It all started when some crazy radio programmers got together in a New York City studio and wondered what would happen if they put music to video?
What came next was a TV commercial of an animated Spaceman planting a flag with a MTV logo and then Sting singing the now famous jingle.
Soon music fans were singing along too, not to the radio, but to a TV cable channel that was devoted to music videos airing them nearly 24 hours a day.
That's when MTV was first launched in 1981.
Back then, music videos were often dismissed by critics as nothing more than ads or radio playing on television.
At the time, the idea of music videos seemed futuristic, but in fact, many of MTV’s early artists, like David Bowie and Devo, were already making music videos well before MTV came along.
But decades later, and ironically enough, years after MTV dropped most of its video programming, the music video has slowly been embraced as art.
Believe it or not, it has become important and influential enough to have a major exhibition launching in it's birthplace, New York City.
“Spectacle: The Music Video,” opens today, a massive exhibition that features more than 300 videos, artifacts and interactive installations that shows the development and influence of the music video as an art form.
Rather than tracking the history of music videos chronologically, the curators have organized the videos by genre.
That includes a section on arty videos like Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and a section on videos that were once perceived as too provocative for MTV, including Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” and an exhibit on epic videos, which includes Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
Forget Jersey Shore...I Want My MTV (with videos) back.