MTV Unplugged was (and still is) a special event for major artists and bands to show a different side of their music. This list looks back at the Top 10 Best MTV Unplugged Performances.
MTV Unplugged is an American television series on MTV showcasing musical artists usually playing acoustic instruments. The show aired regularly from 1989 to 1999 and less frequently from 2000 to 2009, when it was usually billed as MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. Since 2009, Specials have aired occasionally, sometimes online only. Episodes and specials have tended to showcase one artist or group, playing a combination of their hit songs and covers. Eric Clapton‘s Unplugged (1992) sold 26 million copies worldwide and became the best-selling live album of all time. Other Unplugged albums that went platinum include Mariah Carey(1992), Rod Stewart (1993), 10,000 Maniacs, Tony Bennett (1994), Page and Plant‘s No Quarter (1994), Nirvana (1994), Alice in Chains (1996), Shakira (1999), Ricky Martin (2006), Lauryn Hill (2001) and Alicia Keys‘ (2005). Some of these albums produced successful singles as well, including Mariah Carey’s No. 1 hit cover of “I’ll Be There“.
Many of the artists who appeared on the show in the 1990s released their Unplugged session as an album, and some of these albums were commercial and critical hits. The show received the George Foster Peabody Award and three Primetime Emmy nominations, in its original form.