MTV’s TRL Making a Comeback This Fall

Cat Henderson


MTV reach a new level of success in 1998 when TRL (Total Request Live) was created and aired for ten strong years. TRL focused primarily on mainstream pop and was known for hosting some of the most iconic names in the early 2000’s music industry. The show emphasized music videos as an art form and is responsible for launching more than a few careers.  Now it has been confirmed that MTV is reviving the beloved video request show and music buffs are feeling equally thrilled and nostalgic.


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NPR credits TRL as the “rebirth of video”. MTV’s ratings skyrocketed and fans flocked from across the US merely to stand outside the Manhattan studio in hopes of potentially getting a glimpse of artists like Christina Aguilera, The Backstreet Boys, and The Black Eyed Peas. TRL was ground-breaking in that it showcased some of music’s finest as well as impacted pop culture.

1979 is famous for being the year the special effects industry advanced. That year, Michael Jackson released his “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough” music video, featuring the King of Pop dancing next to himself in triplicate in front of a number of different backgrounds. Jackson won his first Grammy as a solo artist for the track. Nearly four decades of music later, Drake took home a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song for “Hotline Bling”. The music video for the lead single from Views was clearly inspired by “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough”.

YouTube hosts the original version of “Hotline Bling”, prior to adding the backdrop. It is essentially Drake awkwardly dancing in front of a neon green wall but the final cut has won countless awards.



Using a green-screen background to create a very different scene behind you might be the visual effect you’re going for in your own music video.

If you want to find yourself on TRL’s revival of the countdown someday, I suggest getting educated on making music videos. If you’re interested in getting started, our music video course could be the perfect fit for you. In a few brief videos, we highlight the factors that contribute to making a successful video.

The Music Video Course features topics like film equipment, lighting techniques that help affect the mood of your video, editing programs, budgeting, and promotion. Understanding these key concepts can take your music video to the next level.