List Headline Image
Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jul 11, 2014
Headline for Total Request Lives On: 10 of MTVs Best Total Request Live Moments
10 items   11 followers   0 votes   604 views

Total Request Lives On: 10 of MTVs Best Total Request Live Moments

Total Request Live was like the main stage for pop music discourse during its run from 1998-2008 on MTV. Before the rise of social media and the further fragmentation of popular culture, this place was a hub for a specific kind of music and lifestyle. Shows like TRL come together to proliferate the ideas and excitement of a moment and then end when culture moves on. Has culture come back to the TRL platform?

Ariana Grande Revives Total Request Live (for a day)

Ariana Grande recently brought TRL back from its pop grave. This is interesting timing because TRL was once the space for the boy band/ pop princess dream, and that faded out a bit in the late 2000s. Now we're seeing a revival of that pop music love with massive groups like One Direction and artists like Ariana Grande. It only makes sense that TRL would come back for this arrangement in exposure.

Backstreet Boys Shut Down Times Square

There's something about massive boy bands that can create a chaos outside of any linguistic realm. We simply do not have words for it and minds are lost. Times Square was shut down in 1998 when the Backstreet Boys made an appearance on TRL.

N'Sync in their First TRL Performance

Watch pre-solo Justin Timberlake sing with his sweet coloured curls. TRL was the best place for the pop princes during a time when boy bands had perfectly planned out dance moves and constructed personalities. Here is their first TRL appearance solidifying their pop culture place in the world.

Britney Spears (Need I say more?)

It was almost as if TRL was made for Britney. TRL was the place to go before Twitter to get a sense of personalities. Here the artists could explain their songs and their lives (to a point, obviously) long before they were posting stuff on Instagram. Fans would tune in to feel a bit closer.

Christina Aguilera and Genie in a Bottle

TRL was also like a high school graduation for the Mickey Mouse Club of the 90s. This was were they showed off which direction they were going to take after their first level of celebrity. These shows are all tied together in specific culture cycles.

Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child also wound up on the stages of TRL and gave us some great performances. TRL is certainly part of the Generation Y time capsule, because from here we can watch the musical and cultural evolution of Beyonce; and who doesn't want to do that?

Hanson Hosting

Hanson hosted TRL in 1998. They answered questions and engaged with the audience while they basked in the glory of late 90s boy band madness. The space of the set was always carefully constructed for a sense of intimacy for the fans inside and the viewers at home.

Mariah Carey (Every time she was on)

A reason TRL was so popular was it's ability to make you feel as if you were watching something revealing about your favourite artist. This was Especially true with Mariah Carey.

Avril Lavigne

Avril spent some baby punk time on TRL. She was part of creating the anti-Britney wave of fans, which is interesting because TRL and Brit were tight. This was one of the first times we see of movement away from bubblegum pop, even though her music was the same thing, but with a little more guitar.

P.Diddy and Snoop Dog in the Final

P.Diddy and Snoop Dog helped bid farewell to TRL. Total Request Live was losing it's spot as the attention grabber, while the internet was picking it up. Boy bands and pop queens were also starting to fade on the scene while a rocker style was gaining popularity.