July 15, 2001 12:00 PM

6 INSIDE PEOPLE

10 FOREVER YOUNG

When MTV was born at midnight on Aug. 1, 1981, hardly anyone bothered to watch. Since then, the network has transformed American entertainment—and it remains as relevant as ever

14 MEMORABLE MOMENTS

From “Like a Virgin” to Live Aid, PEOPLE ranks 10 events over the past two decades that rocked MTV’s world

27 SCANDAL

George Michael’s “Sex” antics, Michael Jackson’s rampage, Johnny Knoxville’s copycats. Touching off media firestorms, these incidents and others proved that, even on cable, you can go too far

34 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? THE VJs

The original five VJs shared a coed dressing room and partied with rock royalty. After they left the spotlight, their lives took surprising turns. Plus: The next generation of on-air personalities remade Music Television in their own image. Then they remade themselves

46 AUDITION

What do Rosie O’Donnell, Adam Sandler, Greg Kinnear, Chris Rock and Mary Lou Retton have in common? They all tried out for MTV, and it wasn’t pretty. We have the tapes to prove it

48 WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

Steven Tyler wore fishnets. MC Hammer sported a genie suit. Pamela Anderson accessorized with a large flightless bird. For some pop icons, fashion means never having to say you’re sorry. Plus: The awards for rock and roll’s most horrifying hairstyles go to…

55 UPDATE

As the Buggles, Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes made “Video Killed the Radio Star”—the first video ever shown on MTV. By the time it aired, the duo had split, but they achieved greater success on their own

58 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? THE REAL WORLD

On the opening season of The Real World in 1992, seven strangers were thrown together in a Manhattan loft for three months. Here’s what happened to Julie, Eric, Becky, Heather, Andre, Norman and Kevin when they got back to reality

66 GALLERY

There’s just one place on earth where Ricky Martin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jenny McCarthy, Cyndi Lauper, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Cher, Whitney Houston and Axl Rose all let loose. We take you on a behind-the-scenes tour

76 BIG BREAK

Courteney Cox Arquette boogied out of a Springsteen video and into the big time. The Friends star is one of a passel of celebs who got their start on MTV

79 MOUTHING OFF

Roseanne disses Mick Jagger. Eminem disses everybody else. On this channel, the talk is loud, fast and unpredictable

80 END NOTE

Party time (heh, heh) with Beavis and Butt-head

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