It starts off like a Cinderella story: Once upon a time, in 1985, MTV got a nerdy stepsister called VH1. That stood for Video Hits One, and it was a channel aimed at the same lame-o middle-aged demographic that listened to adult-contemporary radio. And yet, despite all the Sting and Billy Joel videos, there was something about this fledgling network — something to suggest that maybe, just maybe, it could be kinda cool.
As the years went by, VH1 grew hipper and edgier, and in 1996, it debuted the irreverent game-changer Pop Up Video. The following year brought Behind the Music, and suddenly, this Cinderella story went all Frankenstein. In the decade that followed, VH1 produced a ton of original programming — some of it smart and centered on music (Legends, Hip Hop Honors), and much of it wacked-out, arguably tasteless reality fare starring has-beens and wannabes.
Nowadays, VH1 has found a happy medium between music and reality, and in honor of the network's 30th anniversary, we're counting the 30 reasons we'll love and watch it forever, come hell or more Flavor Flav.