The GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland launched its first major exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of MTV, the music video television network that inspired a cultural awakening. (Photo: Vickie D. King)

CLEVELAND — The GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland launched its first major exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of MTV, the music video television network that inspired a cultural awakening.

The exhibit, called MTV Turns Forty, shares the role of media executive and Jackson native Bob Pittman, who led the team that created MTV in August 1981. It also features artifacts from music legends like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Run-DMC and Aerosmith.

The exhibit opens to the public on Friday, and it was unveiled during a special reception Thursday evening.

“This is fantastic,” Pittman said on Thursday. “Here I am in the Mississippi Delta, at the Grammy Museum Mississippi. I’m in music. I’m truly proud that here too, in my home state, the MTV Turns 40 exhibition is being showcased. I think this gives anyone into the music heritage of Mississippi, and especially the Blues, such an important place to be, and it’s such an important recognition of the artists.”

MTV Turns Forty will be on display at the museum through summer 2022.

Below is a photo gallery from the exhibit and museum.

Editor’s note: Mississippi Today board of directors member Tom Pittman — Bob Pittman’s brother — is involved in the planning of the MTV Turns Forty exhibit, and Mississippi Today board member Andy Lack is on the Grammy Museum Mississippi’s national advisory board. The Maddox Foundation, which is supporting the exhibit, is a donor of Mississippi Today.


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