Following the news of legendary pop/R&B legend Prince’s death at the age of 57 on Thursday, MTV paid tribute to the late musician by swapping its previously scheduled content for “a dedicated block of his most influential music videos.”
Though episodes of Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness were scheduled to play throughout the large majority of the day, the network changed its logo to the color purple and played Prince’s music videos, including “Kiss,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Raspberry Beret” and “When Doves Cry.”
“To honor the life and career of musical icon Prince, MTV will change its logo to purple for the entire day and MTV and MTV2 will air a dedicated block of his most influential music videos today beginning at 1:55 p.m. ET. MTV Live will air videos at 3:00 p.m.,” MTV told The Hollywood Reporter.
The network added in a statement to THR: “MTV is heartbroken and in utter disbelief at the news that the world has lost Prince Rogers Nelson so suddenly and so before his time. Prince was a once-in-a-lifetime artist who transcended every medium and genre he touched and created music with a passion and individuality that inspired multiple generations. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, friends and millions of fans.”
To further its remembrance of Prince, “MTV News will air a dedicated podcast highlighting Prince’s impact on music. MTV News correspondents will be on-the-ground in NYC and Paisley park to get feedback from fans. MTV Snapchat will be a full Prince takeover tomorrow,” the network said. “Additionally, interstitials will run on-air throughout the day which will include archival interviews from the legend himself, behind-the-scenes MTV moments and more.”
The switch to a tribute of music videos comes hours following MTV’s unveil of a massive upfront slate featuring 11 new unscripted series pickups, three scripted entries and development of eight more new works.
MTV president Sean Atkins told THR of the new, larger music-focused slate, “It says a few things, first and foremost that we’re clearly bringing music as our muse back to the brand and returning it creatively to what inspires us. The idea of having music — in terms of what it means to pop culture and that it gives artists a voice and is always resonant to youth and an influencer of culture — has always been a great element of the MTV brand. We’re leaning back into the heritage and resuscitating it and renovating it for today’s generation.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.