MTV Turns 30! The Top 10 Most Memorable Moments

As the network celebrates its three-decade anniversary on Aug. 1, we look back at its groundbreaking -- and hilarious -- moments

How has it been 30 years already? It's hard to believe but on Monday, Aug. 1, MTV will turn three decades old! As the cable network plans to celebrate its milestone anniversary, iVillage looks back at our Top 10 most memorable moments from its history -- Britney, Michael Jackson and more!

1. On Aug. 1, 1981 at 12:01 a.m, MTV launches with this image of the Apollo 11, followed by a video for The Buggles song "Video Killed the Radio Star."

2. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video debuts at midnight on Dec.  2, 1983. The 14-minute video was so popular with viewers that for several days, MTV played it twice every hour.

3. In November 1993, Nirvana films a pared-down and soulful concert for MTV Unplugged. Six months later, when Kurt Cobain dies tragically at the age of 27, the network plays the special repeatedly.

4. On March 17, 1994, doofus cartoon characters Beavis and Butt-Head watch the Michael Bolton video for his 1989 hit "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You." They mistake it for a coffee commercial.

5. On Nov. 3, 1994, The Real World: San Francisco airs the season's penultimate episode, in which HIV-positive Pedro Zamora exchanges vows with Sean Sasser in a commitment ceremony in the loft. On Nov. 11, Zamora succumbs to AIDS.

6. The premiere episode of The Osbournes makes a loud, expletive-filled splash when it airs on March 5, 2002. In the show, Ozzy warns his teenage kids, Kelly and Jack, not to drink or take drugs and to use condoms if they have sex. 

7. Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica debuts on Aug. 19, 2003, and immortalizes Jessica Simpson asking then-husband Nick Lachey, "Is this chicken what I have or is this fish?" about chowing down on Chicken of the Sea tuna. 

8. The 2003 MTV Video Music Awards kicks off with a performance that features Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Madonna singing "Like a Virgin," with both younger starlets lip-locking with the Material Mom -- most famously, Britney and Madge's particularly long smooch.

9. During the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in September, Taylor Swift wins the award for best female video for "You Belong with Me." While accepting her Moonman trophy, she was interrupted on stage by Kanye West, who took the microphone and insisted that Beyonce's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" was more deserving. The hip-hop star is still living that moment down.

10. GTL, baby! Love them or hate them, fist-pumping, tan-loving Snooki, The Situation, J-WOWW, Vinnie, Pauly D, Sammi, Ronnie and Angelina -- become instant stars when Jersey Shore premieres on Dec. 9, 2009.

What's your favorite moment from MTV's 30-year history? We want to know! Comment below!

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