Im sooooo very sad right now... PRINCE can't die.
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) April 21, 2016
From one 6/7 to another 6/7… Rest in peace, Prince!
— Dave Navarro (@DaveNavarro) April 21, 2016
When Eric Clapton was asked how it felt to be the world's best guitarist he replied: "I don't know. Ask Prince". #RIP
— Michelle Branch (@michellebranch) April 21, 2016
Once, Prince yelled from the stage that I could dance. He was likely yelling to the girl behind me, but it's still my happiest moment. RIP.
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) April 21, 2016
TMZ broke the news that the Grammy winner had died on Thursday morning. The gossip site reported that his body had been discovered unresponsive in the recording studio of his Minnesota estate, Paisley Park. Prince’s publicist later confirmed that it was, in fact, the “Let's Go Crazy” singer who had died. At present few details are known about Prince’s cause of death. He was hospitalized early this week in Illinois, where doctors learned that he was battling the flu. Prince was cleared to return home within hours of being checked into the facility.