Remembering the best times of Total Request Live

With many technological advancements happening over the last decade, long gone are  days of waiting in anticipation to watch favorite artists premier their newest video, or waiting in long lines to buy their latest CD, thanks to file sharing and YouTube.

In 1998 one show came to MTV and for a decade defined a generation.

VH1 aired a documentary last week about Total Request Live also known as TRL. It began as a music video shown on MTV in the late `90s. The show has helped to launch the careers of some of today’s biggest pop stars, such as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

Taking a look back into the `90s is quite amusing. It is interesting to see how the fashions have changed as well as the music, and how many of the artists have matured.

Memebers of boy band *NSYNC frequented the TRL set. MCT Campus.

Before iPods or Zunes, the top ten videos, which were being introduced by host Carson Daly, were the playlists of many teenagers.

Over a short period of time, the crowds grew bigger, as well as fan feedback from the Internet. Viewers were able to call in by phone and had the opportunity to chat with various celebrities.

Sophomore nursing major Shelby Ashley remembers rushing home from school so she could catch the show in time.

“I wanted to marry Carson Daly. My favorite debut video was ‘Bye Bye Bye’ from *NSYNC and ‘Oops I did it Again’ from Britney Spears,” she said.

Not only was TRL just an outlet for music, but the show covered many big events over the years, such as tragedies  and the deaths of celebrities.

Sophomore nursing major Linda Rubio said, “The biggest TRL moment for me was when 9/11 happened. I just remember how quiet and how somber the audience was. I  remember being so surprised that it was even going to air and to see the debris from the window; I was just in awe. It seemed like even Carson was speechless.”

Ashley said, “I was very young when the Columbine shooting happened, but I do remember coming home from school one day and seeing them cover this on TRL. It was weird because TRL was a feelgood kind of show. It was very happy. I never expected a show like that to cover real life news.”

Unfortunately, with the popularity of illegal downloads of music, and with the generation who made TRL what it was turning into young adults,  fans and ratings for the show started to diminish in 2007, and by 2008 the show finally ended with a celebrity filled goodbye party on the air.

This was the decade when MTV would play music videos on a regular basis. Now the network has turned into reality show heaven. Its sister networks such as MTV2 and MTV Jams still occasionally frequent past TRL stars for those who can’t say Bye Bye Bye.


Author: Bells Staff

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